by Jane Roser
You can bet that when a band lists their hometown as Austin, Texas that two things will happen: at least one band member will show up wearing cowboy boots and the music will be not only be good, it will be a fun, memorable experience.
Loves It began three years ago in Austin, Texas. The brainchild of songwriters Jenny Parrott and Vaughn Walters, the two met “at a club that a lot of Austin musicians cut their teeth at called The Hole In The Wall.”
Parrott recalls meeting Walters after a show her former band, Shotgun Party, played- “we started writing songs and touring Europe for two months during which I was also learning to play the fiddle. I’ve been interested in learning how to play since college, but I finally got stubborn and passionate about it and started practicing.”
Since their inception, Loves It has played over 400 shows, including a memorable concert in Santa Rosa, California at the Arlene Francis Center for Spirit, Art and Politics, “It had a great sound system,” says Parrott, “we played with a band called Manzanita Falls. It’s nice to go back to the west coast and see so many familiar faces.”
In Huntsville, Alabama they played a show called Concerts on the Dock, a free outdoor concert in which hundreds of people showed up to see Loves It perform on a loading dock at a historic textile mill. I ask Parrott how the audience reacts when they play new venues and she jokes, “most people are humbly offended and they leave.”
I’ve personally attended several Shotgun Party concerts, most of these were house concerts, and I’m looking forward to my first Loves It concert this December at DC musician Maureen Andary’s home. Andary introduced me to Parrott several years ago and says of her, “Jenny Parrott brings true joie de vivre, humor and light to every song she performs. Her collaboration with partner Vaughn Walters to form Loves It is a true delight!”
Parrott says that house parties “are good places to play because people listen.” She adds, “if anyone in the Philly area would like to host a Loves It house concert, please let us know!”
Parrott has loved singing since she was young. “My dad took me to a musical when I was four or five and I said I wanna do that! I listened to a lot of Mariah Carey, Janet Jackson and Sheryl Crow. I’d play their tapes over and over, just kicking a soccer ball and singing Mariah Carey.”
The band’s name was Parrott’s idea, inspired by many nights of watching Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie’s show The Simple Life. “It’s a fun, positive thing to say. I always made up words and phrases when I was a kid and love is the most powerful thing, so there you are.”
Loves It released their sophomore album All We Are on October 29th, followed the next day with an album release show at The White Horse in Austin, Texas (‘the only east side honky tonk featuring live music seven days a week’). Speaking about the record, Parrott says, “it all came together at once. We didn’t have much money to make it, but we had enough to record the bass and drums, plus Vaughn knows how to do home recording. We had two days and our engineer said you can do this! We’ve never had that much access to time in a studio before but the Kickstarter campaign we started really helped to grant us that access.”
Loves It next filmed a music video for their single “Wild”, a fun romp with dancing, bicycles, roller skates and pet dog Boxie (“she’s like…..whatever”, says Parrott.) Filming took place in Walter’s hometown of Macomber and Thomas, West Virginia, featuring local friends, as well as his sister dancing up a storm. They were also able to use some monster trucks in the video that belonged to Walter’s neighbors who build and race them. “I was so jump up and down excited about it,” says Parrott, “we got a director and it’s happening on Sunday, now go!”
I ask Parrott what Loves It is looking forward to in the coming year and she answers, “well, good music and fun shows. We have 150 dates booked for next year and we also want to go back to Turkey. We’ve been invited to record at a studio in Mongolia and we’d like to perform in Japan and the U.K. So far, we’ve played in 48 states, missing only Alaska and Hawaii.”
Loves It is having a grand ‘ol time living life on the road and making people happy one song at a time, and that, as Paris Hilton would say, is hot.