With no label and no support, Parker was forced into musical exile, which took a serious toll on his creative and emotional psyche. Moving to northern Vermont and isolating himself in a remote cabin resulted in the germs of many of the songs found on the new Varnaline album, Songs in a Northern Key, released on Steve Earle's E-Squared Records.
For the latest Varnaline tour, Parker is hitting the road with Centro-matic, who opens with a set of its own material, then backs up Parker as an ad hoc version of Varnaline. "With these new guys on this tour, I'm collecting all the lyrics and music and listening to all the records, which I never do," Parker says, with a wry laugh. "There's stuff that I go back to and cringe, and there's stuff that I'm pretty psyched about." As are we.