Indiana Music: Grover Parido

photo: Stacy Kagiwada

Cellist Grover Parido was an essential part of the magic that made Cara Jean Wahlers’s 2010 album “Goodnight Charlotte” a quiet masterpiece. Parido has become more prominent in the Indianapolis music scene lately, picking up new projects and live shows. He has a lovely orchestral sound with hints of a Nashville coffeehouse and the majesty of U2. How’s that description for you?

ROB: I saw you sit in with Chad Mills as you guys opened the Truth & Salvage Co. show at Radio Radio, and you were terrific. Blown away by the sound. Do you have any more shows coming this spring with them?
Grover Parido: The band (our first show with that cast) you saw at Radio Radio, Chad Mills, Bill Rood, Bob Stewart and me, will be playing at the Britton Tavern in Fishers April 14. Chad, Bill and I will be doing a acoustic battle of the bands April 21 at the Ugly Monkey. I have a blast playing with those guys. (They have) good humor and energy.

ROB: How’s the Indianapolis music scene these days for a guy like you, who can be a bit of a brilliant chameleon? Some folk/Americana/alt-country, some other, more delicate stuff too.
GP: The Indy music scene, for me, has been rewarding. I have had the opportunity to perform and record with some fabulous musicians. I have developed an approach to the cello that is a little unique, and has thankfully put me in demand with some very talented people. I have been able to perform in a wide variety of genre, style and form � fiddle tune meets Debussy (The Maple Trio); African drums, modern dance, Floyd-esque classical (ReCollective Company). The songwriters I work with all have a unique style from a “rocky” to a “classical” vibe. My point is there is some cool art going on in this town. I’m grateful to have played a small part in some of it. I think Indy is becoming more varied in its tastes. Perhaps too slowly for some, however I remember a time when something like IndyFringe would never happen. I’m so encouraged by some of the young talent here, it bodes well for the future.

ROB: What have you been listening to recently? Any music that excites you?
GP: Calexico is my current fave. A beautiful confluence of cultures and esthetic. I love the austere desert sound. Hank Williams, Stravinsky, BR549, Laura Gibson, Umphreys McGee, Bela Fleck, The Who, Carla Kihlstedt and JS Bach too. I play or listen to Bach most every day. It’s meditation. Music that deconstructs or bends tradition is what excites me. I love Truth and Salvage’s great vocals and songwriting. And I’m going to see Kronos Quartet in April.

ROB: When you record, are you at home? In a studio?
GP: I do both. “Goodnight Charlotte” was recorded in my home studio. It was right for Cara and right for the songs. The record has an intimate vibe that would have been difficult in a big room. When I do work in a pro studio, I have worked most often at The Lodge and Farm Fresh in Bloomington. As to what I like best, it depends on the task. Sometimes I really like sitting down in front of microphone in a big room and worry about nothing else but my playing. In my own productions, I like working with my toolbox, as humble as it may be.

ROB: I loved Cara Jean Wahlers’s album you made with her and named it Favorite Roots Album of 2010 in NUVO, though I am a usually crunchy guitar, loud drums kind of fan. Well done. How is that partnership?
GP: Our partnership is back on after a few months of separation. Cara has been ill and recently has been feeling good enough to perform and write. I don’t know what is ahead for us. I want to go out and support “Goodnight Charlotte” and we have started that process. We performed in Louisville in late February and had great show in March with Krista Detor. I’d like to do another group of songs with Cara; I’m anxious to hear her new material.

ROB: Any other recordings for you?
GP I just finished mixing “Alien Landscape” with Lou Stant, and hoping that will be released sometime this summer. I recently worked with Mark Fontaine and Steve Creech on a recording project. I have been working on my own project for a few yew years now. It has always taken a back seat to everything else. I’m far enough along now that it should happen this summer.

ROB: What is your performing background? Early influences/life changers?
GP: My parents, when I was a kid and still to this day have always supported my musical interest. I went school at Butler. Had some great instruction there, then went full force into pop music playing bass guitar and keys in L.A. during early to late ’80s. Learned a lot in L.A., and performed very little. Moved back to Indy, got married, had a family, had some failed businesses and didn’t play for a couple of years. I then got my muse back. I rediscovered the cello, and poured all my crazy experiences into the instrument. I did have some confidence issues in that period that made me pretty stiff. Then in 2003, I met Doug, Kate and Matt of blueprintmusic. I consider them a major influence in my playing. I learned the joys of variation and leading with emotion. It was my time with them that brought my playing an audience.

My biggest life changer was getting married to Cathy. We will celebrate our 22nd anniversary this summer. She is also a musician and has always encouraged me. Another life changer was life as teacher. I started teaching at the Carmel Music Center in 1997 and now also teach at Pike High School. I have learned so much from my students; it has been a great experience.

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