The Go Rounds have a new album out today. It’s called, “dont go not changin.” The album features layered vocals, a strong rhythm section, stylish guitar riffs and some recorded natural sound (think rain, birds, a crowd at a bar.)
Graham Parsons leads the band from Kalamazoo. He says a lot of the songs on the album were inspired by a four year relationship that ended last year. Parsons says many songs deal with themes of letting go and reconciliation.
It’s also been a year of rebirth for Parsons, and some of that can be heard in his songwriting. The single off the album, “Make It Sweeter” is an upbeat, rhythmic and playful track. Parsons says the song is “about it being up to you to make your time a beautiful thing here when you have it and to inspire others and hopefully along the way make something beautiful that people can get behind.”
When he’s not writing and performing, Parsons organizes a summer music festival in his hometown of Calumet (in the Upper Peninsula) on the farm where he grew up. The festival is to honor a friend and music collaborator, Dan Schmitt. Schmitt died in a car crash the night before he and Parsons were to move to Kalamazoo together to pursue music, in 2007.
Parsons now uses some of the money from the festival for an afterschool music program he started in Kalamazoo called “The Gift of Music.” There, Parsons and other local musicians teach songwriting to low-income, at-risk middle schoolers.
“We are working with these kids [where] it’s better that they don’t go home right after school. It’s better that they spend some more time with influences that are looking to encourage them and expose them to new things,” Parsons says.
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