Founded in in Athens in 2002, The Whigs quickly established themselves as one of the most important rocks bands in that iconic music city.
“At a certain point in the middle of the millennium’s first decade, the Athens music scene seemed to revolve around The Whigs,” wrote Athens’ Flagpole Magazine in 2015. “The young garage-rock trio had amassed an imposing fanbase thanks to a fierce live show and a canny ability to bridge the town-gown divide, which it did to an extent no local band has since.”
The Whigs have played stellar shows in Savannah in recent years, including at Savannah Stopover and Service Brewing, and continue to perform high-profile gigs, but the band has been less active since 2017.
The Whigs’ change in direction has left more room for lead singer Parker Gispert to develop his solo work and record the album “Sunlight Tonight,” which will be released Nov. 16 by New West Records.
I didn’t know what to expect when Gispert performed solo at The Jinx in 2015, but I found myself impressed and moved by the beautiful songwriting, subtle charisma and strange stories.
The 2018 single “Life In The Goldilocks Zone” has an entrancing, ethereal sound. “Through The Canvas” has a similarly searching theme, as if both artist and listener are stepping into new realities.
According to parkergispert.com, “Sunlight Tonight” was largely inspired by his living for a year on an isolated, inactive farm an hour outside of Nashville. He wrote all of the songs outside, alone.
The Whigs have been staples of the southern rock scene for more than 15 years, but Gispert is only in his mid-30s — he’s younger than many emerging solo artists. I am excited to hear Gispert’s future work as he continues to experiment and cross new artistic boundaries.
Gispert returns to Savannah this week for a show Oct. 12 at El-Rocko Lounge, 117 Whitaker St. Easy Honey, a rock band originally from Tennessee and now based in Charleston, will open. The music will begin sometime after 9 p.m.
Bill Dawers writes City Talk in Savannah Morning News and blogs at Savannah Unplugged (www.billdawers.com) and hissing lawns (www.hissinglawns.com). Email firstname.lastname@example.org.