Freightrain's Musical Journey

Photo courtesy of Michael Mietlecki

Photo courtesy of Michael Mietlecki

Parker is a native of Buffalo N.Y.. Being brought up in a musical family peaked his passion for music at an early age. At around 13 years old he began to play gigs with Brother Kenny on sax and Dad on guitar, mostly house gigs but also at Dads gigs in between sets. Although heavily influenced by jazz and rhythm & blues heard growing up, he developed his own rhythm and style that is unique and hard to match. He was quickly established on the Buffalo music scene as a well known and sought after bass player. His booming rapid fire licks earned him the name “Freightrain from New York musicians as he always leaps into the depths of the rhythm section with the strength of a Train. 

Parker moved to Florida in the mid 90’s ready for new challenge. With help from friend and mentor Johnny “Clyde” Copeland, Parker was connected with internationally acclaimed blues artist Rock Bottom, whom he recorded with and toured with over much of the late 90’s. His mainstay status on the Tampa Bay blues scene was established as “Freightrain” was not only known for his bass playing but also for his soulful lead and powerful backup vocals. 
Parker has also toured internationally with Texas bluesman Sherman Robertson, Chief James Billie and over the past several years has toured both the U.S. and Canada with award winning Canadian artist Paul Reddick and his band the Sidemen. he has been seen filling in with Big Bill Morganfield the son of legendary blues man Muddy Waters. He also has been the Go to for touring musicians passing through WNY, Joe Beard, Kenny "Blues Boss" Wayne, Mike Morgan and The Local Legendary Members of Raven and more...
 

Robert “Freightrain” Parker is Seneca from Buffalo, New York. In 2015, he became the First Indigenous Person Inducted into the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame. Parker’s music is not easily defined by one genre. His distinctive approach to American roots is a breath of fresh air, leaving fans energized and mesmerized from live shows. 

Freightrain recorded his debut album, “Freightrain Live,” at The Sportsmen's Tavern in Buffalo, NY in the winter of 2016. In the fall of 2016 he successfully toured Europe with his band in support of the release. A year later he released his second album of all original material, "Outside Ourselves.” Parker produced and arranged all tracks on both albums, receiving high accolades in both areas of production as well as performance. Most recently "Freightrain Live" has been Nominated for a 2018 Indigenous Music Award as "Best Blues Album".

“Outside Ourselves” is equal parts soul and funk, blues and roots, an all original build on the masterful “Freightrain Live.” The title track “Outside Ourselves” is a choral anthem, a cut that both uplifts and jams out. It received critical acclaim nationally and internationally. Each of the original songs on “Outside Ourselves” is unique, ranging from an earthy ballad to a dirty blues shuffle, showcasing his broad musical influences and pushing the boundaries of his blues beginnings.  

Each track includes the dynamic key Freightrain players, Robert “Freightrain” Parker on lead vocals and bass guitar, Grace Lougen on lead guitar, Damone Jackson on drums and Greg Leech on keys. A wide range of musicians and vocalists are interspersed throughout the album.


Honors

  • 2018 Indigenous Nominee and Winner for Best Blues Album for "Freightrain Live"
  • 2015 Buffalo Music Hall of Fame Inductee, First Indigenous Musician to be Inducted

 

Discography  
 

  • Strawberry Moon - Sarah Parker, Producer
  • Outside Ourselves - Freightrain, Producer
  • Freightrain Live - Freightrain, Producer
  • Willie May Band - Blues Mona
  • Willie May Band - Shaken Tree
  • Darryl Tonemah - Christmas Album
  • Darryl Tonemah - Mulligan  
  • Sauce Boss - Hot ‘n Heavy 
  • The Jimmy Griswold Band - Professional Slacker 
  • Jimmy Griswold - The Right Road 
  • Rock Bottom & the Cutaways - Shake Your Boogie Leg 
  • Rock Bottom - King of the Dues 
  • Tommy McCoy - Angels Serenade 
  • Bird Dog Bobby - Woof 
  • Sandy Atkinson - Why Baby Why 
  • Sandy Atkinson - From There to
  • Here Blind Willie James - Do the Blind Willie 
  • Vidar Busk - Norway Warner
  • Diamond Teeth Mary -Compilation 
  • Where’s Broadway - Solo Project
  • Burnin’ Moon - Colorado



 

Freightrain's Gear 
Basses  

  • Ernie Ball Musicman Stingray
  • 1979 Fender Precision
  • 2000 Fender Electric acoustic Bass
  • 1972 Fender Telecaster Bass
  • 1950’s Kay 3/4 Upright  


Amps  

  • Gallien - Krrueger 800RB
  • Gallien - Krueger 700RB               
  • 2x10 Gallien-Krueger, 4x10 Gallien-Krueger, 1x15 Gallien-Krueger  
  • ✴Loaded With Jensen Speakers -   
  • ✴Thanks to  http://www.vintagespeaker.com 


Strings  

  • DAddario-Roundwound 110-50