2021 Harmonica Workshop Faculty
Singer, songwriter, and performer, Rob Roy Parnell has been mixing rockin' blues, boogie woogie, R&B and soul for over thirty-five years playing for audiences throughout the United States. With harmonica in hand, he is recognized as one of America’s finest players.
At age 17 his brother Lee Roy www.leeroyparnell.com introduced Rob Roy Parnell to the harmonica. During the 1990s Parnell worked as a sidemen for Lee Roy traveling the United States playing with many great acts such as Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Vince Gill, Brooks and Dunn, Patty Loveless, Hal Ketchum, Travis Tritt, Martina McBride, Hank Williams Jr. just to name a few. Over the years Parnell has played all over the United States and was the first performer to play for the Armed Forces at camp delta at “Gitmo” Cuba. For 20 straight years he has played before the University of Texas and University of Oklahoma Red River Shoot Out game and has become part of this long standing tradition at America’s largest state fair.
He remains busy touring, songwriting and session work in the studio. One of his songs “OughtaKnow” was cut and is on the Delbert McClinton and Glen Clark CD “ Blind Cripple and Crazy”. As stated by Texas Music Magazine “On stage, Rob Roy always delivers a winning and sterling set of roadhouse blues a la Delbert McClinton that travels through the range of Texas styles and modes with the assurance of a new crown prince of the scene."
For thirteen years, Rob Roy has been part of the faculty at the Kerrville Folk Festival’s Harmonica Workshop serving as the musical director of the workshop.
Todd has been playing harmonica for 28 years, and has been blessed to perform and record with several artists. Growing up on the church pew in NC, he was exposed to lively music at a young age, and it wasn't long until he picked up his first instrument... the harmonica. Todd recalls, "I remember as a kid when an traveling evangelist visited our church. The pastor had been announcing that he played a French Horn, but I think he meant French "Harp" instead (which is a common name for harmonica). So, I was expecting this guy to come to the pulpit playing some type of brass horn. When he walked to the pulpit, whipped out a harmonica and started to play, I was amazed! I was determined that night to learn to play the harmonica, so on the last night of the series of services, I bought a harmonica from him (against my mother's wishes I might add). The other kids laughed and teased me a little bit, but the harmonica kinda "stuck" with me. After several years, I'm still playing harmonica, but have come to realize that this was just the start of something greater. Music has opened so many positive doors in my life. I'm not sure where I'd be today or what I'd be doing had I not picked up that first harmonica. God has blessed me with a gift, and sharing my music with others is my way of partly giving back."
Today, Todd's soulful, gospel harmonica can be heard in churches and other events across the nation, as well as on many studio recordings. He's a regular teacher and performer at the annual Society for the Preservation and Advancement of the Harmonica (SPAH) convention, and at many other harmonica workshops in the USA.
New Jersey-based front man, singer, & harmonica player Rob Paparozzi has been a blues performer since 1967. But Rob is far from being strictly a blues musician. In fact, he's at home playing a wide range of music, ranging from rock to blues to jazz to pop and country. This versatility is reflected in the long and remarkably diverse list of major artists Rob has worked with, including B.B.King, Dr. John, Bruce Springsteen, Whitney Houston, Carole King, Roberta Flack, Culture Club, Cyndi Lauper, Randy Newman, Jimmy McGriff, James Galway, Dolly Parton & George Jones.
Has had been involved with Renowned Stax songwriter and guitarist Steve Cropper and Saxman Blu Lou Marini and the original Blues Brothers Band for many years as well as serving as the lead singer for Blood Sweat and Tears from 2004-2011.
He has performed on numerous TV programs as well as provided his harmonica talents for many national accounts such as Ford, Coke, Pepsi, Wendy’s and Pizza Hut.
Rob’ debut CD “Etruscan Soul” garnered a Grammy Nomination and his latest release “Electric Butter” big band CD with Ed Palermo got rave reviews in Downbeat and Jazz Time.
A tasty harmonica accompanist & soloist, Michael D’Eath moved from his home in England to Texas as a teenager to pursue an entrepreneurial career in high technology. Twenty years later he chose harmonica as his primary instrument. Michael currently performs with Him & Her, a duo with his wife Brenda Freed. Him & Her focuses on performing, recording, songwriting, musical arrangement, and teaching, as well as having a good time with live audiences whether playing a club, house concert, small theater or festival. In addition to performing on three Him & Her albums, Michael was recording engineer for two of them.
Michael has studied privately with Austin legend, JB Henry, as well as with many world class instructors including Norton Buffalo, Gary Primich, Rob Roy Parnell, Peter “Madcat” Ruth, Joe Filisko, JimiLee, Will Scarlett, and Winslow Yerxa. He is an accomplished player in several musical styles on both diatonic and chromatic harmonicas and is a first call session player and sideman. He has performed harmonica on tracks for Marghi Allen, Farrell Droke, The Better Halves and Tracy Weinberg. Michael started performing with his wife, Brenda Freed, in 2000 and together they formed Texas Hot Flash, which won an Austin Music Award in 2005, and opened for the Charlie Daniels Band. Brenda and Michael formed Him & Her in 2005 and they have since played together throughout the Texas Hill Country, the U.S and Europe.