Joyann Parker New Video “Sconnie Girl”

Those who aren’t from the Badger State don’t think about it very much, but those lucky enough to have seen it will never forget it. Northern Wisconsin contains one of the largest expanses of agricultural land and untamed forest east of the Mississippi River. It’s a place of astonishing beauty, and it engenders protective feelings among the Sconnies who call it home. Singer-songwriter Joyann Parker is deeply associated with the Minneapolis music scene where she made her name, but her outlook and her sound were shaped by her home state of Wisconsin — on her latest single, she’s letting the world know.

Parker’s heart belongs to Wisconsin. Her music, however, is as wide as the nation. During her celebrated career, she hasn’t merely demonstrated that she can sing and write in traditional American styles. She’s shown us that she can put them together in unusual and illuminating ways. “Sconnie Girl,” for instance, is a backwoods celebration and a rustic shouter that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Nashville playlist. Its themes of small-town pride, community, and resilience are ones that resonate with other contemporary country hits. But the star’s swaggering delivery is indebted to the blues, and the band’s swing suggests deep familiarity with the jazz tradition. And when her bandmates plug in their six-strings and solo, that’s rock and roll at its purest.

She’s joined on this track by a fellow believer in American music at its warmest — and fellow Sconnie. Chris Kroeze hails from tiny Barron, a lumberjack town in Northern Wisconsin. But the nation knows him as the runner-up on the fifteenth season of “The Voice,” where he won over the audiences and the judges alike with his passionate renditions of country-rock standards. It’s no surprise that his gruff baritone voice is a natural fit with Joyann Parker’s searing music. When they raise their powerful voices together, the result is pure celebration.

In the delightful clip for “Sconnie Girl,” Parker and Kroeze are joined by another beloved Wisconsinite. Comedian Mary Mack has made her North Country upbringing the subject of her spoken-word albums and her performances on late-night talk shows; here, she’s the dedicated fan who calls for the song at a Joyann Parker show at an outdoor get-together. As they play, a beautiful day in the Wisconsin sun becomes a hot night under the stars.

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