Don Parrish

   Banjo and Vocals

The musical route taken by Don Parrish to CityFarm is a varied one.  He began as a self-taught drummer but quickly migrated to the trumpet which he played throughout junior and senior high school. In the late 60’s and early 70’s he often played in “old man” bands that played big band music at country club parties, wedding receptions and the like (it was during this period that developed a taste for malt beverages which were often provided by his elder bandmates).

The most inspiring musician and mentor of his life was his brother, George, who passed away a few years ago after almost 40 years in the music business.  Don often played with George in Danville groups of the 60’s and 70’s, including the Soul Masters and City Council.  In these early years his varied experiences included being a member of the Duke University Symphonic Orchestra and playing in regional back-up bands for touring musicians such as James Brown, Sam & Dave, Arthur Conley and Joe Simon.

Don's early influences included the Motown sound, Otis Redding, Chicago , 3 Dog Night, and R&B. His love for bluegrass began in the early 70's when he would join Fred and Paul at bluegrass festivals.  Years later when they all had moved to the Washington Metropolitan area they would jam together.  The trio needed some diversity in instrumentation so Don bought a banjo and chord book.  The rest is history and Don now concentrates on the bluegrass genre with CityFarm.  He dabbles in country & western when he plays occasional gigs with Outlaws in Paradise in the U.S. Virgin Islands.