There has been quite a buzz around town about a gritty country band called Cody Parks and The Dirty South. It’s been reported that they are like Def Leppard on cornbread, and when I had the opportunity to interview them before their show at the Back Corner in Nashville, I found out what the hype is all about. The guys gave me some insight into who they are and why their story gives them a unique platform to bring raw country rock music to the people while also helping the community. Here’s the gritty on Cody Parks and The Dirty South
The band name, Cody Parks and The Dirty South, was derived from its southern roots, country rock sound, and the lead singer, Cody Parks. Cody stated, “growing up in Georgia, The Dirty South was used to describe the 90’s rap scene there and I thought it sounded pretty cool, but I had never seen it used for a country band or a rock band. I have always thought it sounded like my brand of country music – gritty, dirty.”
Less than two years ago, a terrible incident happened that changed the trajectory of the band for the time being. Cody Parks and The Dirty South recently released this statement on their website explaining the tragedy. “One year ago tonight, one of our own was the victim of a ‘bump and gun’ robbery and was unfortunately shot during the process. Our guitar player, Clint Richardson, was rear-ended at a red light in Bellevue, and when he got out to check the damage, he was met by a 14-year-old with a pistol demanding his belongings. The 14-year-old fired one time striking Clint in the abdomen. The bullet went through his phone, finally coming to a halt in his spine. The bullet is still there. Clint spent several days in the emergency room at Vanderbilt and was in and out of the hospital the following month. He was effectively bedridden for months, and did not regain his ability to walk until July of last year.”
It was then that the band realized they wanted to use their platform to help the community. Clint divulged, “after the shooting, we had this idea, and we have a buddy that has a studio in town (Nashville) called The Emergency Room. We were originally going to cut some demos there but decided to record some live recordings instead. We started thinking we could call it Live From the Emergency Room and release it on the one year anniversary of the shooting, Feb 12.”
A few days before that anniversary, a fatal shooting tragedy struck Nashville. Another local musician, Kyle Yorlets, was fatally shot by youngsters in his own driveway. Cody recalled, “it was an eerily similar situation to Clint’s. We agreed that we needed to do something for his family.” That was when the band decided they wanted to split the profits from their project to also help the Yorlets’ cause.
The project includes two tracks; their original, “Ride Off, Rock On” and their electrified cover of Charlie Daniels’ “Long Haired Country Boy.” Half of the proceeds from this project will be donated to the Boys and Girls Club of Middle Tennessee, and the other half to the family of Kyle Yorlets. Kyle’s family has a scholarship fund at his high school in his name which helps fund students wanting to pursue music and other youth organizations. The band hopes that this will help to support causes that keep youth off the streets and to contribute to young musicians like Yorlets.
If you’d like to get involved in supporting this cause, you can purchase, share on social media, and stream (Spotify, Apple Music) the songs from Live From The Emergency Room. Check out the video below for “Long Haired Country Boy” from the project.
Not only does Cody Parks and The Dirty South have a unique story, but they also have a distinctive sound that intertwines raw country music with rock and roll spunk for an experience that electrifies the listener’s ears. The road has only just begun for this band, and we are excited to be along for their journey.
You can catch Cody Parks and The Dirty South on the road this summer, playing concerts and festivals around the country, as well as at their monthly Nashville residency, Dirty Thursday at The Local. You should also be on the lookout for their EP coming up late summer/early fall and music videos to accompany. Keep up with Cody Parks and The Dirty South on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter for the latest news.