Cat Popper Joins Brian K & The Parkway On “Straight Through”

Cat Popper, known for her band Puss N Boots with Norah Jones and Sasha Dobson and for her work with Jack White, Ryan Adams, Willie Nelson, is featured on the track

Cat Popper Joins Brian K & The Parkway On “Straight Through”

Cat Popper, known for her band Puss N Boots with Norah Jones and Sasha Dobson and for her work with Jack White, Ryan Adams, Willie Nelson, is featured on the track

Photo by Richard Ballard

Brian K. Pagels and Stephen Russ, the DC-area duo, Brian K & The Parkway, are releasing their second single, “Straight Through” featuring Cat Popper, known for her band Puss N Boots with Norah Jones and Sasha Dobson and for her work with Jack White, Ryan Adams, Willie Nelson, among others, who provides guest vocals on the track out March 1, 2024 – Pre-Save HERE.

But how did a new band that’s just starting out secure Popper on their debut album?  The answer is simple, just ask. Pagels has been a fan of Popper’s vocals since he first heard her sing on Ryan Adams & The Cardinals’ album Cold Roses. “I was immediately struck and moved by her voice,” says Pagels. So, when he heard she was working on releasing her own solo material, he decided to take a chance and reach out. “I filled out a form on her website and asked her if she would consider singing a duet with me,” says Pagels thinking the message would go into a black hole of webforms. “Instead, she responded within an hour with ‘damn dude, I love this tune!,’” says Pagels. After emailing back and forth and talking on the phone “everything came really naturally from there, including the vocal arrangement which I was honored to lay out for Brian and Cat,” says Russ. “They both brought their own touch to it, Cat delivered an incredible vocal take, and that’s the magic you hear on the song.”  Adds Popper, “This song was so fun to sing on and was stuck in my head for weeks!”

Brian K & The Parkway just released their debut single “Wind The Clock” January 12 – Listen HERE. On release day, Unrecorded named it a “best new track.” Mayhem Rockstar Magazine said it’s “…a light, infectious composition” while Alchemical Records says the song, “…really highlights this focus on songwriting and storytelling while embracing an energetic and uplifting musicality that is guitar driven, rooted in rock and roll…” “Wind The Clock” which opens with a lilting guitar riff and drum groove, is a commentary on tribalism and the extreme black and white thinking that has materialized in society today. The song offers a means to expel the frustration of it all while expressing a spirit of hope and solidarity with those actively fighting for a better world despite all the forces working against them. “I wanted it to be an anthem for ‘my people,’ those who value peacebuilding, justice, equality, democracy, and universal human rights,” says Pagels.

The duo are set to release their debut album, Killing The Bear, March 29, 2024. Most of the work on Killing The Bear was done by Pagels and Russ, but it was mastered by Justin Perkins (North Mississippi Allstars, The Replacements, Lydia Loveless), co-engineered by Zac Thomas at The Jam Room in Columbia, SC, and co-produced and mixed by Collin Derrick. The nine-song collection, a nod to the ‘70s rock sound of artists like Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, and Warren Zevon, is guitar-based, roots-oriented rock, infused with a healthy dose of soul and R&B. Piano and organ play a critical role in establishing the sound along with some horns thrown in for good measure. The duo dubs their sound “coastal heartland rock,” reflecting the fact that their major influences are artists that hail from coastal areas such as New Jersey, Florida, and California, but are known for their own mix of classic heartland rock.

Pagels and Russ formed Brian K & The Parkway in 2021. Pagels is from Springsteen’s hometown of Freehold, NJ, Russ is from the Carolinas, both share an innate connection to The Boss and are acutely inspired by him. Although the guys refer to the band name fondly as “very Jersey,” it denotes Pagels‘s name and the fact that The George Washington Memorial Parkway connects the route between their Northern Virginia homes; Pagels lives in Alexandria, Russ lives in Arlington.

Killing The Bear’s overarching theme is about our ever-increasing inability as humans to deal with the source of our problems and instead, look to surface-level, near-term solutions, and then declare immediate victory. The songs serve as vignettes about the things we do to cope, for better or worse. Now, with their debut coming, Brian K & The Parkway can’t wait to get out on the road to play it for audiences up and down the east coast beginning this March. They will be kicking off their east coast tour with a special all ages album release party at Jammin Java in Vienna, VA on March 29. Tickets are on sale now HERE. Additional dates below, including a stop in Brooklyn, NY with Diane Gentile. More dates to be added soon.


March 29 – Jammin Java, Vienna, VA – All ages album release show

April 25 – Tin Roof, Charleston, SC

April 26 – Curiosity Coffee, Columbia, SC

April 28 – The Pinhook, Durham, NC

April 30 – The Camel, Richmond, VA

May 1 – Quarry House Tavern, Silver Springs, MD

May 3 – The Berkeley Oceanfront Hotel, Asbury Park, NJ

May 4 – Faces Brewing, Boston, MA

May 5 – Sleepwalk, Brooklyn, NY (with Diane Gentile)

Brian K & The Parkway






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Bass Magazine   By: Bass Magazine