On the right road

Mel Parsons, left, and Liz Stringer play The Sherwood

Cantabrian Mel Parsons has been touring non-stop since 2015.

It’s when she released her third album, Drylands.

Speaking to Mountain Scene while on the road in Oz, she admits it can be knackering.

“Most of the time when I am on the road, and yeah, it is tiring, you think ‘this is awesome’, we get to do what we love. It is our job and that is a bonus.

“Earlier on this year I was playing at Port Fairy Folk Festival down in Victoria [Australia] and it was a massive audience. I looked at the line-up beside me and realised I was on stage with a bunch of legends and thought ‘oh God, how am I here, how has this happened?’

“It is a big buzz at those festivals but it doesn’t matter what size we are playing to — it is still the same and is still fun.”

She’s notched up a few stamps in her passport performing around the world including the United Kingdom, Ireland and Canada.

She plays an intimate gig at The Sherwood this Saturday, joined by Aussie singer Liz Stringer.

Touring hasn’t stopped her working on her next album and Queenstowners may get a sneaky preview of a few new tracks.

They’ll be mixed in with her back catalogue hits — from debut album Over My Shoulder and Red Grey Blue.

Parson’s folky tunes and tones are influenced by her childhood.

Her folks are fans of Cat Stevens, Dire Straits and Paul Simon and she grew up listening to them.

But she wasn’t as happy with their instrument choice.

Parsons was sent to piano lessons at five years old — and wasn’t a fan of the nuts and bolts.

“I had a real love-hate relationship with it. I hated the theory aspect but would sit at the piano for hours just playing. In the end I learned to play by ear.”

Fortunately, aged 15, the Fly My Pretties singer picked up the guitar. That cemented her love of music and put her on the road to a life-long career on the road.

Catch Mel Parsons and Liz Stringer in their Across the Ditch Tour, The Sherwood, Saturday. Tickets $30-$35