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MUSIC

Glen Rose native Prysock back home with new CD

By JACK W. HILL SPECIAL TO THE DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE

This article was published August 22, 2013 at 3:52 a.m.

Michael Prysock

Michael Prysock has a time told tale to tell: Young Arkansan leaves home, moves to Texas in pursuit of fame and fortune, or at least more opportunities to pursue dreams, musical and otherwise. Meanwhile, he busies himself living happily ever after.

“I grew up in Glen Rose [Hot Spring County] and moved to Dallas four years ago,” Prysock says. “I met my wife and we got married three years ago, and we’re expecting a baby Feb. 3.”

Prysock says his wife, Carrie Rogers Prysock, who was an English major at Westminster College in Missouri, is a lobbyist for the North Texas Toll Authority, and while she claims to have no musical talent, she did reveal to him that her uncle, the late Frank Stanford, was a famous poet.

“She once took me to a library in Little Rock, and there was a huge painting of him with some older African-American gentlemen, and I learned that Lucinda Williams and the Indigo Girls had known him and recorded some of his stuff, so as a songwriter, I was blown away by that.”

Prysock calls himself a fourth-generation Arkansas musician, noting that his mother and father were the piano player and song director, respectively, and his grandfather, the Rev. L.D. “Jiggs” Prysock, was the pastor at a Benton church for 42 years.

A 1993 graduate of Glen Rose High School, Prysock then attended Henderson State University, where he proudly notes he was the only Caucasian member of the Angelic Voices of Christ, an otherwise all black choir. And he came close to becoming a teacher, but kept just missing a passing grade on a teacher qualification test, which cost $200 each time he took it. So he decided to strike out in a direction he actually preferred - playing music.

“I worked for 10 years for the Boys and Girls Club of Benton before I moved to Texas,” Prysock recalls. “I began playing music, but also got a job at the Metropaws Animal Hospital, where the two ladies who run that, who are about the same age as I am, 38, came up with a title for me: kennel technician, which means I give baths and clean up poop.

“When it comes to music, I try to mostly just do my own, except for occasionally learning something by Tom Waits, Townes Van Zandt, John Prine, [Bruce] Springsteen or Neil Young. But if I mess up, there’s usually someone in the room who knows what I did wrong. When I do my own stuff, that’s not likely to happen.”

One of his favorite honors, so far, in his young career was winning the Rusty Wier Singer/Songwriter contest at a Plano club, Love & War. Like some noted reality shows on TV, there were six rounds to compete in, and at the final round, Prysock did two of his own songs and one by Wier.

He says, “I came in at first place, and I was the only one not from Texas, so you can imagine what a great feeling that was!”

Though he usually performs solo, Prysock says he will be accompanied this weekend by Jeff Clanton, a Conway musician he met when both performed at the Woody Guthrie Festival in Okemah, Okla. Prysock is happy to be returning to the White Water Tavern for his third headlining show, after paying some dues as an opening act.

He will have a new CD with which he hopes to surprise his family and friends in Arkansas, especially since he chose for his cover art an old photo he found of his two grandfathers, who both passed away, close to the same time, a couple of years ago.

He says, “The picture shows them shelling peas in the yard, looking like a couple of old crows, so I named the album Two Crows.”

Michael Prysock

9:30 p.m. Saturday, White Water Tavern, West Seventh and Thayer streets, Little Rock

Admission: $5

(501) 375-8400

whitewatertavern.com

Weekend, Pages 35 on 08/22/2013

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