Glowing House is a Denver-based new-folk band piloted by husband-and-wife duo Steve Varney and Jess Parsons and featuring Michael John McKee (drums) and Phil Parker (cello, producer) – both prominent Denver musicians in their own right. Still on the heels of their acclaimed sophomore effort, Days Run Out, Glowing House has constructed what they lovingly call their commute record. The Down & Out EP is a five-track charge of pensive folk rock promised to keep you good company for about twenty minutes. It is the third album from a band that has the drive and skill to make meaningful music for a long time.
And if you’re interested in further details…
Steve and Jess met in 2008 on a Denver college campus just before the first day of songwriting class. To this day, they are baffled by how much their musical tastes align. To not at least try to write music together seemed foolish, and so they began combining their ripening talents and ever-fortifying musical backgrounds – Jess a life-long singer, pianist and practiced performer, and Steve a diligent writer and guitarist with leanings toward thoughtful song structure and imagery. Their styles have been fusing into the single breath that is Glowing House for three years now.
Steve was born in Indiana, but his oldest memories are to the backdrop of Colorado. Music was a part of life gently engrained by his parents. When interest in one instrument seemed to fade it was decreed that a new instrument must be adopted. Music was never allowed to be quit or ignored. This would take Steve to and from many musical scenarios: kicking and screaming on the way to piano lessons because all he wants to do is play baseball with his friends, leading the alto saxophone section in the Columbine High School marching band, standing to take a solo in the jazz band as first-chair saxophone (after the girl that used to be first chair graduated), finally getting a guitar after begging and begging to not do marching band anymore. As a result, Steve lives on the fact that instruments are fascinating and endless and frustrating and perfect. A long time stutterer, he first found singing through a discovery that it thwarted the onset of stuttering and the thrill of being able to communicate important ideas without worry of embarrassment quickly joined with a newfound love of the guitar. He started writing and soon found a home in the surrounding open mics of Littleton and Denver, Colorado. For reasons still very unknown, a simple vocal take during a recording session years later revealed that stuttering isn’t always tamed by singing and he was suddenly unable to sing songs that he had performed more times to remember. For nearly two years, performing and recording was furiously dicey and intermittent. The mysterious impediment, which is still stubbornly present from time to time, proved overall controllable and has now become just another reason for Steve to stay up late attempting to pen the perfect words to paper.
Jess is a native of Liberal, Kansas. In her earliest memories she is already singing. Her first vocal solo was at age 6 singing “Little Boy Blue” in her 1st grade musical. After conceding that Jess would not be an athlete, her parents had it pretty easy – their daughter had a naturally wonderful voice, so they let her loose to take part in every major musical endeavor she could get her hands on: choirs, musicals, bands, do-it-yourself national touring, open mics, songwriting classes. These ventures put her in venues as simple as her high school auditorium and as elaborate as the cathedrals of Europe. While at home, she milked all the music she could from her industrious hometown, putting on concerts and even starting a venue with her best friend, a venue that was beloved by the local youth until some crotchety old lady complained. Her time at university in Wichita was filled with vocal performances and an evolving knowledge of musical instruments. As her skills on piano and guitar became evermore serious, so too did her talent for arrangement and melody, which of course led her to songwriting. It didn’t take long for her to pack up her hard-earned first car with music gear to share her songs in the major cities of the US. Her extensive touring has given her an intrepid hunger for new experiences, among those being songwriting classes at University of Colorado Denver in 2008, where she met Steve.
The two of them were married in Liberal, KS and live in Denver, CO. They now write music together.