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Life & Work with Jennifer Foster & Robert Parker Jr.

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jennifer Foster & Robert Parker Jr.

Hi Jennifer and Robert, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
Jen: I started in musical theatre, singing in talent shows. From there, I performed on Broadway in NYC, at the Hollywood Bowl, and beyond doing musicals. I then jumped to arranging, songwriting, producing my own albums. I then moved to Austin, Texas and picked up the bass guitar eight months ago and here I am, performing all over Austin with my boyfriend, Robert. I also teach voice and bass at The Musicians Woodshed. About two months ago, we started a trio, adding Anthony Corsaro on drums. We go by “Shadow Band”.

Rob: I started playing guitar around the age of 15 and was hooked from the start. Growing up in homes with music-enthusiasts for parents and a musical theatre major for a sister, I had no choice but to be immersed myself. I started gigging at the age of 19 in Sunset Beach, CA and formed my style and personality on that greenbelt for the next four years. Now playing and living in Austin, I feel that I’ve found my true home like I’ve never felt before.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Jen: It hasn’t been a completely smooth road. In terms of my journey, it had to do a lot with my physical body. For so long, I was “sold” by what I looked like and pitched for jobs as “the ugly friend”, the “fat girl”, “great singer and personality, but not conventionally attractive.” I am not ugly or fat, I am a totally beautiful woman. I didn’t know that at the time, and it lead me to disordered eating, body dis morphia and huge bouts of depression. There were points where I locked myself in my apartment and didn’t come out for days because I thought I was all of these things. Venturing into music, it had much less to do with what I looked like. Music probably saved me. Slowly moving away from the Hollywood scene probably saved me too.

Rob: growing up through my parent’s divorce starting at a young age had its weight on my sister and I, and sometimes even to this day pops up getting thrown in the middle by one or both of our parents. I started drinking very young and honestly told myself that I’d let it consume me before I reached the responsibilities of adulthood. Along the way, I’ve had my own traumatic experiences that didn’t aid in the need to numb myself, but I’m happy to share that I’ve been alcohol-free since October 14, 2021 and I’ve never been happier in my entire life.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
Jen: Rob & I are a guitar, bass, and vocal duo. When we play as Shadow Band, we’re a trio, adding Anthony Corsaro on drums. I’ve been told what makes us special is our energy, we are powerful and magnetic onstage. Rob is a master on guitar, all emotion and “has the magic touch”, as audiences have said. Rob rips on vocals; rasp, and high notes for days. People love my singing voice, sweet to powerful. I get the sense I am expressive, honest and sexy. Although being a new bass player of 8 months, I seem to have everyone fooled into thinking I’ve been doing it for years. Seeing a female sing lead and play bass is different, exciting and powerful. Anthony gives us a volume and energy boost on drums. He is all heart, explorative, and an excellent listener. We have tight harmonies, people love it. We play covers “from your mom’s high school days” and some originals. We are different because we are “young kids” playing “older music” and doing it really well. People are confused and thrilled.

What does success mean to you?
Jen: Success is personal happiness.

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Image Credits
Photos by Jeremy Hunt, Joe Mach, Joe Buchoff

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