From performing at the Saxon Pub to Austin City Limits Live, Conroe native Parker McCollum has come a long way since first breaking out into the music scene. He will be opening up the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo in February and has a new album coming out early next year.
Parker McCollum has become one of the biggest names in country music, but to him it doesn’t feel that way. People have gone as far as to say he is the next George Strait. “I am honored that people say that, but there is only one George Strait. Maybe I can be the Prince of country music one day but never the King,” McCollum said.
Hailing from Conroe, Texas, McCollum moved to Austin as soon as he graduated high school. From there, he started playing at bars such as Stubbs and Hurricane Harry’s. He then went on to do a fan favorite Naughty or Nice tour each winter with friend Koe Wetzel. “There was something special about those smaller venues” McCollum said. When asked if he and Wetzel would ever do that tour again, he said they were “tossing around the idea of doing something similar.”
He has come a long way since singing to crowds of a couple hundred people. In 2022, McCollum sold out his debut performance at the Houston Rodeo with a crowd of 73,243 as well as the Cynthia Woodlands Mitchell Pavilion with a crowd of 20,000 people. “To be honest with you, those nights are a blur. I am so thankful for it but I just wanted to do the best I could,” said McCollum.
As fun as all of those venues are, McCollum said making his debut on ACL Live meant a lot. As someone who moved to Austin straight out of high school to pursue music and played at bars such as the Saxon Pub in his earlier years, performing on the ACL Live stage meant he and his band had come full circle. “Life is as good as it has ever been,” said McCollum.
The joy radiated off of McCollum’s face during his entire ACL Live performance. He sang fan favorites such as his first number one hit, Pretty Heart, as well as a new song, Stoned, that fans can expect to see on his new album. Older songs such as Happy New Year and I Can’t Breath were also fan-favorites, but perhaps the most meaningful song of the night was Hell of a Year.
McCollum sure has had a hell of a year. Winning New Male Artist of the Year at the Academy of Country Music Awards and Breakthrough Video of the Year at the CMT Music Awards, McCollum has made it clear that he is a name to know about in the country music scene. In September, he was nominated for New Artist of the Year at the Country Music Association Awards.
Fans can watch Parker McCollum’s ACL Live performance on October 29th on PBS. To see McCollum in concert, fans can go to his website.
Cover photo courtesy Austin PBS. Photo by Scott Newton
Emily Hord is the Assistant Editor of Texas Lifestyle Magazine and a native Texan. She graduated from Texas A&M University and in her free time, she enjoys going to see live music and spending time with her friends and family.