Parker is a native of Buffalo N.Y.. Being brought up in a musical family peaked his passion for music at an early age. At around 13 years old he began to play gigs with Brother Kenny on sax and Dad on guitar, mostly house gigs but also at Dads gigs in between sets. Although heavily influenced by jazz and rhythm & blues heard growing up, he developed his own rhythm and style that is unique and hard to match. He was quickly established on the Buffalo music scene as a well known and sought after bass player. His booming rapid fire licks earned him the name “Freightrain from New York musicians as he always leaps into the depths of the rhythm section with the strength of a Train.
Parker moved to Florida in the mid 90’s ready for new challenge. With help from friend and mentor Johnny “Clyde” Copeland, Parker was connected with internationally acclaimed blues artist Rock Bottom, whom he recorded with and toured with over much of the late 90’s. His mainstay status on the Tampa Bay blues scene was established as “Freightrain” was not only known for his bass playing but also for his soulful lead and powerful backup vocals.
Parker has also toured internationally with Texas bluesman Sherman Robertson, Chief James Billie and over the past several years has toured both the U.S. and Canada with award winning Canadian artist Paul Reddick and his band the Sidemen. he has been seen filling in with Big Bill Morganfield the son of legendary blues man Muddy Waters. He also has been the Go to for touring musicians passing through WNY, Joe Beard, Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne, Mike Morgan and The Local Legendary Members of Raven and more…
Most recently Robert was the First American Indian Inducted into the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame. Currently, Freightrain is back on the local Buffalo music scene and has just recorded his Debut CD at The Sportsmen’s Tavern in Buffalo, NY. A late March 2016 release is expected.