Billy Ray Charles
Sista Monica Parker
Sista Monica Parker (born Monica C. Parker) was born in 1956 in Gary, Indiana. Parker began singing in her local Baptist church at the age of seven. After college, Parker joined the United States Marine Corps and after three years of service rose the rank of sergeant. Once her military service between 1977 and 1980 ended, Parker set up a staffing company, initially based in Chicago, aimed at electrical engineering professions.After moving the business to Silicon Valley she acquired clients which included Apple Inc., Hewlett-Packard, Sun Microsystems and Yahoo!. Encouraged by her then neighbor MC Hammer, Parker started a singing career in 1992 performing regularly at Emiís Bar & Grille in Santa Cruz, California.In 1995 she had released her debut album, "Get Out My Way", on her own independent record label, Mo Muscle Records.
In 1997, she released a self -titled CD and then in 2000, "People Love the Blues".
"Gimme That Old Time Religion" (2001) was her first gospel
release, which was followed by "Live in Europe" the same
year. In 2002 she performed at the Monterey Bay Blues Festival, but
later that year she was diagnosed as suffering from synovial
sarcoma. She was initially given three months to live. Bouts of
chemotherapy, radiation and therapy ensued before she returned to
the recording studio and issued "Love, Soul & Spirit, Vol. 1"
"Get Out My Way" (Thunderbird 1995)
1 Windy City Burner
"Sista Monica" (Mo' Muscle 1997)
1. What Differnce Does It Make?
"People Love The Blues" (Mo' Muscle 2000)
1 You Got to Pay
"Gimme That Old Time Religion" (Mo' Muscle 2001)
1. Bye & Bye
"Live In Europe" (Mo' Muscle 2001)
1 Windy City Burner
"Love, Soul & Sprit, Vol. 1" (Mo' Muscle 2004)
1 Look of Love, The
"Can't Keep A Good Woman Down" (Mo' Muscle 2005)
1 Can't Keep A Good Woman Down!
***1/2 First of all I wholeheartedly agree with the great album title but had this CD been a tepid affair I would have to protest. After all, "don't let your mouth write a check that your"...um, you know the rest. Well, there's no repressin' Sista Monica Parker on this sturdy Chicago blues & R & B workout. Everybody loves a happy ending and being that Ms. Parker recently overcame cancer it's certainly endearing that she's come back as strong as ever on this, her 7th CD release. She refers to this battle on the thumping, confident title track: "Working hard to come back strong/Never knew things could go so wrong/Two long years I got some good news/I'm still singing blues and got my attitude/I was leveled to the ground/ Thank God I'm back around/You can't keep a good woman down". Sista comes out swinging and her optimism is infectious. It doesn't hurt that the track features the capable guitar pickin' of one Larry McCray. But there's no question Monica is the star of the show. She's a dynamic live performer and often an artist fails to bring that energy in the studio. Fortunately that's not the case here as the yo' Sista brings that funky urban blues vibe on "The Truth", "Put It In The Crockpot" and joyful "It's Good To Be Alive". She also lays down some mean blues shuffles ("Surrender To Love", "Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is") and rings out the soul of the blues on "Funny How Times Slips Away" and "Leave The Door Open" The latter features Chris Cain with his Albert King-kissed licks (again on a bluesy rendition of "A Change Gonna Come"). This record is a happy event and places Sista Monica in to the upper tier of blues women.
"Sweet Inspirations" (Mo' Muscle 2008)
1 You Gotta Move
"Singin' In The Spirit" (Mo' Muscle 2010)
1. Singin' In The Spirit (intro)
"Living In The Danger Zone" (Mo' Muscle 2011)
1 Hug me like you love me
"Soul Blues & Ballads" (Mo' Muscle 2012)
1. I'm A Woman!