Fred Parker grew up in Center Township, which is close to Pittsburgh, PA. He started playing the guitar in college and played various places with various bands. One year for Christmas, his wife Anita gave him a fiddle. Fred started taking lessons, which inspired the idea for his daughters to take lessons. Fred continued playing the fiddle and guitar and started forming a band called Old Dog Trey, which included former band members "Mildred Hubble," or Aaron Cable, and Mark Mang. This band performed for many years, evolving into the Tiger Maple String Band when Justine and Alison joined. Some of Fred's musical influences include Tommy Jarrell, Jeb Puryear, Richie Stearns, Joe Thrift, Bruce Springsteen, Jerry Garcia, Jim Lauderdale, Ralph Blisard, Bobby Taylor, Lucinda Williams, and Bob Dylan.