My Kind of Country

Country music from a fan's point of view since 2008

Album Review: Lee Roy Parnell – ‘Back To The Well’

back to the wellFor his last record to date, released in 2006 on Universal South, Lee Roy Parnell followed the pattern set by its predecessor and indulged his blues/soul roots without even lip service to country music.

The pattern is established by the funky bluesy title track, which has a strong groove but is a bit busy for me. There are, however, four very worthwhile tracks.

‘Old Soul’, the best song on the album (written by Lee Roy with Tony Arata and also recordfed by Patty Loveless), is a laconic ballad with a tastefully understated arrangement, depicting a teenage mother forced to grow up too soon and leave behind the carefree dreams of youth. A tasteful arrangement supports the sensitive lyric.

I also quite liked ‘Don’t Water It Down’, which offers a brassy take on some homespun philosophy with some cool piano and gospel-style backing vocals. It’s not very deep, but there is a charming exuberance which sells it.

‘Daddies And Daughters’ (the only attempt at a radio single and another Arata co-write) is a tender and heartfelt tribute to a paternal relationship, which sounds very personal. Parnell’s own daughter adds backing vocals.

‘Saving Grace’ is a pretty love ballad with inspirational elements.

The rest all blurs boringly together for me. If you like this sort of thing, you’ll like this, as it’s well performed and good of its kind. It just doesn’t work for me.

Grade: C

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