After a five-year break, country hit maker Lee Roy Parnell finds himself with a new album and a new record label.
Back To The Well (Universal South) is a blend of roadhouse rock and blue-collar soul. Parnell teams up with songwriters Gary Nicholson and Tony Arata and producer John Kunz.
Back To The Well kicks out the jams from testimonial ballads to no-holds-barred Texas boogie-
“We wrote these songs before we thought about recording them,” Parnell said. “You suit up, sit down with a cup of coffee and stare at a blank notepad until you get something and I am glad we had time to let the songs grow.
“I feel this record is the closest I’ve come to making the record I wanted to make. Tim Dubois, who signed me to Arista in 1988, and Tony Brown, signed me to Universal South. They said ?Lee Roy you earned it, do what you want.’”
Parnell cut his teeth in the singer/songwriter scene of Austin, Texas, during the 1970s, were he played with Stevie Ray Vaughn and Delbert McClinton. He had a string of hit singles in the 1990s with “What Kind of Fool Do You Think I Am” and “Tender Moment,” which peaked at No. 2 on the country chart.
?Back to the well’ is a phrase I’ve always used, whether I am dealing with personal stuff or finding inspiration,” Parnell said. “I’ve been playing for 30 years and I feel the title says where I’m at in my career.”
The bluesy, up-tempo title track starts the album and captures the mood.
Lee Roy has singing company on a few tracks, “Old Soul” features Jessie Alexander and “Daddies and Daughters” features daughter Allison Parnell.
In “Breaking the Chain,” Parnell delivers a teary-eyed slide guitar solo that would put Duane Allman to task. His voice evokes the tone of Gram Parsons, but remains distinctly Lee Roy Parnell. Other standout tracks include: “Saving Grace,” “Don’t Water it Down” and the jazzy instrumental “Cool Breeze,” co-written by keyboardist Kevin McKendree.
“My music is many different things, but I think it’s American?no it’s Southern and American,” Parnell said. “I’ve lived throughout the Southeast for 17 years and it has just as much influence on my style and writing as my days in Texas?I think environment has everything to do with it.”
In early March, Parnell will tour in support of Back To The Well, which is slated for a spring 2006 release.
This will include a two-day stand in Murfreesboro. Check him out at 8 p.m. March 3 and 4, at the Bluesboro on the square.
For more information about the show, contact Bluesboro at (615)907-1115.