Lee Roy Parnell - Back to the Well

Lee Roy Parnell
Back to the Well

(Universal South)

First Appeared in The Music Box, June 2006, Volume 13, #6

Written by Tracy M. Rogers


Lee Roy Parnell’s latest effort Back to the Well contains the sort of heartfelt vocals and R&B-laden guitar riffs that make Southern soul great; unfortunately, his lyrics are rather clichéd. The down-home blues and sublime slide guitar of tunes like You Can’t Lose Them All, Something Out of Nothing, and the title track are wasted on an album that has more in common lyrically with the Toby Keiths and Tim McGraws of the world than the blues and soul singers that Parnell is attempting to emulate. In fact, save for their blues-oriented shadings, saccharine love songs like Just Lucky that Way and Saving Grace would fit perfectly into any mainstream country format. As for the maudlin Daddies and Daughters, it lacks any blues influence whatsoever, placing it at odds with the rest of the affair. There are a few bright spots, of course. The delta blues-meets-gospel swing of That’s All There Is and the jazzy instrumental closer Cool Breeze are fun little romps. These songs, however, are sadly out of place among the rest of the outing’s pop-infused material, which only serves to highlight the overall unevenness that is prevalent throughout Back to the Well. starstar ½

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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!


Copyright © 2006 The Music Box