Remember the days when Lee Roy Parnell was seen as a country artist? His last album – 11 years ago! – was a blues-based affair. This latest puts him squarely in the corner of blue-eyed Southern soul singers. And one who can write fine songs and play great guitar.
The big percolating funk of “Hours In Between” sets the stage nicely for what’s to come. Stylish chord changes, a fat guitar sound on the fills, and a nasty, biting feel on the solo gets your attention quickly.
The big surprise is when he sings. Parnell, always a fine vocalist, sounds on that cut, and in fact, most of the record, like Boz Scaggs’ long-lost twin. And it works. It’s soulful and heartfelt on the jazzy soul of the title cut. The voice fits nicely with the soul of “Too Far Gone,” which also features a gorgeous, melodic solo that is warm enough to melt ice.
Parnell covers a couple other bases here too. Solid hard-core funk highlights “Want Whatcha Have.” “Hair Of The Dog” is an old-fashioned soul burner, a stomper with a nasty solo full of big bends and double stops.
This is one of the most pleasant surprises from 2017’s record releases.
This article originally appeared in VG May 2018 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.