Back to the Well

Back to the Well

by Lee Roy Parnell
     
 

Building on the blues and southern rock foundation of his wonderful 2001 album, Tell the Truth, veteran country hitmaker Lee Roy Parnell lives up to the title of this scintillating, genre-spanning set, which reflects his varied musical influences and his recent personal journey. The well-crafted tunes on Back to the WellSee more details below

Overview

Building on the blues and southern rock foundation of his wonderful 2001 album, Tell the Truth, veteran country hitmaker Lee Roy Parnell lives up to the title of this scintillating, genre-spanning set, which reflects his varied musical influences and his recent personal journey. The well-crafted tunes on Back to the Well are notable as much for their zest for life as for the beauty of their melodies and imagery. The dreamy love song "Just Lucky That Way" is quintessential Parnell balladry, good for nuzzling, but the lyrics tell a story about perseverance, about believing in yourself, about maintaining an even emotional keel through the usual trials. It's the rare Lee Roy song that's not guitar driven, but there's still room for the man to squeeze off a tart, B. B. King-style solo about midway through. Parnell's mother, who exemplifies the attributes that inform these songs, is honored in the folk-flavored "Old Soul," with an evocative backing vocal provided by Jessi Alexander. Family figures prominently in the sensitive "Daddies and Daughters," an acutely observed ballad written by Lee Roy for his daughter Allison upon her high school graduation and featuring the young Ms. Parnell in her recording debut. Of course, Lee Roy's slide is never very far away, and he employs it to sizzling effect on the Allmans-influenced rocker "You Can't Lose 'Em All" and the slow, churning blues number "Breaking the Chain." Fully revitalized and catering only to what's in his heart, Lee Roy Parnell sounds absolutely fearless on Back to the Well, the best music of his estimable career.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Mark Deming
Eight years after he parted ways with Arista Records, Lee Roy Parnell returns to the "big leagues" with Back to the Well, his first album for Universal South, but if anyone was afraid that he might water down his songs or his delivery to score a new major-label deal, the good news is that's not at all the case. Back to the Well leans strongly to the blues-influenced side of Parnell's music rather than the more country-styled and radio-friendly sound of his biggest hits, and Parnell has laid plenty of tough guitar solos over these tunes. Parnell co-wrote all 12 songs on Back to the Well, which range from the hard-won sentimentality of "Daddies and Daughters" to the roadhouse-ready "You Can't Lose 'Em All," with the deep-groove title cut and the Booker T.-meets-Jimmy Smith instrumental "Cool Breeze" bookending the set. Parnell cuts a solid but laid-back figure on this album, which is more about mood and meaning than playing to the grandstands. This album has plenty of energy, but Parnell's focus is on the intensity of the song and the performance rather than bombast, and the results suggest a late-night mood without enough vigor to make it play in the daylight hours. (The production by Parnell and John Kunz suits the tunes perfectly, adding just enough gloss to show off the highlights without losing the grit along the edges.) Back to the Well is certainly one of Parnell's stronger efforts, and anyone who's been wanting to hear him groove on guitar and sing with soul will get a kick out of this.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/07/2006
Label:
Universal South
UPC:
0075021030770
catalogNumber:
000381702
Rank:
97912

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Lee Roy Parnell   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Slide Guitar,Classical Guitar
Robert Bailey   Background Vocals
Vicki Hampton   Background Vocals
Mark T. Jordan   Piano,Hammond Organ,Wurlitzer
Ann McCrary   Background Vocals
Kevin McKendree   Hammond Organ,Wurlitzer
James Pennebaker   Electric Guitar
Lynn Williams   Percussion,Drums,Tambourine
Tom Hambridge   Snare Drums
Jon Randall   Background Vocals
Tony Arata   Acoustic Guitar
Regina McCrary   Background Vocals
Jessi Alexander   Background Vocals
Steve Mackey   Bass

Technical Credits

Lee Roy Parnell   Composer,Producer,Liner Notes
John Kunz   Producer,Engineer
Kevin McKendree   Composer
Gary Nicholson   Composer
Doug Sax   Mastering
Allen Shamblin   Composer
Tom Hambridge   Composer
Tony Arata   Composer
Karen Cronin   Art Direction
Don London   Management
Robert Hadley   Mastering

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