Lee Roy Parnell - Hits and Highways Ahead
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Hits and Highways Ahead (Arista, 1999)

Lee Roy Parnell

Reviewed by Joel Bernstein

Lee Roy Parnell is a slide-guitar whiz from Texas who also happens to sing and write pretty well. He's kept a low enough profile that some people may not realize Parnell has had seven singles reach the Top Ten. Along with one that just missed, those hits make up the bulk of this disc.

Most of Parnell's hits fall loosely into the power-ballad category, but funkier than the norm largely because of Parnell's own picking and his soulful vocals. The best example was his first smash "What Kind Of Fool Do You Think I Am," in which Parnell's slide is prominent. His most atypical hit here was the relatively sprightly "Tender Moment," the closest this disc comes to traditional country.

The album includes a couple of new songs mining the same vein, including the fine "She Won't Be Lonely Long." For those who only know Parnell from the radio, the last two tracks - older non-singles - will be a revelation. "If The House Is Rockin'" sounds like vintage Jerry Lee Lewis, while "John The Revelator" is a powerful gospel cut. All in all, a fine collection for one of country's more unique talents.

CDs by Lee Roy Parnell

Back to the Well, 2006

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