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Lee Roy Parnell

Every Night's a Saturday Night – 1997 (Arista)

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

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CDs by Lee Roy Parnell

Lee Roy Parnell always has forged his own brand of country in an era where individualism is at a premium. His music is rooted in the blues and Texas honky tonk of his native state. There is a bouncy raw feel at times ("Lucky Me, Lucky You," "One Foot in Front of the Other" and the energetic title track), a live sound in the studio that Parnell tried to capture.

And he succeeds, probably in part because he used his backing band The Hot Links, who also co-produced the disc with Parnell. Parnell does a nice job on Merle Haggard's "Honky Tonk Night Time Man" and Guy Clark's "Baton Rouge." There is a cohesiveness to the playing down the line. Sure, Parnell plays slide, but not at the expense of group dynamics. Parnell proves quite capable whether singing uptempo songs or the ballads. His vocals possesses a gritty quality, getting to the emotion of the song ("You Can't Get There From Here").

His voice is not the most polished, but you wouldn't want it on these heart-felt songs. "All That Matters Anymore" is probably as emotional as you can get with Parnell singing gently but with sadness to his children about his love for them despite being away. This may well be Parnell's best yet, another album setting him apart from the rest.