Don't bother with the pit BBQ, Rob Roy Parnell's doing the cooking. A harp player with a burning sense of boogie inside Chi-Town blues, this guy attracted a rich backlog of Delbert McClinton's present and former backing bands, most especially James Pennebaker and his tasty-with-sauce guitar. Parnell has not only a Mose Allisony voice but often pens his lyrics in similar spirit—perhaps not with as much cheek but definitely down in the dirt and baling wire
There's a constant organic blues pulse throughout ths disc, much as Paul Butterfield had, and Kevin McKendree's keys go a long way to center the band, a few horns here, searing six-string riffs there, and then a harmonica solo to beat the band. This isn't music for sitting down to, for gazing into that cute little cowpokina's eyes, but rather a jive, a shuffle, and a hipshaking hustle with whiskey in the sidepocket.
Long Distance Lover has more than a little Skynyrd to it, but my faves are If Mama Ain't Happy and a great version of Percy Mayfield's Loose Lips, both of which contain a bit of the Texas crunch of Jim Suhler & Monkeybeat, some Jerry Lee, and a little backfield rhumba with sassy Jonel Mosser raving up the background vocals on Mama (and, hey, a lil' more of her in the future would be very nice indeed, maybe even a duet). No matter what, though, this is blues, this is swing, this is uptempo country, and this is rockin!
Edited by: David N. Pyles
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