Tuesday, May 26, 2009

"One Eye Open" by Rick Parnell (Folk Artist from British Columbia, Canada)

Despite the almost lo-fi, demo-like feel of Rick Parnell's "One Eye Open" CD, the strong 6-song debut from this Canadian singer-songwriter has a primal immediacy often filtered out of big-budget, major label projects. And that's good. What Parnell offers are six stripped-down, completely engaging contemporary folk songs featuring his sometimes raspy vocals over the sparest of guitar strumming. In its directness and simple arrangements "One Eye Open" recalls Bon Iver's breakthrough in '08 as well as the songs and performances of such troubadours as Richard Buckner or Jeff Buckley. But Parnell is an original, and on tuneful songs like "Everybody's Wrong" and "I'm Coming Home" his rough-hewn voice is as evocative as the words that spill out in his soulful delivery. "Come Saturday," has a bit more edge, thanks to a slyly subdued slide accompaniment, but it is no less pleasing, and the last track, "One More Song" offers just the right touch of melancholy to close the CD. Rick Parnell's "One Eye Open" CD is a cross-generational work that owes a debt to classic singer-songwriter stylists, but is also completely right for contemporary listeners of any generation.

- Rice B. and the RadioIndy.com Reviewer Team
Check out Rick Parnell's music on RadioIndy.com with link to purchase and links to popular sites