Lee Roy Parnell
's latest slab of sounds, the aptly titled Back to the Well
, is equal parts accident and self-discovery. Giving up on the crappy direction country music has generally taken, Parnell sequestered himself at home with the intention of slinging demos out to potential customers. The woodshedding brought him back to the early days of his career, when he'd make the thankless bar circuits of the South with an arsenal of Southern rock, blues, jazz, and whatever local flavors demanded. So it's with this refreshed outlook that Parnell takes his brand of honest, tough-as-balls, red-headed, guitar-driven songs to the masses. But it would be unfair not to note that Parnell's lyrical work really shines in this venture, completely devoid of the naive and senseless crap that makes country music a chuckled cliché. He's got his soul bared for all to see, and it's a beautiful thing, simply because you don't get to 50 without learning a thing or two.