Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Album of the Week: Steve Parry - The Fight Left In Me
The Fight Left In Me definitely has that power. Listening to this album, I am instantly transported to the Great Plains of yesteryear. I can almost hear the campfire crackling in the background as Steve sings earnest songs of love and loss and hopes and dreams. For some reason, I hear Steve Parry sing and I envision the Marlboro Man and that iconic image of a self sufficient man ready to face any challenge. Steve faces the challenges of human drama in the many characters he creates on this album. In "My Name Is Martin Gibson," he sings about a shame so deep it passes through generations: "My name is Martin Gibson, you can't blame that on me. I'm just another dying branch on this family tree." Steve paints a beautifully melancholy portrait of the farmer in "Till I'm Dead:" "I stare out on that red horizon, God I hope there's better days ahead. I guess it don't matter what tomorrow brings; "cause I'll work this land till I'm dead." Like Marty Stuart and Merle Haggard, Steve Parry is a true Western troubador. His acoustic guitar and his strong, yet yearning baritone voice bring each of his characters to life and straight into your heart. With subtle touches of violin, banjo, mandolin, harmonica and accordian (expertly arranged by producer Chris Cuunigham of Storyhill) the songs are each a beautifully woven tapestry of music and story. But the greater harmony is that of a man in tune with himself. Like that old Marlboro Man, Steve understands the peace that comes with self awareness. In "Tao of Betsy" he sings: "The secret to life is simply this, find what you love and you follow your bliss." This singing cowboy is clearly doing what he loves, and the result is pure bliss for those of us lucky enough to ride along.