“Muddy Waters was right — ‘The Blues had a baby and they called it Rock n Roll!’”

Only now do I feel like I’m truly hitting my stride. Lifers don’t quit, you know. I’d like to keep making a record every 18 months of so … record with some friends of mine again. I want to keep making music that comes straight from the heart.” -- Lee Roy Parnell

Parnell brings his “triple threat” performance to Clinton’s ROTR - TONIGHT, COME ON DOWN!!! see video below & schedule attached.



A “Lifer” in the blues/rock music business, Lee Roy Parnell has re-invented his sound many times, staying true to the roots. He’s going to take everybody to church on the Saturday of Rhythm on the Rails with the sounds of “Midnight Believer” and true, Texas roots-music.

Parnell is the featured performer at 7:30 p.m. on the Music on Main - CNNGA Main Stage during Main Street Clinton’s signature festival - celebrating the city’s unique spot as a railroad-ntersection. Chance are very good - while Parnell’s on the main stage - he’ll have a steel horse locomotive lumber right by him, pulling coal from the North and return cars back up from the South.

The Parnell concert is causing a lot of out-of-town buzz for Clinton, according to Adele Alducin, the Main Street director.

Parker Ford will be Parnell’s lead-in act (6:30 p.m.), preceded by Pantasia Steel Band and Rockin’ Randall. The BBQ Awards will be presented at 1:30 p.m.

Tyler Pearson is on stage at noon during ROTR Saturday. Before that performances are the Laurens 56 Music Groups (10 a.m.) and Clinton High Dancing Devils (11 a.m.). That, along with a bunch of other stuff, is the second day.

On Friday, May 17, evening musical performances are: Women Rock the Rails, 5 p.m. Lisa DeNovo; 6 p.m., Pam Taylor & The Flyin’ V’s; and 7:30 p.m., April B & The Cool.

All this great entertainment is free to the ROTR crowd.

At 11 a.m., and 2 and 5 p.m., a popular attraction from last year is back: King BMX Bike Stunt Show on Musgrove Street.

There will be lots of food, retail and crafts, amusement rides, and petting zoo. But ROTR goers should expect the uptown Clinton streets to start “crowding up” as the sun starts to fade. Lots of fans will come out for Lee Roy.

“I am a writer, guitarist, vocalist and a performer,” he says in the “Midnight Believer” promo. “Every skill set feeds the next. I’ve never been able to separate one from the other. It all starts with the song and when writing I’ve found that nothing is stronger than the truth. It is from that wellspring that my singing and playing are born … performing, too. My goal is to keep it honest and let the listener feel what I’m feeling. No matter our different walks in life I believe that most of us experience similar emotions. I’m tapping into you as much as you are tapping into me.

“The people I most respect and relate to musically or in life have been people who stood up for what they believe in and stuck to their guns, no matter what. I guess I’m what could be considered a ‘lifer’ and in it for the long haul. I’m still growing and developing with every year, every album, every song. I am what I am because of what I have experienced and survived. What tomorrow brings will be as much a surprise to me as whoever is reading this. Mine has not been a fast nor an easy walk, but I wouldn’t change it. I am who I am today because of every road I’ve traveled. Anybody who knows me well will tell you that.”

With “Midnight Believer,” Parnell finds maturity - and some like-minded people. He says, “One of the best things about gaining some maturity is you finally find out ‘Who You Is and Who You Ain’t.’ That said, I’d have to say that the song ‘Too Far Gone’ best describes me as an artist, now. It’s clearly a Blue-Eyed Soul ‘Beat Ballad’ as Barry Beckett (of The Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section and my first producer) would call it. Barry really taught me how to make records. He taught me about groove, soul, vocal delivery and how to make every note count! The message here is in life and love we ebb and flow. We have good days and tough days. What counts is going the distance (or at least as far as you can.) I would be remiss not to give credit to ‘Sunny Days.’ That song is a real gift. The message is one of survival. ‘At least I lived long enough to know, that the rainy days, they make the flowers grow.’ It took me a long time to get that vocal…not because it was too ‘range-ey’ but because the lyric really hit home for me, and I’m not alone. I have countless people come to me after we’ve done a show with tears in their eyes saying, ‘Man … that song slayed me!’ I reply, ‘I know … me, too.’”

Songwriting, Parnell collaborated solely with Greg Barnhill on the record, co-writing all 10 of the tracks together. “When Greg came to me with the idea of us getting together to write, I was experiencing something of a dry spell,” Parnell says. “I hadn’t written anything in months and hoped the fog would lift but when you’re in a dry spell you always wonder, ‘What if the words don’t come … where is my ability to come up with fresh musical ideas?’ Greg saw through all that, lit a new fuse and just like that, we were off to the races. The songs were literally coming faster than we could write them down. Sometimes you just need a little help from a friend, and I certainly got lucky with Mr. Barnhill’s enthusiasm and encouragement.”

The “Midnight Believer” promo material says, “Barnhill and Parnell’s dear friend, Etta Britt, sang all background vocals with the exception of the mighty voices of the The Fairfield Four who sang the ‘Keep On Walking’ line repeated in the bridge of ‘Sunny Days.’ Parnell recalls, ‘Some of you might remember our version of ‘John The Revelator’ for which we got a CMA Vocal Event of the Year nomination back in 1999. You can’t hear these four men sing together without feeling the Spirit move you. ‘Sunny Days’ would not be the same without them.”

For this record laid down in Nashville, there was Lee Roy’s ensemble who he has performed with for 20 years featuring Steve Mackey (bass), Kevin McKendree (keys), and Lynn Williams (drums), along with guest guitarist Tom Bukovac. A second band was comprised of friends Lee Roy has known for many years, including Rob McNelly (guitar), David LaBruyere (bass), Michael Rojas (keys), and Chad Cromwell (drums).

Parnell offers, “I love many different styles of music … but for me it all goes back to The Blues. Blue-Eyed Soul, Jazz, Rock n Roll and Country all have the same Daddy and that Daddy is The Blues. 

“As long as it’s soulful, I’m in.”

Fans also can expect those Parnell chart-toppers: "What Kind of Fool Do You Think I Am" "Love Without Mercy" "Tender Moment" "On the Road" "I'm Holding My Own" "Take These Chains from My Heart" "The Power of Love" "A Little Bit of You," all with that soulful voice. 

“Muddy Waters was right — ‘The Blues had a baby and they called it Rock n Roll!’”

Get ready, Clinton (May 18 evening), a master musician is going to slay it.

My Clinton News

P.O. Box 180
513 North Broad St.
Clinton, SC 29325
Phone: (864) 833-1900
Fax: (864) 833-1902

Privacy Policy


Sign Up For Breaking News

Stay informed on our latest news!

Manage my subscriptions

Subscribe to My Clinton News Newsletter feed
Comment Here