David Parmley

What We Leave Behind

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Fans of bluegrass-gospel will love every moment of this album, a long-awaited solo effort from singer/guitarist David Parmley. Those whose interests are less specifically related to lyrical content, however, may not find it quite as entrancing. There's nothing wrong with it, really -- it's just that Parmley's approach to this repertoire would sometimes benefit from a little less smoothness and a little more oomph; his singing style is expert but occasionally bloodless, while the arrangements here are professional and, for the most part, forgettable. It are the exceptions that catch your attention -- Del McCoury's whipsaw tenor in the background on "When the Angels Carry Me Home" and "Lord, Build Me a Cabin in Glory," for example, or the hard-driving "I'll Be No Stranger There." Elsewhere, things get a bit soft in the middle ("I Will Walk in the Valley") or even downright maudlin ("I Couldn't Have Lost her [To a Better Man]"). Recommended with reservations.

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