Tampa singer/songwriter Will Quinlan dedicates Navasota, his first album with his folk/country/rock backup band the Diviners, "in loving memoriam" to his mother, Theresa Claire Rolirad Quinlan, so it's not surprising that his lyrics are rueful and regretful. He sings them in a rusty tenor reminiscent of Counting Crows' Adam Duritz, accompanied by a higher harmony vocalist (Karen Collins, Francis French III, Rebekah Pulley, Jimmy Rice, or Soraya Zaumeyer) as lead guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Steve Connelly, bassist Johnny McCarthy, and one of several drummers fill out the sometimes busy arrangements. The words can be hard to make out, since the arrangements are a bit too busy, the vocal mix a notch too low, and Quinlan's phrasing a bit slurred. That's too bad if, as appears to be the case, he wants to create a full-fledged tribute to a parent whose memory looms so large for him. But, especially when the musicians back off, it's possible to get a good sense of his feelings, such as in the significantly titled "St. Theresa," when he clearly sings, "St. Theresa, I don't know/How to follow/Where you go."
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann