Parson's Farm (2007-08)


Their fourth studio album to date, Parson's Farm might fall somewhere in between a spaghetti western and a documentary on the rise and fall of the rural church house. It’s a genre hopper—country, rock, bluegrass and jazz. And it has overt gospel sensibilities. Voices and instruments are harmonized to no end. Song begets song. One musical idea perpetuates, and transpires into, the next. References and allusions, characters and sequences, chorus lines and verses, solo upon solo—Dismuke, Cook and Jewell bring it all back home.


The title comes from the second track of the band's 2001 album release, Fenceposts. And, like its predecessors, the lyrical content of Parson's Farm is a thematic derivative of the band's preceding studio releases.  Listeners are presented with increasingly familiar characters and places from the band’s previous albums. Content and concept are folded into every note—time and again. Parson's Farm, in keeping with the band's planned discography, is the second in a series that began with the album Barnboard Blonde. There are, at present, two additional albums promised to follow in the near future: Farmer's Row and Beggar's Orchard.


Eleven titles in all, the earliest recording sessions for Parson's Farm can be dated back to the summer of 2005. The sessions resumed during the band's summer break of 2006 and again after the fall 2006 tour and on into winter. There are some changes that took place, both at the beginning and the end of the process, that are worth mentioning. Chief among those changes were two independent separations, one from longtime friend and sound engineer, Jay Jones, and the other from drummer Evan Jones.


Grady Sandlin (BAGG, Sunday Drive, Current Leaves), drummer and  longtime musician friend of the Peach Truck, was brought in to the fold so as to recut and complete drum tracks for the new album. Dismuke, Jewell and Cook welcomed the change and celebrated the outcome—shared appreciations, creative input, tasteful finesse, solid tempos, and dependably strong rhythmic and structural sensibilities.


The band has tentatively scheduled a 2008 spring release for the new album and will be touring throughout the region in  support of it.  Guest musicians, folks mostly thought of as additional band members, include Nikki Velonis on vocals, Justin Broderick on guitar and Tex Bosley on percussion.

There has been some talk of retiring from the road altogether, focusing on studio recordings from here out, but that remains to be seen. Together with new personnel, new sources of musical inspiration, new instruments and new perspectives, the new album duly represents a new chapter in the band's self-described home—Parson's Farm, the latest installation of Southern Harmony and Jam Music for the Soul.
 

 

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Peach-key Records, LLC
Reprinted with Permission, 2008

 

©Peach-Key 2008