Lee Roy Parnell About the Educator

Lee Roy Parnell is part of a long line of Texas roots-music eclectics and is among the elite few who can be identified as a triple threat. An ace guitarist, as well as a distinctive singer, and hit songwriter, his music runs the gamut of diversity. Combining the influences of blue-eyed soul, Delta blues, road house rock, Southern boogie, Texas swing, and gospel, Parnell's sound defies conventional classification. He draws from a broad range of musical sources and combines them with seamless dexterity and, unlike many other hard-to-pigeonhole artists, Parnell has enjoyed a run of success on the country and blues charts. He reflects, "I am a writer, guitarist, vocalist & a performer. 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."

From the start of his career through today, Parnell has approached all aspects of his life with a keen sense of protecting his integrity. He offers, "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."

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. Muddy Waters was right — ‘The blues had a baby and they called it rock 'n' roll!'"

Parnell continues to live every day with the mantra to keep on keeping on, producing material and playing shows he is proud of. He reflects, "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 or so...record with some friends of mine again. I want to keep making music that comes straight from the heart."