Folk Legend Lefty Parker brings KVRX Blog Director to Tears with New Album, 13.

Folk Legend Lefty Parker brings KVRX Blog Director to Tears with New Album, 13.

February 8, 2024 in DJ Picks

by DJ rat

Lefty Parker reminds us why the acoustic guitar remains the quintessential instrument of ambient folk.

The Austin singer-songwriter's third studio album 13, showcases vulnerability at the inception of hope mixed with western swing sentiments.

The sound of the south and the precipice of a new dawn begin with a simple guitar melody and Lefty's voice.

"I looked for your,

in their eyes,

knowing beauty's edge,

I wanna die."

13, begins with the visualization of a new day, the awakening of a new spirit, and revitalizing a new outlook on life. The first track "beauty's edge," is a resurrection of Lefty Parker. "beauty's edge" was released ahead of the album on Jan 28 along with a live performance shot and recorded live in Lockhart TX at Zona Rosa Studios... ft. Chet Zenor (e guitar), Will Clark (a guitar), Red PK (s guitar), Vanessa Jolly (keys), Ethan Davis (percussion.)

Lefty Parker's country influences come through both in the lyrics of beauty's edge and the sound. Despite the harsh connotations of the word edge, the instrumentation on the album is softly played. The fleeting sound of each guitar twinkle contrasts the longing Parker

"kiting," the next track on the 32-minute project, stood out to me on every run-through. The guitar twinkles and shines like a blinding sunray; it pulls you into a serene environment. Pushing past the brush, the wind swoons as you begin to believe in tranquility. Parker begins to speak. It's short remarks, he feels dizzy and his face is long. The air is gliding him through the two-minute track and a howl from far away lets you know it's time to move on, a moment of peace between you and him.

A little later in the album comes, "brown eyes" a mostly acoustic instrumental track. Like most songs on the project, "brown eyes" gives itself time to breathe and allows for the audience to sit down look around, and understand the moment. It's dreamy in an almost artificial way, like an emotion that feels outdated but remains authentic. Finally awoken in you is the feeling of southern tranquility.

Illusions, the fourth track on 13 displays a mastery of storytelling that has allowed Lefty Parkers words to linger in the places within us we close off for most musicians. A two part track with the first filled with country twang. An electric guitar ads gravity to Lefty's opening statements while simple strumming and lighter percussion gives it the grounded country melodies similar to the rest of the previous songs. At four minutes a similar twinkle switches the tone. We're stripped to just lefty and his guitar; "how will I release you?"

There's a lot of beauty in the last two songs on 13. It feels like the last hour in a saloon you call home, with an old voice you're now fully acquainted with. It's been a long time since we heard anything new from Lefty Parker, and yet like an old friend, he's a sight for sore eyes, and ironically music to our ears.

It was hard for me to be, critical or objective about this album. Just like it is when you do a review for any album I suppose. I found myself relistening possibly 10 times within the past two days.

I found myself thinking about my girlfriend and our future, what I'll look like next year. The length of my hair the shadows under my eyes, and the weight of my head over encumbering my body.

I thought of my parents and all the questions I hadn't asked them and if they had the same unanswered mysteries in their heads for me. I thought of my life how heavy it is to go on every day and how daunting the idea of letting go is. It's the same thought and the same place everyone who listens to a good songwriter finds themselves in. It's how I know Lefty Parker's story is special and his ability to bring you there can only be described as unnatural and effortless.

Check out Lefty Parker's Local Live Performance:

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