Rick Parnell
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Rick Parnell

Richmond, British Columbia, Canada

Richmond, British Columbia, Canada
Band Folk Singer/Songwriter


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"German Review"

One Eye Open, Eigenvertrieb, 2009

Mr. Rick Parnell kann ohne weiteres als Minimalist bezeichnet werden. Fassen CDs mittlerweile locker bis zu 80 Minuten Spielzeit, kommt sein sparsames Deb�t "One Eye Open" auf k�mmerliche 23:12 Minuten verteilt auf 6 Songs. Wird die audiophone Welt von hunderten von Klangfarben verziert, begn�gt sich der aus Calgary stammende Kanadier mit seiner Stimme und ein paar Gitarren. Auf der anderen Seite klotzt er aber auch ganz sch�n, anstatt zu kleckern. Beispielsweise kommt er nicht mit einer Genrebezeichnung aus. Vielmehr stellt er seine Musik in der Hauptspielart als "Contemporary Folk Rock" vor - womit er zweifelsohne Recht hat - aber h�ngt als Subbezeichnung noch unbeeindruckt "Alternative" an. Auch bei der Wahl seiner Inspirationen sch�pft Rick aus dem Vollen: "In the tradition of Dylan, Leonard Cohen and Donovan with a little Lennon, Harrison and even Johnny Cash mixed in for good measure." Wobei schon interessant w�re zu erfahren, was zur H�lle mit "a litte Lennon" eigentlich genau gemeint ist. [Ja, seltsam, John Lennon war immerhin 1,78 gro�. Red.]

Was die sechs Songs wohl am meisten voneinander unterscheidet, ist die gemeinsame Funktion als verschreibungsfreies Depressiva. Parnell schafft es mit fr�hlicher Leichtigkeit, die Stimmung des H�rers in den tiefsten Keller zu schicken. Verursacht der eine Song nur eine leichte Verdammt-mieser-Sommer-Verstimmung (I'm Coming Home), sorgt der andere schon f�r eine ausgewachsene depressive Episode (Coexistance), w�hrend Everybody's Wrong so nebenbei einen lustigen Aufenthalt in der "Geschlossenen" induziert.

Rick Parnell versteht ohne Zweifel sein Handwerk. Durch die sp�rlichen Arrangements stehen die Songs - und nichts anderes - im Vordergrund. Wo andere ihre St�cke mit wilder Effekthascherei v�llig �berfrachten, l�sst er genug Raum, um den H�rer an seinen Geschichten und Stimmungen teilhaben zu lassen. Manchmal ist weniger eben mehr. Ein Meister wie der bereits erw�hnte Johnny Cash hat es mit seinen "American Recordings" vorgemacht. Mit Leidenschaft geschriebene und mit karger Vehemenz vorgetragene Songs verm�gen so zielsicher zu treffen, wie es sonst nur Rifleman Lin McAdam zu schaffen vermag.

Die Produktion ist klar, allerdings noch nicht ganz ausgewogen. Tats�chlich sind leichte Pegelschwankungen bei der Lautst�rke von Ricks Stimme auszumachen (zwischen den Songs Coexistenz und I'm Coming Home). Auch wird Rick noch an den Tonlagen arbeiten m�ssen, mit denen er die Songs beginnt. So erreicht er wiederum bei Coexistenz deutlich seine Grenze. Allerdings tr�bt das den sehr positiven Gesamteindruck kaum, k�nnte aber eine Erkl�rung f�r das Subgenre "Alternative" sein.

Rick Parnells Musik passt am besten zu den melancholischen Impressionen einer trostlosen Winterlandschaft, die mittels einer Flasche Canadian Club euphorisiert wird. Alle Musikfans, die so verzweifelt wie vergeblich auf "American Recordings VI" warten, werden in "One Eye Open" wenigstens ein kleines bisschen Trost finden. Ein gr��eres Kompliment kann man dem sympathischen Kanadier Rick Parnell wohl kaum machen.

Olli "Wahn" Wirtz, (Artikelliste), 22.07.2009 - Home of Rock - http://www.home-of-rock.de

"German Review Translation"

Translation of Review published by Home of Rock
Written by Olli Wahnwirtz (olli@wahnwirtz.de)
Translated by Arash Farzaneh* (Aug , 2009)
*Final two sentences translated by Olli Wahnwirtz

Mr. Rick Parnell can easily be called a minimalist. Whereas nowadays CDs can easily contain up to 80 minutes of playing time, his sparse debut “One Eye Open“ comes to a meager 23:12 minutes, distributed over 6 songs. While musicians these days prefer to adorn their compositions with hundreds of scores and timbres, all that this Calgary-born Canadian needs is his voice and a couple of guitars.

However, he does not make a muddle of it and mixes what he has really well. He’s not at all frugal with genre definitions. He labels his own music under the broad category of “contemporary folk rock“ - which is undoubtedly true – but he adds as a subgenre the weak and ambiguous term of “alternative“. Even when choosing the sources of his many inspirations he does not economize: “In the tradition of Dylan, Leonard Cohen and Donovan with a little Lennon, Harrison and even Johnny Cash mixed in for good measure”. It would be quite interesting to know what the hell he means exactly by “a little Lennon“. (A rather strange statement since Lennon measured 1.78 m in height).

What most differentiates the six songs from each other may be their ability to serve as prescription-free relaxants. With rather cheerful lightness, Parnell manages to instantly launch the mood of the listener into the depths of the basement. While one of the songs merely causes a damn-this-dreary-summer mood (I’m Coming Home), another induces a full-blown depressive experience (Coexistence), whereas Everybody’s Wrong provides a quick stopover in happyland.

There is no doubt that Rick Parnell understands his art. Because of the sparse arrangements, it is his songs – and nothing else – that rise to the fore. Whereas other musical works are overloaded with wild sensationalism and pretentious sounds, he leaves enough room for the listener to play an intimate role in his stories and moods. Sometimes less is actually more.

A master like the afore-mentioned Johnny Cash previously demonstrated this with his “American Recordings”. Writing with such passion and intensity while performing with such simplistic restraint requires the unerring marksmanship attributable to the Rifleman Lin McAdam.

The production itself is clear, although not entirely balanced. In fact, there are some slight variations in the volume of Rick’s voice (between the songs Coexistence and I’m Coming Home). Rick would also need to work on the pitch with which the songs begin. He clearly reaches his limits with a song like Coexistence. Nonetheless, this hardly affects the overall positive impression but may serve an explanation why he chose the subgenre “alternative”.

Rick Parnell’s music brings to mind the melancholic impressions of a desolate winter landscape that can only be cleared and brightened with the help of a bottle of Canadian Club. All music fans who have been waiting desperately for American Recordings VI will find at least a little solace in One Eye Open. I guess this is the biggest compliment you can make to the likeable Canadian Rick Parnell.”

- Home of Rock

"Engaging Contemporary Folk CD"

Despite the almost lo-fi, demo-like feel of Rick Parnell’s “One Eye Open” CD, the strong 6-song debut from this Canadian singer-songwriter has a primal immediacy often filtered out of big-budget, major label projects. And that’s good. What Parnell offers are six stripped-down, completely engaging contemporary folk songs featuring his sometimes raspy vocals over the sparest of guitar strumming. In its directness and simple arrangements “One Eye Open” recalls Bon Iver’s breakthrough in ’08 as well as the songs and performances of such troubadours as Richard Buckner or Jeff Buckley. But Parnell is an original, and on tuneful songs like “Everybody’s Wrong” and “I’m Coming Home” his rough-hewn voice is as evocative as the words that spill out in his soulful delivery. “Come Saturday,” has a bit more edge, thanks to a slyly subdued slide accompaniment, but it is no less pleasing, and the last track, “One More Song” offers just the right touch of melancholy to close the CD. Rick Parnell’s “One Eye Open” CD is a cross-generational work that owes a debt to classic singer-songwriter stylists, but is also completely right for contemporary listeners of any generation.

- Rice B. and RadioIndy.com Reviewer Team

"Interview with Rick Parnell"

Rick Parnell
A few questions get answered by Canadian singer-songwriter-guitarist Rick Parnell...

Leicester Bangs: Tell us a little about yourself, and your musical associates.

Rick: I am a Canadian singer-songwriter living in British Columbia, Canada. One Eye Open showcases my songwriting talents with the support of gifted musician and producer Graham Ronne.

LB: How did you start out making music?

Rick: I've been listening to music and singing along all my life. For years I played guitar as a hobby, doing the occasional charity gig or family function. In 2006, a friend who had started writing his own material challenged me to write a song for an upcoming gig. The response from everyone who heard that first effort encouraged me to write more.

LB: Who did you grow up listening to and how do they influence what you’re doing now?

Rick: I listened to everything growing up, but I was always drawn to a good lyric. A huge Beatles fan, I gravitated towards John, and later George. I was into Dylan and Leonard Cohen. I would and still will listen to anything by Elvis Costello. Lyrical twists and a willingness to challenge musical conventions are integral to my approach to music as a result of these influences.

LB: Tell us about your latest release.

Rick: One Eye Open is an EP released to showcase my songwriting. The project was initiated by Graham Ronne, from whom I'd asked help to produce some professional demos. He was impressed enough with the output of the initial sessions to suggest we go straight to an EP, though keeping it fairly bare bones so that it had the feel of a performance or a well done demo. Because it is an experimental approach, we kept it to six songs, though there is sufficient material to do a full disk. The oldest of the songs is “One Eye Open”, which along with “One More Song”, was written in 2007. “Everybody's Wrong”, the song that first caught Graham's ear was penned in the fall of 2008, and continues to draw the greatest attention.

LB: Do you get out and play your music live, and if so, what can an audience expect at one of your shows?

Rick: I play regularly at a few local clubs, usually as a solo act, mixing my songs with several covers of artists I've been influenced by. Whenever possible, I perform with a lead guitarist to round out the sound. This can either be Graham or my son Hart. Recently, I performed a 40 minute set at a charity event with both of my sons providing backup, and have performed on rare occasions with a full four piece band.

LB: What aspects of playing and recording music do you most enjoy?

Rick: Music allows me to communicate ideas and emotions that I would not likely express any other way. I love an audience, and get a real rush when I see in a face or two that connection of energy between my mind and theirs. Recording extends the reach, and somehow legitimizes the art.

LB: Where can people find (and buy) your music?

Rick: One Eye Open is available on iTunes, CD Baby and there are other links to samples and full previews through the official website.

LB: Thanks Rick.
- Leicester Bangs

"What fans are saying:"

“WOW.... Fantastic....And I don't say that often in regards to music I first sit down to listen to. Within the first thirty seconds of each song I was impressed. This is top notch stuff.” (J.D. - Vancouver B.C.)

“I love it!!! Beautiful - I just like the whole thing…I can’t wait to hear more.” (P.T. - Vancouver B.C.)

“I'm in love with his voice...truly. I wish I knew him when I was working in the music industry, I would have loved to be the one to pass his demo on to an A&R guy.” (N.R. - Vancouver B.C.)
- rickparnell.ca


Rick Parnell's premier offering is a collection of six strong songs, delivered with minimal production and instrumentation. The resulting EP has been receiving both critical praise and fan endorsement. All six songs are rich with nuance and possibility and are destined to be replayed and covered by artists across many musical genres.

The EP is produced by Graham Ronne, a talented Canadian singer/songwriter in his own right. Having stumbled onto Rick's work, Graham aggressively sought to expose Rick's talents to a wider audience. On the recordings, Graham rounds out Rick's rhythm guitar and vocals with masterful lead and steel guitar to create an overall sound whose richness defies the limited instrumentation.

Come Saturday has been added to program lists for German Radio programming in Europe, with the entire song list programmed for independent play in North America.

HiFi downloadable versions of all songs are available for radio play through www.airplaydirect.com/rickparnell.



Rick Parnell’s music sprouts from the very roots of the Folk-Rock tradition and then subtly suggests a whole new direction. Introspective and captivating, listeners compare Rick Parnell most often to Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen, though Rick says it’s not fair to suggest he sounds like either. George Harrison, John Lennon and Johnny Cash are also influences that often arise when describing Rick’s vocal and song writing style.

In 2008, after experiencing an enviable corporate career, Rick Parnell acknowledged to himself that his true passion has always been music. Rick decided to wade more deeply into composing and performing. With the discipline of a project manager, and the resiliance of a man whose finally found his calling, he impressed musician/producer and new found friend Graham Ronne who offered to produce a few demos for him. The success of those first demos and the artistic communication that followed led directly to the completion of his first six-song EP. As a broader audience discovers Rick's music, future projects are taking shape, with new opportunities to reach out.

Though Rick has been drawn to music his entire life, active songwriting really began in 2006. In the summer of that year, with an amateur gig looming, he was challenged by a friend and colleague to create an original song for the charitable event. Buoyed by the enthusiastic response to that endeavor, Rick began a productive period of songwriting that continues without an end in view.

Born in Calgary, the third of six children, Rick grew up on military bases in Ontario, returning to the West only after graduating university. Rick is a life-long learner with no discernible fear for almost any subject. Music has always been a passion, from imitating Louis Armstrong on the radio as a small child, to performing charity gigs while holding down senior management roles.