Blue Rose Records [Release date 01.01.21]
Joseph Parsons is a new name to me, however, he has been playing his musical trade for over thirty years now, including releasing thirteen solo albums prior to this one, and a further ten releases as part of other bands. Oh and three albums with fellow songwriter Todd Thibaud.
The band on ‘At Mercy’s Edge’ have been working with Parsons since 2008, consisting of Ross Bellenoit (guitar), Sven Hansen (drums) and Freddi Lubitz (bass).
Listening to the album you are reminded of various other artists (no bad thing!), be it Dire Straits on ‘Changes Everything’ or a bit of Springsteen on ‘Nerve’, then a bit of Tom Petty on the rock ‘n roller ‘Madness’. The title track recalls the storytelling skill of Ralph McTell, musically straddling folk and Americana with ease.
That’s not to say he doesn’t have his own sound, as ‘Greed On Fire’ is a fantastic opening track, full of big guitar riffs, strong melody and incisive lyrics. Or the heartfelt ballad ‘One More’, where the added female vocalist adds greatly to the song.
What would really propel him to the next level is if one of his sings was covered by a name artist and/or he lands a support slot with someone like Bruce Springteen or John Mellancamp. Well you have to aim/dream big!
Joseph Parsons is certainly worth investigating and ‘At Mercy’s Edge’ is an album to play over and over again, as the songs become more familiar yet never lose their charm. ***3/4
Review by Jason Ritchie
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