Texan singer/songwriter Jeremy Parsons delivers the goods in his new offering, “Lillian”. Written partly in tribute to a street name in East Nashville, this new roots-Americana track is much more than a crossroads. It’s a personal triumph for an artist that has much has his mind, and uses very little words to flower his surroundings. With so many eyes and ears focused on Colter Wall, it’s high time the music world shift its focus to the endearing Parsons.
Life throws a lot at us these days, and Parsons captures the highs and the lows in the stirring “Lillian”. His guitar, tumbling throughout the song like tumbleweed, leaves most of the spotlight to Parsons’ voice and the lyrics. Parsons plays with the listener, throwing out yin-and-yang balance types in his words. She said let’s just try to run away, I said nah, let’s go for a walk, she said I’ve never been one for words, so we sat up all night and we talked, he sings. His voice, a deep baritone, with a rich, Texan drawl, is the stuff the Coen brothers movies are made of. Oh she was lost when I found her, born and raised here looking like an out of towner, she’s a downer when they’re up, gets high when she’s low, ask her what she wants and she’ll say she don’t know, she’s on again off again, oh yeah Lillian, Parsons continues.
This song spoke to me on many levels. The balance idea, the highs and lows, is very apparent these days. Parsons’ voice is always steady, never straying from his range. On first listen, you might think that strange, but I think it makes the song more poignant. He’s singing from a keen perspective. He’s philosophical about it. I think if there were any more rhetoric or production on this song it would be a completely different emotional pull. Instead, he creates a wide canvas with a simplicity. You’re heart breaks with him, just the same that you smile when he gives you the giggles when he mentions that Lillian doesn’t wear underwear. Parsons takes you places on his walk-about. I wanted to stay on this journey for him much longer than the two-minutes-and-fifty-one seconds allowed.
Parsons, who is now back in his hometown San Antonio, shares the same zip code as master storyteller San Antonio-born Steve Earle. Big skies, big land and lots of characters coming down that San Antonio River and these two fellas find a way to convey these tales through song. It’s remarkable how these two artists have sculpted their words into a way of leaving footprints in country, country rock, Americana and roots musical genres. Knowing that the Lillian street sign is in East Nashville makes no difference – it could be any town, anywhere. “Lillian” is simply fantastic. It’s one of those rare songs that is a treasure trove of imagery and vibrant songwriting. Parsons’ bold voice and modest guitar playing simply shine. High marks indeed for Jeremy Parsons’ unforgettable “Lillian”.