Ably aided and abetted as is Peter Parcek on Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven, he never runs the risk of his own contributions being overshadowed by the esteemed likes of his guests including North Mississippi AllstarsLuther Dickinson, Muscle Shoals veteran Spooner Oldham and long-time Willie Nelson band member Micky Raphael. he guitarist/vocalist/songwriter acquits himself so stylishly during the course of this album, those high-profile names fully integrate themselves within this project so that the music remains the focus.
An air of dark mystery integral to the blues arises early here, not just in Blind Lemon Jefferson's "See That My Grave Is Kept Clean," but its predecessor "World Keep On Turning" a profession of perseverance that echoes as loud in Parcek's singing as the booming rhythm section that includes producer Marco Giovino as drummer. Don Nix' titlesong is a variation on an eternal sentiment, here as soulfully wrought as its roots in an Albert King composition would demand.
The presence of three instrumentals including "Pat Hare" represents a sign of confidence on the part of Parcek and Giovino, who's assumed a similar role of overseer on projects with the disparate likes of Led Zeppelin's Robert Plant and Buddy Miller. Its title a nod to a Muddy Waters sideman, this short and to the point cut features quick rounds of Raphael's harmonica to allow the requisite attention to the accompaniment afforded Parcek's originals like "Ashes to Ashes" and the complementary covers that comprise a total of ten tracks.
His own "Every Drop of Rain" sounds of a piece with that outside material and its foreboding atmosphere makes for excellent contrast to the more jaunty likes of another instrumental titled "Shiver:" Dickinson uses his readily-recognizable slide guitar to joust with Parcek, whose broad tone on his fretboard carries its own distinction. Likewise, this album as a whole is as natty in its production values as the attire in which Peter is so often pictured, though it might well benefit from at least a couple rough edges or another extended cut or two in order for the music to breathe more deeply.
That said, the sonics of Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven are genuinely impressive including, acoustic bass and violin on "Mississippi Suitcase." As a result, what borders on predictable at certain points turns positively familiar in the end, which and should ultimately render this record a very durable piece of contemporary blues.
World Keep On Turning; See That My Grave Is Kept Clean; Pat Hare; Ashes to Ashes; Every Drop of Rain ; Shiver; Things Fall Apart; Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven; Mississippi Suitcase; Aunt Caroline Dyer Blues.
Peter Parcek: guitars, vocals; Marco Giovino: drums, percussion, loops; Luther Dickinson: guitar: Spooner Oldham: keyboards; Mickey Raphae: harmonica; Dennis Crouch: acoustic Bass: Dominic John Davis: acoustic and electric bass: Marc Hickox: electric bass: Joe Klompus: electric bass; Russ Pahl: pedal steel, mouth harp; Andy Santospago: lap steel; Deanie Richardson: violin; Jeremy Van Cleave: violin; John Jackson: electric mandolin; McCrary Sisters: vocals.
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