WHAT IT TAKES
If your a country fan in Yorkton you are probably already familiar with Donny Parenteau, a somewhat regular performer at the Painted Hand Casino in the city.
For years Parenteau, an accomplished fiddle player has taken a support role for much of his career, playing with a number of big name stars on both sides of the 49th parallel.
With the release of What It Takes, Parenteau has assumed the lead role, and it is a mantle he wears easily. His is a pleasant voice with a maturity that shows. One listen and you'll understand why this CD is up for a Western Canada Music Award (WCMA) for Best Country Album.
I have had the opportunity to interview Parenteau over a cup of coffee in the past, and spent a couple of nights at the Painted Hand Casino Idol Competition. He has a ready smile, and a winning personality, and it comes through in spades in his music.
This CD is a good one, with a number of very good songs, yet one stands out, head and shoulders above the others, the mournful Postmarked Heaven. Anyone whose father has passed on is going to tear up just a little with this song. Simple, yet powerful lyrics make it a winner.
Parenteau really shines on the sadder, slow tempo songs, making Cold Virginia Rain the second best cut offered here.
The upbeat Country Calling Me is a radio hit, and I like that Old Man Thibodeaux features Jo'el Sonnier on accordion. Belly Up is a bar drinking, honky tonk tune that will find an audience too.
Parenteau who penned all 12 cuts here, has a traditional country sound so clearly heard on a song like Someone More Lonesome, that makes him familiar to the listener.
The CD is produced by Parenteau too, along with Steve Fox, who as I have said here before seems to have his hand in most country music coming out of Saskatchewan these days.
This is a fine effort by Parenteau, and definitely worth looking for. Check it out at www.donnyparenteau.net
-- CALVIN DANIELS
-- Review first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper Oct 24, 2007 - Yorkton, SK. Canada