Slow Parade “Maybe You’ll Come Around, Again”

Slow Jam, 2024

Album cover artwork for Slow Parade "Maybe You'll Come Around, Again

Laid-back americana with a nice groove and engaging words.

Album cover artwork for Slow Parade "Maybe You'll Come Around, AgainSlow Parade is songwriter Matthew Pendrick aided and abetted by friends from his home city of Atlanta, Georgia, who met during his decade as part of the music scene there. During that time he has been a recordist and producer as well as playing with musicians such as Daniel Romano, T Hardy Morris and Israel Nash. This, his third album, has laid-back americana with a nice groove and echoes of The Band allied to engaging, clear-eyed lyrics. He describes the characters in his songs as “low on gas, incurious of redemption, and probably high on something”

The first track ‘Quick Buck’ sets the scene for the whole record with the aforementioned groove and the singer needing money as he goes to visit “the scrap metal man”. Keyboard from American Aquarium’s Rhett Huffman and lead guitar help the song move along well. Next, the bluesy ‘Snake Skin Boots’ with harmonica sounds a bit like Dave Alvin and is a jaundiced tale of a night spent with a she-devil who ends up nicking all the singer’s stuff. ‘Any Drop Will Do’, has the singer making no bones about his liking of various substances but particularly alcohol: “This Sunday morning  I smell like cigarettes and  cheap perfume/But my mind’s made up I need a drink/Any drop will do”  Pendrick’s music has good, memorable melodies and this, with its low-key honky tonk piano, is no exception. Also in evidence is pedal steel from Matt ‘Pistol’ Stoessel as it is throughout the record. Drums come from American Aquarium’s Ryan Van Fleet and bass is provided by Evan Sarver, who has also played with soul and blues band Southern Avenue.

In a similar vein to much of the album, unglamorous tales are also told on ‘Juncker In The Fast Lane’ and ‘Last Call For The Band’. The first, with jazzy piano, complains about the old banger being driven and looks back to better times. The second, tells it as it is about the life of a struggling band: “They’ve been drinking at the bar since before 5 PM/ Now they got the gig to play/ Will they remember all the words/Or the names of those girls they ain’t fooling?” The only romance comes with ‘This Old Van’, an affectionate song about a clapped-out tour van: “We got a full tank and she got clean plates /We’re gonna make it/Not in style, but with ragged grace” Pendrick goes slightly off-piste with ‘Napping On The Job’ and the closing ‘Lovely Moon’. Both are short, with few words, and have a dream-like, atmospheric and almost experimental feel.

Pendrick has made an album here with music which is good to listen to. His words, which don’t sugar-coat, are at odds with the relaxed vibes of the music but are more interesting and memorable than many.


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