Steve Parkinson and the Stony Lonesome Leaving My Key

Steve Parkinson and his band, the Stony Lonesome, are certainly adept at creating charming country music. Their debut effort, Leaving My Key, demonstrates this in spades. At eight tracks, the album isn't particularly long, but there's quality in the economy. The overriding emotion on Leaving My Key is joy. From the album's first moments to its last, there is a pervading optimism that matches the band's copious usage of slide guitar. Final track "One Shade Darker" is the album's high point. It sounds immediately as if it were a standard bluegrass ditty, with stronger-than-faint hints of Stan Rogers. Other strong points include the warm title track, the charming pop-twang of "Just one View" and the lovely "Alberta Oil Sands." Leaving My Key is an unavoidably strong and likeable contribution to the Canadian country scene. (Independent)