In Memory Of Dave Parnell

10/27/41 – 11/15/01

Dave Parnell Left Front Original 3D Blues Band photo

In Memory Of David C. Parnell Tenor Saxophone & Vocals

Born 10/27/41 New Orleans, LA – Died 11/15/01 Vallejo, CA

Written by Forrest McDonald (804) 477-4488 www.forrestmcdonald.com

In Memory Of Dave Parnell

Dave Parnell RIP. In Memory of Dave Parnell. I first met Dave Parnell in mid-February 1999. I had flown to San Francisco, CA from Atlanta, and driven up to Vallejo to play some club dates and rehearse for my 4th CD with Chicago native Raymond Victor. Raymond told me that a great saxophone player had been jamming with him lately, and I may want to use him on our next recording. Raymond and I had been playing together for the past 26 years, and if he recommended someone, I knew he had to be good. We had booked a date at a small club called the Golden Bubble in Vallejo, CA. It was a perfect venue to try out new material. We could discuss the changes before we started the songs and get some live feedback at the same time. Raymond had just plugged the sax mic up to channel 5 when Dave walked in. I liked Dave the moment Raymond introduced us. He had an infectious smile, boyish good looks, and a warm, gentle demeanor. I could sense this was a true bluesman, inside and out, top to bottom. We were into the first number when Ray nodded his head for Dave to blow his first solo. Dave cut loose with a tremendous fury of blues notes that put a smile on everyone’s face in the club. He had a tone like a silver bell. He blue it high; he blew it low as the experiences of a lifetime flowed from his soul and out of that horn. I couldn’t get enough–it sounded so good. A magic musical chemistry was born that night. The hours seemed like minutes as the night flew by. Ever since I was born, I’ve loved the music of a horn. Dave sounds were true blue, dedicated, and educated as he ran the scales of a man’s emotions like the changing tides of the oceans. He was a perfect fit for the new band. The new band line-up was Forrest McDonald on guitar, Raymond Victor on keyboards and lead vocals, Dynamite Dave Parnell Tenor on saxophone and vocals, Dianne Dutra on bass and vocals, and Chuck Cap DeVille on drums. I called the new rhythm section The 3D Blues Band. After a few rehearsals, we cut the entire Spirit of the Blues CD at Prairie Sun Studios on April 17, 1999. This recording was the start of three CD’s that Dave would appear on. His saxophone playing brought great blues authenticity to every track on the record. We hit the road in June to support Spirit of the Blues, which was released on Atlanta’s blues- based independent record label, World Talent Records. By the time we got to Atlanta, there was a lot of anticipation. We were in the top 25 on WRFG, the number 1 blues radio station in town, and the Atlanta Blues Society was on full alert for our Atlanta debut at Rooster’s, Douglasville’s House of Blues. The club was packed, and the band turned on hundreds of blues lovers to their new sound. It was New Orleans, Texas and Chicago blues all rolled into one tight package. In Memory Of Dave Parnell Dave made a lot of friends on that tour, and he immediately felt the blues fans in Atlanta were something special. Dave excelled on the stage and lived to perform. Once he walked on the bandstand, he was at his zenith. There was nothing else in the world during those moments but the music and the fans. Later that year, we were voted the Best Southern Blues Band by Real Blues Magazine. We also won the Just Plain Folks music award for Blues CD of the Year. Dave was very proud of his award. Dave admired King Curtis and often remarked how much he liked the way King’s horn sounded. When Dave wasn’t playing the saxophone, he was singing beautiful harmonies. Dave could play all of the saxes, flute, drums, and guitar very well. He never stepped outside of his boundaries and was always happy to contribute anything that was asked of him. As winter set in, we took a break to begin pre-production work for the next CD entitled What’s It Gonna’ Take? We regrouped in January 2000. In February, we were asked to headline the Gasparilla Festival in Tampa, FL. The night before the festival, we jammed with bluesman, Roy Gaines, at Skipper’s Smokehouse in Tampa. This led to an appearance by Roy on the new CD. We were asked to play the second Annual Atlanta Blues Society Blues Festival on April 9, 2000. It was an inspired performance that had Dave on his feet playing to the enthusiastic crowd. Dave had been stricken with a degenerative spine disease in the early 80’s that left him in a great deal of pain. For that reason, he usually sat in a chair to perform, but this night, he was up on his feet, bopping and blowing as only Dave could. In Memory Of Dave Parnell&

Forrest McDonald— November 16th 2001
Gone but Not Forgotten
In Memory Of Dave Parnell&