Run Away Dorothy Worth the Wait

The Wait
Self Produced
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Runaway Dorothy’s music has been endorsed by Ryan Adams and Roseanne Cash. It has been compared to that of Jakob Dylan, Mumford and Sons, Wilco, and Counting Crows. The alt-country/alt-rock/Americana sounds of Counting Crows is indeed a good comparison–if you toss in the atmospheric arrangements of Snow Patrol and hints of Credence Clearwater for good measure. The Brooklyn-based quartet of Dave Parnell (vocals, harmonica, guitar), brother Brett (electric guitar), Warren Robbing (bass), and Evan Mitchell (drums) tend to walk on the sunnier side of life and the instrumentation could use more diversity, but they have just enough edge to skirt being twee.

The band’s usual fare can be heard on tracks such as “Sing with Me” and “Let the Right One In.” The arrangements line up behind Dave Parnell’s lead vocals. His voice is dry but not gritty, and emotive but devoid of affected stress. Toss in tight harmonies, some jangly guitar, and let it shimmer. In “Let the Right One In,” for instance, drums and lead vocal are in the foreground, whilst everything else pulses behind it–highlights rather than deep color. There are lots of relationship songs, the edgy nervousness of “Hurry” being a highlight, and even a breakup song such as “Background” hints of redemption. Those looking for anything darker will have to content themselves with “Blue Kentucky Rain,” which is a modern-day Dust Bowl song with a sweet chorus; until they get to the final track, “Ballad of a Dead Man,” a vigilante revenge tale.  

In candor, Runaway Dorothy will need to temper its formula if it hopes to break out of a crowded alt-country market. Their song arrangements, though not identical, have a sameness of spirit that leaves a listener feeling as if The Wait is eleven movements of the same song. The album is a thoroughly enjoyable album that will please immensely, though it seldom challenges. I can’t knock that, but I also hear a band in need of a signature rather than more comparisons. Rob Weir

Here's a YouTube of the opening track.

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