I knew it. I told anyone who would listen, "This cat is gonna drift to the bluesier side of the highway some day". Welcome all ye faithful! This slow-burning CD titled Tell the Truth has all the ingredients to get some real airplay on a variety of formats.
Side Bar: Lee Roy's brother "Rob Roy Parnell" is a blues harp player that also has a new CD Jacksboro Highway out and between the two have the family market cornered.
From the first cut on his seventh album Right Where It Hurts, this CD just gets better with every song. I'm sure his country fans might feel he has strayed a little too far, I'm sure. But any guitar picker or listener worth his salt will recognize this guy can flat out play and sing. Whether it's slide guitar on Crossin Over, my fav (look out Jack Pearson), or Strat pickin' on Right Where It Hurts.
On Breaking Down Slow he does a nice Texas-style blues with Bonnie (the Queen) Bramlett that makes me instantly think of the Rio Grande. Man I miss the south--anyway speaking of that, his next tune features Texas Delbert on South by Southwest. A song that represents a fun time had in the studio, I'm sure. The two pull this song off just right.
The title cut Tell the Truth will remind you of Lowell George and the early days of Little Feat. A slow ballad that showcases his terrific voice as all the tunes do. This tune features a very sweet dobro solo. On the next tune I Declare close your eyes and Dickey Betts appears--I swear he does. Not really, but if you don't think Pony Boy then you've missed the point anyway. To say this CD doesn't resemble some Allman Brothers material would be a mistake. On Brand New Feeling featuring the Mississippi Mass Choir, he takes a trip up the isle to the preacher and says, "Amen" Texas style. Up next is Guardian Angel a ballad featuring some slide straight from Heaven itself, which tells a beautiful tale of help close by. Next up Takes What It Takes a very soulful blues jaunt written by Parnell and Jack Pearson which features a killer piano break and a take-me-home and put-me-to-bed solo by Parnell and Pearson. The final cut Loves Been Rough On Me leaves you feeling melancholy and like you need to tell somebody you miss them--that's right I said it!!
In my opinion all these songs written and performed by Parnell are excellent. I only wish he would have cut loose just a tad more on some more up-tempo tunes. Nevertheless, this is a very good CD and is highly recommended by me especially if your not yet into Lee Roy Parnell.
This review is copyright © 2001 by Kit Jones, and Blues On Stage, all rights reserved. Copy, duplication or download prohibited without written permission. For permission to use this review please send an E-mail to Ray Stiles.
Click button to join
our mailing list!