It's been a long wait for Rob Roy Parnell's follow up to his well received 1999 release "Jacksboro Highway" and on the strength of the songs that make up "Let's Start Something" his new release from Blue Rocket Records, I hope, it won't take as long for him to record another album.
With 30 years on the road, touring all over, in particular Texas and the Southeast and stints alongside his brother Lee Roy, has led to Rob being recognised as one of the foremost harmonica players in the world. Along the roadhouse trail Rob has met and played along with some fine musicians, some of whom he has invited to play and co-write on the album, including a number of Delbert MClinton's distinguished backing band and some satlwart Texas residents Sarah Brown, Dave Milsap and Stephen Bruton to help serve up a fine slab of Texas influenced blues, even though the majority of the album was recorded in Nashville, TN.
'I know Better' starts things up with a blast of tasty horns in the first few bars building to James Pennebaker's bracing guitar pickin', with Rob spelling out the tale of his realization of affection wasted, culminating in some smokin' harp from Rob, letting the listener know the party is now in full swing. Lee Roy Parnell opens track three with some polished slide playing, sounding like a Eagles rift, giving the track about life on the road, a tragic country-soul feel. Whereas 'Come on Little Baby' and the dazzling 'Rose Petals' has a Fats Domino piano swing with lucious harp burst and brass section lending to the full on sound. The upbeat R&B influenced slice of blues in 'If Mama Ain't Happy' is enhanced not only by the glorious solos from Rob on harmonica and Pennebaker on guitar but a special mention has to go to the magnificent vocals from Nashville's Jonnell Mosser. Rob closes the album with a Ray Brown composition,a piano driven Jerry Lee influenced rocker, with Kevin McKendree's piano solo on scorching form here. One of two covers, the other being a fine bluesy rendition of Percy Sledge's 'Loose Lips.
This album lets folk hear the bright side of the blues.
Until the release of his next album, I'm sure anyone who hears this power-house of a blues album will be satisfied for a good long while, it jumps and jives from start to finish, with Rob allowing the contributing musicians rock out on their solos throughout.