Tell the Truth

With Keb' Mo' sitting in on mandobanjo and harmonica, Lee Roy Parnell gets into the countrified blues of "I Declare," singing, "I declare I've been set free." For all we know, this could be a direct r

With Keb' Mo' sitting in on mandobanjo and harmonica, Lee Roy Parnell gets into the countrified blues of "I Declare," singing, "I declare I've been set free." For all we know, this could be a direct reference to his move to Vanguard. As an artist who was a bit too rootsy/funky to slide into the contemporary country niche in Nashville, Parnell is able to finally let loose. On Tell the Truth, he's able to unpack the bluesy feel that colored his country sound. He shines on "Takes What It Takes," riding a swingin' blues riff and tearing off a couple of tasty guitar solos on top of the fat sound of the Muscle Shoals mob. He takes on a gospel tune, backed by the Mississippi Mass Choir, and collaborates with Delbert McClinton on "South by Southwest." Parnell also partners with the vocally gifted Bonnie Bramlett on the soulful "Breaking Down Slow," which he wrote with Dan Penn and Gary Nicholson.—PVV
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