Lee Roy Parnell "Tell The Truth"
Vanguard Records

CD review by Roger Z

You can't separate "rock" and "country" music anymore. Want to hear the new Duane Allman or Eric Clapton? Get Lee Roy Parnell's new CD, "Tell The Truth," on Vanguard Records. Speaking of rock's heritage, Lee Roy sings a killer duet with Bonnie Bramlett of "Delaney and Bonnie" fame.

To "Tell The Truth" (title cut), I first saw the guitarist on The Nashville Network performing "Statesboro Blues." His slide work blew me away. The same way that Hank Williams Jr. did when I saw him perform on television doing Jimmy Reed's "Baby What You Want Me To Do." As Johnny Winter says, "Rock, country and blues are all closely related -- cousins, if you will." A major country star with a handful of top ten singles, Lee Roy also enjoyed a career as a top session guitarist. But he chafed at the restrictions of Nashville. So he cut loose, giving up his major label affiliation to go independent and produce this album.

Both Delbert McClinton and Lee Roy Parnell (who duet on "South By Southwest") make music that straddles genres. This album cooks up a stew that mixes heartbreak Southern soul ("Breaking Down Slow"), Texas roadhouse stomp ("South By Southwest"), gospel ("Brand New Feeling"), rock ("Right Where It Hurts"), and country ("Love's Been Rough On Me"). Nine out of the ten tunes were written by Lee Roy.

If you lust after Southern rock guitar at its best, buy this CD.

2003 Roger-Z