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Tell the Truth


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Audio CD, June 12, 2001
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 12, 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Vanguard Records
  • Run Time: 53 minutes
  • ASIN: B00005J9TD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #127,426 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Right Where It Hurts
2. Crossin' Over
3. Breaking Down Slow (with Bonnie Bramlett)
4. South By Southwest (with Delbert McClinton)
5. Tell The Truth
6. I Declare (with Keb' Mo')
7. Brand New Feeling (with the Mississippi Mass Choir)
8. Guardian Angel
9. Takes What It Takes
10. Love's Been Rough On Me

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Amazon.com

Lee Roy Parnell has been scoring country hits and tearing up Texas roadhouses for many years now, but he's never had a better album to tour behind than Tell the Truth. Partly that's because he's never written a more personal batch of songs--nearly every composition here is charged with self-discovery. "How can true love ever find us, if we're just someone we've made up," he wonders over the title track's steamy sway. On a Pentecostal house wrecker called "Brand New Feeling," he testifies joyously: "I found a brand-new me." His music's reborn, too. Parnell's blues and boogie-woogie licks have more bite here than he's ever allowed them (witness the slide guitar on "Crossin' Over"), and the country singer he used to work at being doesn't show up once. Granted, Parnell's vocals are rarely distinctive. But when he's paired at the mic with folks like Bonnie Bramlett and (on the sure-fire crowd pleaser "South by Southwest") Delbert McClinton, it hardly matters. --David Cantwell

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 13 customer reviews
This is Lee Roy through & through!
DebbieDoDa
That doesn't mean he's not good, though; hell, with this album, he proves that he can be GREAT if he sets his mind to it.
DanD
As usual, Parnell's guitar work is smooth and engaging and his vocals are, well...country.
deepbluereview

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By P. Bradt on June 30, 2001
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Lee Roy Parnell has been looking for the freedom to make his music, his way, for a long time.
In this record he's finally found it.
He's turned his back on the Nashville Pop music machine and turned in a wonderful collection of Blues, Soul, Gospel and Rock and Roll, enough to engage your heart and mind, and make you want to get up and dance.
More than ever, his songs are such that you understand they come not simply from conceptualization, but from experience.
On "Crossin' Over," you understand how a pair of San Angelo boys might try to make a run for the border, to find a rite of passage, only to walk away from it, after an attack of conscience. On the same song, if Lee Roy 's slide guitar playing doesn't set your hair on fire, check your pulse, you might be code-blue.
"Breakin Down Slow," a duet with the great Bonnie Bramlett, Lee Roy sings of lost love and the healing power of the human spirit. You know he's gone through his share of heartache by the passion he sings with.
"South by Southwest," a duet with Delbert McClinton, is a wonderfully fun romp about homesickness, with a little poke at the Nashville establishment as well.
The suits in Nashville would have done well to keep him, with the dearth of good music on Music Row these days, a guy like Lee Roy could serve them well.
On this song, special mention needs to be made here of rhythm guitarist James Pennebaker's terrific, SLAMMIN' playing and Kevin McKendree's incredible piano solo. Both are first rate.
"I Declare," with Keb' Mo', invokes images of shaking free of the shackles of life, rebirth and renewal, bathed in the glory of the Delta Blues, cloaked in good fun and camraderie.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 21, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Play that guitar Lee Roy! Parnell dropped by Arista Nashville is now with Vanguard Records. The change in labels is for the better, as Arista was attempting to make Lee Roy a country star. Vanguard has never been a label that worries about radio play and Lee Roy has recorded a CD of more than just 3:00 minute songs. Parnell has always been known as a good slide guitar player but not until this CD has he cut loose in the studio. Parnell like his friend, Delbert McClinton are what you might call Americana artists - their roots and their playing span country to rock. Except for a couple of throw away songs about Texas, this CD is superb. We can only hope that Vanguard will allow Parnell to develop as an artist.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By DanD VINE VOICE on July 28, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Lee Roy Parnell isn't the most intimidating singer/songwriter. I don't even know if he's had a number one hit (I've heard he hasn't, but I can't testify to it). That doesn't mean he's not good, though; hell, with this album, he proves that he can be GREAT if he sets his mind to it.

Always a pleaser, Parnell explores his rootsy side on this album. Forgoing the radio-friendly tone of such hits as "On the Road" and "A Little Bit of You," he delivers an album of rugged, country blues, that didn't garner any radio airplay, but gave him a status even better than hitmaker: true, genuine artist.

You'd be hard pressed to find a better slide player on the Nashville scene. And his "ragged down-home voice" is remeniscent of sawdust and fireflies. On the country blues of "Right Where It Hurts," he digs into you and hits you where it's most enjoyable: your heart. On the rowdy blues of "Crossin Over" and "South by Southwest" (the last featuring Texas blues icon Delbert McClinton), he gets down n dirty--blues style. With the confessional "Tell the Truth" and "Love's Been Rough on Me," he shows his softer, tender side. With the organ-choir gospel of "Brand New Feeling," he'll bring you to your feet clapping and singing "Hallelujah."

"Tell the Truth" is definitely Lee Roy Parnell's best album, and is in fact one of the great albums released so far this decade. True, no radio hits, and probably no overwhelming sales--but that just proves that too many people are missing out on a great thing. Don't be one of them: convert! Lee Roy Parnell is one of the industry's best, and he's waiting to play you his down-home music.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By DebbieDoDa on July 3, 2001
Format: Audio CD
This is Lee Roy through & through! Blues, country, rock & gospel rolled into one. Gotta be his best work. Get this one & you'll wear it out!!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By deepbluereview on June 26, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Like Willie Nelson (Milk Cow Blues), Lee Roy Parnell has taken a time out from his usual country recordings and ventures into the blues. However, unlike the covers CD performed by Willie, Parnell pens nine originals out of the ten songs offered on the CD. Also, unlike Willie, Parnell limits his "friends" to just a few including, Keb Mo's overdub on "I Declare", Bonnie Bramlett on "Breaking Down Slow" and Delbert McClinton on "South by Southwest".
As usual, Parnell's guitar work is smooth and engaging and his vocals are, well...country. In fact, the truth is that while this is a good CD, Parnell strays only slightly from his country roots and the result is a country blues CD with the emphasis on "country". The results should please his followers but will not win over any fans of modern electric blues. Two of the better tracks are "South by Southwest" and "Loves Been Rough On Me".
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