It seems that Shelby Lynne's migration from the stultifying forces of Nashville may have more beneficial ramifications than the recognition of an underappreciated soul singer. Lee Roy Parnell -- another whose talents far exceed the three chords allowed by the "Music City" -- follows Shelby's lead and finally makes the CD we all knew he could with "Tell the Truth". Parnell has always been a blues man at heart, and on "Truth" he wrings the last bit of Nashville's dilution from his sound and pours a straight shot of the music he loves.
Disc opener "Right Where It Hurts" doles out a halting line-dance dose of Muscle Shoals R&B replete with horns, while "Crossing Over" offers a bit of incendiary roadhouse blues. The Mississippi Mass Choir joins him on the gospel-tinged "Brand New Feeling" -- a song that should have even most fundamentalists swaying in their seats. Look for "Truth" to make a few critics' top-10 lists, and deservedly so.