Lance Lopez: Tell the Truth Review

The cover of Lance Lopez’s Tell the Truth features Lopez sitting on an amp in the middle of nowhere. He’s holding a Les Paul, his fingers seemingly caught in mid-solo. ‘Oh no,’ I thought. ‘This is going to be 45 minutes of endless guitar overplaying.’ But Lopez proved me wrong with a tasteful collection of bluesy hard rock with impressive guitar playing that lifts the songs, but doesn’t compete with them.

Just to be clear, Tell the Truth has plenty of great guitar. But it’s guitar in a song-based context, rather than someone soloing over a blues progression for three or four minutes at a time. “Never Came Easy,” the album’s first track not only features some great slide work, but also has a surprisingly perfect electric piano and some harmonica, keeping the song rolling, even when Lopez isn’t soloing.

Slide guitar plays an important role on a few of the album’s 11 tracks. “Cash My Check,” a fun, poppy tune that would have fit in on a Grand Funk Railroad album, features a solid slide solo. “Blue Moon Rising,” Tell the Truth’s best-written song, has some delicate slide parts that manage to mirror Lopez’s raspy vocals. “Real Deal” has a groove that’s almost a march, with slide that’s part blues and part hard rock.

Tell the Truth has some strong guitar moments and some flashy solos, but it doesn’t depend on those moments. Lopez is one of the rare guitar gunslingers who doesn’t feel the need to bludgeon the listener with technique. Instead he focuses on playing the right thing at the right time which results in a very listenable album.

The Review: 8/10

Can’t Miss Tracks

– Blue Moon Rising
– Mr. Lucky
– Cash My Check
– Real Deal

The Big Hit

– Cash My Check

Review by Steven Ovadia

Buy the album: Amazon | Amazon UK

Steven Ovadia

Steven Ovadia interviews blues artists about their songwriting process for Working Mojo.

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