Leeboys_say_yes_span3
October 2006

The Lee Boys
Say Yes!
Arhoolie Records

This Florida sextet of three brothers and their three nephews is rooted in the same House of God sacred-steel tradition that spawned Robert Randolph and the Family Band, whose high-energy praise music is currently invigorating the jam-band scene. The star of the show here is 22-year-old Roosevelt Collier, whose pedal-steel guitar prowess rivals Randolph’s for sheer speed, dexterity, harmonic daring and sonic inventiveness. He is joined by his uncles Alvin Lee on guitar, Keith and Derrick Lee on vocals and cousins Alvin Cordy Jr. on six-string electric bass and Kenneth Earl Walker on drums. Together they raise the roof on the explosive title track and the sanctified shouter “Come On, Help Me Lift Him Up,” a showcase for Collier’s rapid picking and dazzling virtuosity on the steel.

Collier’s instrumental “Joyful Sounds” is a buoyant, wah-wah-inflected number based on a riff that recalls the Allman Brothers’ “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed,” and he takes his time in testifying on his slow-blues instrumental “Call Him by His Name,” erupting with some stratospheric runs along the way. The Boys turn in a house-rocking rendition of Mississippi Fred McDowell’s “You’ve Got to Move” while putting a sprightly calypso spin on “If You’re Happy and You Know It.” They close with the instrumental rave-up, “Praise Jam.” Somebody shout hallelujah.

Originally published in October 2006
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