Charlie Parr review…April 30, 2015…

CHARLIE PARR

STUMPJUMPER

RED HOUSE RECORDS RHR CD 283

EVIL COMPANION–EMPTY OUT YOUR POCKETS–FALCON–REMEMBER ME IF I FORGET–ON MARRYING A WOMAN WITH AN UNCONTROLLABLE TEMPER–OVER THE RED CEDAR–RESURRECTION–STUMPJUMPER–TEMPERANCE RIVER BLUES–FRANK MILLER BLUES–DELIA

For Charlie Parr’s previous albums, he’s used warehouses, garages, and pretty much anywhere he feels comfortable.  For his Red House Records debut, he drove to Hillsborough, NC, to the Down Yonder Farm for “Stumpjumper,” ten originals and one cover that prove why he’s touted as one of the premier pickers, singers, and writers on the scene today.  This is also Charlie’s first set with a full band behind him.

Listening to Charlie, one can hear influences of Woody Guthrie, Leadbelly, Son House, and Charley Patton, among others.  His flatpicking is exemplary–an excellent example of this is in the opener, “Evil Companion,” a unique look at love and how it can sadly go wrong sometimes.  “Falcon” is a tribute to John Tanner, kidnapped in Canada some 150 years ago and assimilated into the Ojibwa Nation.  For its serious subject matter, the song has a highly-infectious groove.  “Remember Me If I Forget” is a dobro and banjo ode to his aunt Mid.  “Over The Red Cedar” is another fine shot of Charlie’s pickin’ in a song that looks at the process of aging.

The title cut describes the time and place in which Charlie came of age, full of “stumpjumpers, cross-tie walkers, and the grown-up children of the working class.”  “Frank Miller Blues” is a solid country-blues dealing with Frank’s visit from Death, and his refusal to go!  The set closes with the chilling tale of a murdered “Delia,” done in by “Kenny, the rounder.”

Our favorites both had Biblical overtones.  Charlie’s tale of Lazarus, “Resurrection,” is, at its roots, very bluesy, with Charlie’s dobro just as haunting as wife Emily’s backing vocals.  And, the banjo-heavy “Empty Out Your Pockets” is a cautionary tale to be at the ready, brother, ’cause “when Jesus comes, he’s gonna burn the whole town down!”

Charlie Parr’s musicianship and thought-provoking lyrics make “Stumpjumper” a unique take on American roots music!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: