Our album of the week (6th February 2009)
LP is limited to 400 copies only. For fans of: authenticity, but see also Doc Boggs, Charlie Patton, John Fahey, Dave Van Ronk, Bukka White and Nick Drake. Charlie Parr’s seventh album of raw, soul-piercing Piedmont-style blues is a true joy to behold. Only three of these twelve finger picked guitar and banjo tracks are traditionals arranged by Parr, but you’d never know it. The feeling, experience and sheer talent ranks Parr’s compositions right up there with the classics. It’s no surprise that he counts among his fans the illustrator R. Crumb and slow-core rockers Low. Charlie’s music has an appeal that spans genres. From old folkies, punks, soccer moms, indie kids to everyone in-between, the authentic voice and utter lack of pretence of the music speaks to everyone. While some may be tempted to class Parr with novelty acts like as Seasick Steve, there is only the most superficial of similarities in their music. He’s considered “one of the most important contemporary protagonists of the American folk tradition” by the Bath International Music Festival, and it’s no surprise. Charlie’s songs are records of the journeys, troubles and experiences of real people. He creates music in the folk and blues tradition of just about anyone you’d find on the Smithsonian’s seminal box-set, the Anthology of American Folk Music, many of the artists within he’s cited as influences.‘God Moves on the Water’, a real standout, is an arrangement of the classic blues track by Blind Willie Johnson describing the horrors experienced by those souls aboard the Titantic as it sunk. The urgency, fear, confusion and also hope of those attempting to escape are all eerily palpable in Parr’s interpretation. To see Charlie Parr perform this track live is an incredible and awe-inspiring thing. Fortunately for us, Mr Parr is planning three tours of the UK and Ireland in 2009, to include stops at the End of the Road Festival in September and the Bath International Music Festival in May.
1. Don’t Send Your Child To War
2. Far Cry From Fargo
3. Walk Around My Bedside
4. Warmin’ By The Devil’s Fire
5. Midnight Has Come And Gone
6. Come Along And See
7. Adrift In Lake Superior At Sunrise
9. Last Payday At Coal Creek
10. The B&J Ain’t Nothin’ But A Hole In The Ground
12. God Moves On The Water
Be the first to review 'Roustabout' by Charlie Parr. Best customer review each week wins a £10 voucher!