Light In The Attic Records recently rereleased Bobby Charles’ self titled record originally released in January of 1972. Bobby Charles may not be a household name but some of the players on this record probably all. Levon Helm, Rick Danko, Garth Hudson, Richard Manuel and Dr. John all make appearances but the strength of the album is Charles’s voice and songs. This is without a doubt, Essential Listening.

If you listen to my radio show at all you are most likely aware that I listen to as much old music as new music, moving in both directions constantly. One of the strongest differences I notice in records from different eras is the venue the songs and recordings were crafted for. This record is designed to be listened to at home. The songs are living room songs, songs with spaces in them, grooves that move subtly instead of in your face. Check out the bass work in the side A closer “All The Money” and the space between the notes in “I Must Be In A Good Place Now.”

So much of the music made today and written about here is created to be played live in a crowded bar. There is an onslaught and an immediacy to it, which I like as much as the next guy. But there is also the time for listening music and the self titled album from Bobby Charles has all the elements of an exceptional listening record. It’s low-down and grimy but with a tenderness that parallels your favorite sweet drunk. Now, all artists make their living from working the road and it’s natural that the art they create reflects that environment but it’s also nice to step away from that and listen to a record who’s songs shuffle along and into each other without the pretense of easy excitement.

Gabe (who I refuse to refer to as Wolf) once called me “the old guy at the back of all the good shows” and this review and album are clearly in that tradition. If your listening habits seem to be stuck in a bit of a rut look for something old instead of something new.

There are ten songs on this album and all ten are winners.

Buy This Record


I used to host an internet radio show in Gainesville–and since I’ve moved away I’ve missed doing that very much. Podcasting on your own turns out to be much harder than working with all the great equipment and coworkers at GrowRadio. So, I ask for your patience and hope for your interest in hearing me try to resume something that gives me great joy–compiling songs and stories. Let me know what you think, what works, what could be worked on. It’s a demo-heavy setlist from all over the last half-century and as Paul Westerberg says, it “rocks like murder.”

Track Listing:

  1. Introductions and Congratulations
  2. Bob Dylan & the Band – Banks of the Royal Canal (aka The Auld Triangle) (The Genuine Basement Tapes, Vol. 5) 1967
  3. Silkworm – The Old You (Italian Platinum) 2002
  4. Darkbuster (Lenny Lashley) – Cheap Wine (22 Songs That You’ll Never Want to Hear Again) 1999
  5. Bob Seger – Fire Lake (Against the Wind) 1980
  6. Talk about the Eagles
  7. The Silver Jews – Self-Ignition (Living Bridge Comp.) 2008
  8. Patsy Cline – Strange (Sentimentally Yours) 1961
  9. Gun Outfit – Another Human Being (Hard Coming Down) 2013
  10. Filthy Liars – Shot in the Dark (HFX Demo) 2013
  11. The Haints (Kepi Ghoulie) – Battle of Wounded Heart (Battle of Wounded Heart) 2007
  12. Chris Wollard & the Ship Thieves – Never Have Time (Canyons) 2012
  13. Talk about LA Guns
  14. The Gun Club – Texas Serenade (Miami) 1982
  15. The Veronica Cartwrights – Brad Pitt, Brad Pitt (Broken Keys Comp.) 1997
  16. Bobby Charles – I Hope (The Jewel And Paula Recordings 1964-1965)
  17. Tony Flaminio – Bad Luck Song (The Grim Repair) 2012
  18. Animal City – Red Ice Cream, pt. 1 (Red Ice Cream) 2010
  19. Spider Bags – Waking Up Drunk (A Celebration of Hunger) 2007
  20. Talk about eating out hearts
  21. The Deadly Snakes – Oh, Lord, My Heart (Porcella) 2005
  22. Gravel – Yesterday (Yesterday 7″) 1991
  23. Crooked Fingers (Eric Bachmann) – New Drink for the Old Drunk (Crooked Fingers) 2000
  24. Ronnie Lane’s Slim Chance – The Poacher – (Anymore for Anymore) 1974
  25. Franz Nicolay – Talk to Him in Shallow Water (Winter Demos) 2013
  26. Talk about the Crutchfield Takeover
  27. King Everything (Katie Crutchfield) – Now and Then (Demo II) 2009

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