Charlie Parr – Stumpjumper – 2015

cpStumpjumper

I need guidance in life. There are difficult decisions every week and I usually make them alone. But I don’t make them alone, decisions are made based on experiences, based on histories and based on lessons learned along the way. I grew up going to church but as an adult I find spiritual guidance in art. Words from Kristofferson and Shaver shape the way I think. I have learned perspective, empathy and acceptance of faults from songwriters. I call a handful of them my spiritual advisers. Knowing that many of my spiritual advisers are aging or have passed, I am always on the lookout for wise sages to gleam lessons from.

Enter the music of Charlie Parr. There is a connection within his songs, something that can not be quantified within the eleven songs on Stumpjumper. One of the things that makes Parr unique in my collection of lessons is that he uses his voice to convey as much empathy and understanding as his words do. Allow yourself to be hypnotized by the combination of his playing and vocal delivery and your understanding of emotion will be heightened. It’s powerful. And captivating. And real.

I realize that I have yet to tell you what Stumperjumper sounds like but that’s what we have mp3s for. What matters to me is how the music changes the way I think about myself and others. “Remember Me If I Forget” repeats the song title in the chorus so often that it becomes a part of my life, a mantra for late nights or lonely mornings. It’s a song to play for those in your life that truly matter, a reminder that even in our most self-centered moments there are others thinking of us and about us. They will remember our actions and remind us of our purpose. It serves as a rallying cry that we are not alone, that we are responsible to others and to ourselves. On the right day the words and music can bring me to tears.

There is celebration of life and nature in “Over The Red Cedar.” Longevity in things around us can create comfort, a reminder that our struggles don’t define us. With the line “the red cedar grows/and long after your gone/it’s outlasting you” what I hear is about struggles. It might feel daunting to think that our struggles will outlast us but I find comfort in the line. Struggle will always be there and there is nothing we can do to eliminate them. I don’t know what you hear but what I hear is comfort, comfort in knowing that what feels big and overwhelming today is inconsequential in the grand scheme.

I’m as guilty as anyone about dwelling on the present, the past and the enormity of the moment but Parr’s frantic finger picking provides a calmness. I know that thought probably sounds like a contradiction but turn the music up louder and listen to your heart. Parr’s fingers work with a fury over the strings and it works to circle the troubles in my mind with a soft blanket or a gentle hug. If you don’t believe me just come over to my living room just after sunset on a bad day. We’ll listen to Stumpjumper or Mingus and I promise you’ll find balance and resolution in the ebb and flow of frantic notes and the eventual calming of the melody.

I can not recommend Stumpjumper enough. I’ve played for all kinds of music fans and they all gravitate toward the songs and the sounds. Maybe that says something about the blues, maybe it says something about Charlie Parr as an artist, maybe it says something about us listeners. Most likely it’s a combination of all of that. Listen to Stumpjumper, listen to it loud, listen to it over and over. Let me know what you take away from this spectacular record. Essential Listening.

Remember Me If I Forget

Over the Red Cedar

Empty Out Your Pockets

Ajax Diner Book Club – 4/13/15 KRFC Ft. Collins CO

Kierston White “big star” from Don’t Write Love Songs

Micah Schnabel “Not The Boy You Used To Be” from Not The Boy You Used To Be

John Moreland “You Don’t Care for Me Enough to Cry” from High On Tulsa Heat

Ty Segall “The singer” from Manipulator

Blue Blood “The Kids Are The City” from This Is The Life

The Glands “Straight down” from The Glands

REM “Turn You Inside Out” from Green 

Blue Blood “Birth Right” from This Is The Life

Cafeteria “Drunk” from Knee Deep

Austin Lucas “Alone In Memphis” from Stay Reckless

JD McPherson “head over heels” from Let the Good Times Roll

Tom Petty “The Apartment Song” from Full Moon Fever

Adam Faucett “Benton” from Blind Water Finds Blind Water

Aimee Mann “Driving Sideways” from Bachelor No 2

Sam & Dave “Can’t You Find Another Way” from The Best Of Sam & Dave

Possessed By Paul James “Songs We Used to Sing” from There Will Be Nights When I’m Lonely

Hayes Carll “Down the Road Tonight” from Little Rock

4H Royalty “Rubber City Girl” from Colossalalia

Sam Cooke “You send me” from The Best of Sam Cooke

American Aquarium “Katherine Belle” from Dances For The Lonely

McDougall “On the Mend” from McDougall

Ike and Tina Turner “Get You When I Want You” from Workin’ Together

Todd Snider “Lookin’ for a Job” from The Devil You Know

Glossary “Save Your Money for the Weekend” from Feral Fire

Booker T. Jones “The Bronx” from Road From Memphis

Otis Gibbs “Damn Me” from Grandpa Walked a Picketline

Lucero “The Last Song” from Tennessee

Charlie Parr “Empty Out Your Pockets” from Stumpjumper

Ajax Diner Book Club – 3/16/15 KRFC Ft. Collins CO

 

Maggie Bjorklund “Dark Side of the Heart” from Shaken

Bob Frank “Wino” from Bob Frank

Charlie Parr “Cheap Wine” from Rooster

Kris Kristofferson “Sunday Mornin Coming Down” from Essential Kris Kristofferson

Matt Woods “Deadman’s Blues” from With Love From Brushy Mountain

Lucero “She’s Just That Kind Of Girl” from Rebels Rogues & Sworn Brothers

Otis Redding “I’ve been loving you too long” from History Of Otis Redding

Drag the River “Death of the Life of the Party” from You Can’t Live This Way

Aretha Franklin “Good To Me As I Am To You” from Lady Soul

Chuck Berry “Let’s Boogie” from The London Chuck Berry Sessions 

JD McPherson “head over heels” from Let the Good Times Roll

Curtis Harding “surf” from Soul Power

Tyler Keith  “No More Trains” from Alias Kid Twist

Ajax Diner Book Club – 3/2/15 KRFC Ft. Collins CO

Booker T & the M.G.’s “Big Train” from Soul Dressing

Adam Faucett “Melanie” from Blind Water Finds Blind Water

The Cedar Shakes “From The Guts” from This Western Road

James McMurtry “Ain’t Got a Place” from Complicated Game

Micah Schnabel “Middle Child Complex” from Not The Boy You Used To Be

Robert Chaney “Patch It Up” from Cracked Picture Frames

Charlie Parr “Dead Cat On The Line” from Rooster

Drive-by Truckers “Grandpa Rock City” from Dragon Pants

Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires “Can’t Get Right” from Arkedelphia

McDougall “Restless Friend” from McDougall

Pops Staples “Somebody Was Watching” from Don’t Lose This

The Soul Stirrers “Time Brings About A Change” from Joy In My Soul

Sly & the Family Stone “Everyday People” from Anthology

The Forty Fives “Go Ahead And Shout” from High Life High Volume

Superchunk “breaking down” from I Hate Music

Sour Boy Bitter Girl “Yellow Ribbon” from The Days After The Fire

[Playlist] Ajax Diner Book Club – 8.11.14 – KRFC Ft. Collins CO

Shovels & Rope “The Devil is All Around” from Swimmin’ Time

Otis Gibbs “Ghosts Of Our Fathers” from Souvenirs Of A Misspent Youth

Benjamin Booker “Violent Shiver” from Benjamin Booker

J Roddy Walston & the Business “Full Growing Man” from J Roddy Walston & the Business

Hayes Carll “Arkansas Blues” from Flowers & Liquor

Spirit Family Reunion “On That Day” from No Separation

Alejandro Escovedo “I Was Drunk” from Bourbonitis Blues

Devil Makes Three “Car Wreck” from Do Wrong Right

Austin Lucas “Alone In Memphis” from Stay Reckless

Charlie Parr “Jesus Is A Hobo” from Barnswallow

Possessed By Paul James “Sweet But Bitter Life” from There Will Be Nights When I’m Lonely

Cory Branan “Missing You Fierce” from No Hit Wonder

Playlist – Ajax Diner Book Club 7/7/14 KRFC Ft. Collins CO

Oh what fun I had playing these songs. I hope you have fun listening to them.

 

Southern Bitch “Don’t You Think It’s Time” from Snake In The Grass

Paul Westerberg “Knock It Right Out” from Mono

Drive-by Truckers “Why Henry Drinks” from Alabama Ass Whoopin’

Audra Mae “Ne’er Do Wells” from Audra Mae & the Almighty Sound

Sparklers “New, Used, Vintage” from Crying At The Low Bar

4H Royalty “Virtues, Spices & Liquors” from Where UFOs Go To Die

Charlie Parr “Gospel Plow” from Keep Your Hands On The Plow

Hold Steady “Stuck Between Stations” from Boys and Girls of America

Anna Tivel “One Thousand & One” from Before Machines

Kris Kristofferson “I Got A Life Of My Own” from Songs Of Kristofferson

Hard Working Americans “Blackland Farmer” from Hard Working Americans

Kierston White “Happy Noon Beers” from Don’t Write Love Songs

Lucero “On My Way Downtown” from Women and Work

 

CHARLIE PARR – HOLLANDALE

Charlie-Parr-Hollandale

We’ve said it before here at Nine Bullets, “this Charlie Parr record is not what you’ve come to expect from him.” The truly dedicated listener probably no longer has expectations for Parr and therefore enters each record with wonder.

Hollandale lists five “songs” yet I hear this album as a whole, closer to a classical symphony or Coltrane’s A Love Supreme than anything that would be associated with the Piedmont style of blues he generally plays. Hollandale is completely improvised and instrumental. The genesis of each of the five songs is a specific tuning on the twelve-string resonator guitar or banjo. Parr said he had specific imagery in mind as he played each movement but what comes across as I listen is more of a trance-like sensation that removes all imagery.

This is a record only for the adventuresome listener or anyone reading Nine Bullets that has a jazz nerd past. I don’t want to dwell on Coltrane comparisons but I think I remember a story from my jazz nerd days. Miles Davis would get annoyed with Coltrane when they played together because Coltrane would play the same note, or variations on that note, over and over again, so much so that Davis would literally nudge him out of it while onstage. There is the same mesmerizing hypnotic quality in Parr’s playing here. I’m not a musician so I can’t tell you about chord progressions or variations on a chord, but that’s what I’m guessing is happening here. It’s a freeing sensation.

Normally this is the part of the review where we list a couple of songs for you to sample but I’m not going to do that with Hollandale. If you listened to one song or part of one song you’re not doing the record justice. It wouldn’t be fair. I imagine there are places to stream Hollandale or you could buy it. Adventure awaits.

Official Site, On Facebook, Buy Hollandale

SPOTIFY THIS: THE NINEBULLETS.NET FEBRUARY 2012 SPOTIFY PLAYLIST

I am posting the February playlist a day early cause I’m not too sure I’m gonna be close to a computer at all tomorrow. This playlist features every band that was featured on ninebullets in the month of February that was also on Spotify. I hope you enjoy it and if you do, pass it along to some friends. Like I keep saying, every new pair of ears these bands reach is a potential fan/head at show.

This month’s playlist features: American Aquarium, Charlie Parr, Damion Soumi and The Minor Prophets, Joe Pug, the V-Roys and a few others. So, when you’ve got 2 hours to kill, give this a listen:

The Ninebullets.net February 2012 Spotify Playlist

Some other music streams we produce:
The Ninebullets.net Podcast (published monthly(ish))
Ninebullets Radio Archive (airs weekly on Thursday nights on 88.5 WMNF Tampa)

PLAYLIST: NINEBULLETS RADIO 02.16.12

Ninebullets Radio is a radio extension of the blog ninebullets.net that airs every Thursday night in Tampa, Florida on WMNF 88.5 FM at 10pm Eastern. The show is archived for one week after it’s original air date and is available for streaming here. Also, don’t forget to head over to Facebook and like the Ninebullets Radio page.

Below is the playlist for February 16, 2012

01. Todd Farrell – Ninebullets Radio Intro
02. Blue Mountain – Midnight in Mississippi
03. The Whipsaws – Jessie Jane
04. The Takers w/Austin Lucas – Mama Tried
05. Matt Woods – Port St. Lucie
06. Damion Suomi – Ghost
07. Slim Cessna’s Auto Club – This Is How We Do ThingsIn The Country
08. Shooter Jennings – Daddy’s Hands
09. Fifth On The Floor – Distant Memory Lane
10. Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires – Righteous, Ragged Songs
11. The Gaslight Anthem – Even Cowgirls Get The Blues
12. McDougall – When God Dips His Love In My Heart
13. Charlie Parr – Gospel Plow
14. The Coloradas – Red Dress
15. The Devil Makes Three – Old No. 7
16. Scott H. Biram – Sinkin’ Down

Bold = Request

You can download Ninebullets Radio here

P.S.: If you like this show, do me a favor and post about it on your Facebook/Twitter/Blog. It’ll do a lot to help these bands reach new ears…and in the end, that’s what this is all about. It’ll also help bring the existence of the radio show to more people’s attention & the more people there are listening/paying attention to the show the more likely it is to stay on the air.

Episode 59: aired 02.16.2012

CHARLIE PARR – KEEP YOUR HANDS ON THE PLOW

I don’t fall into that line of thinking that says you have to believe in god in order to enjoy some gospel music but over the years I’ve received a few emails that would suggest some do. Typically they reduce down to, “Dude! You don’t even believe in god but you’re (usually that is spelled your) saying you love that song. Which is it?” My usual response is something along the lines of, “You’re correct. I also don’t believe in killing people but I loves me the fuck out of some gangsta rap.” Usually, that immediately puts an end to the email exchange and by mentioning it at the head of this piece I am hoping to pinch that bullshit off at the bud.

Moving on…

Charlie Parr plays a self-taught version of the Piedmont Blues that sounds like it’s hopped right off an Al Lomax field recording and into your living room. With a minimalist approach, Charlie sings about everyday people going through everyday suffering. He has seven albums of (mostly) original music to his name with last year′s Cheap Wine being his latest. Charlie decided to do the all traditional and mostly gospel route with his latest album, Keep Your Hands On The Plow. Now, I’m not gonna lie to you. I love this cd but I’m not sure it’s the best place to get your feet wet if you’re a Parr newbie. That said, if you like minimal, sometimes haunting and always pure gospel/blues then you might have just read about the newest album in your heavy rotation list. Good starting point or not, Keep Your Hands On The Plow is Essential Listening.

Charlie Parr – Gospel Plow
Charlie Parr – God Moves On The Water
Charlie Parr – Blessed Be The Name

Charlie Parr’s Official Site, Charlie Parr on Facebook, Charlie Parr on Spotify, Buy Keep Your Hands On The Plow