CD Review: Charlie Parr



charlieparrphoto2005The sticker says “Folk/county- blues artist”.

I think the marketing department are  afraid of calling it bluegrass- blues, because not many of us are willing to give bluegrass a try because of the stereotypes of hillbillies and rednecks it evokes.

Charlie Parr does has influence from all the styles of music created in the back country of America, but he takes what some people abuse and shows us the beauty that is inherent in any earthy and soulful sound.

With strong lyrics and a wonderfully evocative sound Charlie transfers you to a place where not all hillbillies only have one tooth named “chomper”.

Stereotypes aside Charlie Parr has a gospel influence, and mix that with John Lee Hooker style 12 bar blues and you might come close. His music was described to me as raw, but I disagreed. I would call it stripped back, with little in the way of instrumentation to support his music Charlie must be good at what he does to make it sound so damn good. Professing to be “true monophonic sound live to tape” this album shows Charlie Parr at his singular best.

“Adrift In Lake Superior At Sunrise” takes you there. I can see the shore with the sky starting to lighten as the sun slowly wakens from its sleep to once more bring us its glorious light. The cool crisp air that makes your breath live as it forms clouds from your mouth. The gentle rocking of the boat as the morning breeze forces you to pull your jacket tighter against its slightly biting chill.

With “Farmer” Charlie takes us into the plight of people on the land all over the world. “And the wind blows the topsoil to the sea, what remains is barren and grey.” Charlie grieves too us, and what farmer does not feel that same pain.

If you like your music acoustic but say Pffftt to country and Pffftt to bluegrass I would suggest putting this album in your headphones and seeing how quickly Charlie Parr’s emotive voice and soulful music converts you to a believer.


Picture sourced from

P.S. Talking miss heard lyrics. I thought the lyric in “Last Payday At Coal Creek” was “Peggy Oh Peggy comes to Coal Creek tomorrow” ….. Huh?…..Then I figured it out. Am I quick or what.


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