CHARLIE PARR

 

When the Devil Goes Blind Lyrics

Charlie Parr

Recorded in Wild Sound studio, my only real attempt at recording in a studio. I’d tried to record this batch twice before this and failed and then called Bo Ramsey who agreed to come and listen and had some great suggestions and helped me with mastering and gave me a lot of encouragement for trying to record a truly solo record. We were done in about 3 hours, no tracking, never a 3rd take, and only two 2nd takes, just me and a bureau drawer to kick my heel against. Then we went out for Indian food in what used to be a gas station.

I Dreamed I Saw Jesse James Last Night Lyrics

South of Austin, North of Lyle Lyrics

Where You Gonna Be Lyrics

For the Drunkards Mother Lyrics

1890 Lyrics

Up Country Blues Lyrics

Mastadon Lyrics

I Was Lost Last Night Lyrics

Last Day Lyrics

Song notes

I Dreamed I Saw Jesse James Last Night - For a little while I got so preoccupied by Ned Kelly that I drove everyone around me nuts. My Dad was that way a little bit about Jesse James. It’s romantic, I know, and the reality is terrible.

South of Austin, North of Lyle - There was a little town once near Austin where I grew up. It was Renova, I think, and it hasn’t been a town for a long time before I was born. But Dad knew the old farmer who owned the land it was on, and we’d go there and I could explore the place. There was a store (used to be the store) and the remnants of the elevator, and church, and lots of junk cars and junk junk and when yr 9 years old it’s heaven on earth. I can’t find it now, of course, any of it. I should at least keep looking though, right?

Where You Gonna Be (when the good lord calls you home) - Written in anger at myself.

For The Drunkard’s Mother - This is as true a song as I'm able to write, based around an old theme of the tramp in the street and the hymn of the drunkard's mother in all it's variations. This guy here, he's made of several guys that I've been lucky enough to know personally and learn from, has been pushed and kicked and used and abused by the world until he's done and given his all and now that the world has what it needed he's left to die. His last thoughts are of his Mother.

1890 - I read “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee” in one sitting and was pretty devastated by it and even moreso by the fact that most of it I’d never been told. I wrote this song with the intention of just getting it off my mind and not playing it for anyone. I’m not qualified/worthy of singing about something like this. I still don’t feel up to the task of singing it, but it’s mine, and this history makes me feel ashamed.

Up Country Blues - I wonder sometime if I’ll ever stop thinking about moving to somewhere quiet and being surrounded by woods and water and owning a tractor maybe it doesn’t even need to run I’d just sit on it and make motor sounds with my lips like I did when I was 5 and had a pedal tractor. Maybe that was the first and last tractor that I’ll ever own.

Mastodon - Another one for the old folks I knew but was scared of and then they were gone and I realized what I’d missed out on.

I Was Lost Last Night - A guy I knew got attacked one night and brutally beaten up. He was in the hospital for a while and walked with a terrible limp when he got out. He was homeless, and with our broken system of care for people living in poverty he was released to the streets with a baggie of meds and instructions to “keep his stitches clean”. The reason why he’d been attacked in the first place was because he’d chosen a place to sleep that had already been staked out by another man.

Last Day - This song is almost too self-explanatory.

Folk Songs

Ain’t No Grave (Gonna Hold My Body Down) - Brother Claude Ely’s storming version of this song is amazing. It shudders the walls at low volume. I never get tired of this song, or listening to any of the versions that have been recorded. Besides Ely’s I really like Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker’s version. When I recorded this, I was mixing their version and Ely’s a little I think. I hadn’t heard Johnny Cash’s version. If I had I wouldn’t have tried it.

Turpentine Farm - Comes from Catjuice Charlie and Pigmeat Pete, but the one I was hearing is from the Atomic Duo. I got to play a show with Mark Ruben down in Austin, Texas and he’s a hell of a musician and a great guy to boot. You all remember the Bad Livers, I hope. Here’s to them.

Charlie Parr 2

2010 publicity photos by Cassidy Peterson.

Links:
• Download When the Devil Goes Blind on Bandcamp
• Stream When the Devil Goes Blind on Spotify
• "Where You Gonna Be (When The Good Lord Calls You Home)" video
• "South of Austin, North of Lyle" video (TPT's Studio A)
• KUMD Live From Studio A session
Charlie Parr performs in The Current studio