Sing Out!’s Best of 2015

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Charlie Parr's Stumpjumper

Charlie Parr – Stumpjumper

label: RED HOUSE

Long a part of the spirited Duluth, Minnesota, music scene (Trampled By Turtles, Low), prolific folk blues singer, gripping songwriter and 12-string National resonator steel guitar, Dobro and fretless, open-back banjo master Charlie Parr went out-of-state for the first time to record his Red House debut – traveling to an electrified old outbuilding on rural Hillsborough, North Carolina’s storied Down Yonder Farm with his harmony singing wife Emily and fellow multi-instrumentalist Phil Cook (Megafaun, Hiss Golden Messengers), who also produced this gripping eleven-song project in three days last October with expert “field recording” sound and atmospheric mixing from Nick Peterson. It’s clear Parr has been listening to a lot of Charlie Patton, Bukka White, Leadbelly, Dock Boggs and Koerner, Ray and Glover records. After a health scare a few years ago, the scruffy looking Parr lives simply – a vegan diet and no alcohol – often cooking up rice and beans on his engine manifold on desolate cross-country drives as well as sleeping in his car. He’s well worth checking out if he heads your way. Stumpjumper is a great album for this year. — GVT

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