CD Reviews: Charlie Parr, the Tisdales, Rachael Kilgour and the second Homegrown compAnother local CD blowout: Charlie Parr's "Roustabout," the Tisdales' "Baker's Dozen," Rachael Kilgour's self-titled debut and the “Homegrown Rawk and/or Roll: Lindquist’s Mix” compilation.
By: Matthew R. Perrine, Budgeteer News
Charlie Parr strikes gold ... again
All right, this is getting sick.
I’ve been waiting for the last five years for Charlie Parr to slip up, but ... nothing.
It’s not that I wish any ill will upon the Northland favorite — I actually cherish his records like proof of a higher power — but no musician is infallible. Right?
Wrong, apparently. (Unless, of course, you’re not a fan of the Piedmont blues — then I suppose you’d reckon this whole fascination completely laughable.)
“Roustabout,” the Bob Dylan-lovin’ folkie’s seventh LP, is as great, grand and wonderful as all the rest.
While the fact that it was recorded in true monophonic sound* takes a few minutes to get used to, its songs are clearly some of his best.
Early standouts include “Midnight Has Come and Gone,” “Warmin’ by the Devil’s Fire” and the ain’t-it-cool “Far Cry from Fargo.”
Another one that can’t go without mention is “God Moves on the Water,” Parr’s take on the “Carnivale”-level public domain staple that closes out the album. This epic track features the talents of two Trampled by Turtles members, Dave Simonett and Ryan Young.
But enough cheerleading; by now you either know and love Charlie’s work or, well, what I said earlier about being a hater.
*When asked about this, Parr said it was just a preference: “I listened to it both ways, and it just sounds more like me in mono.”
“Roustabout” is out now. Samples should be up soon on www.charlieparr.com.
Tisdales debut lives up to expectations
Believe it or not, the Tisdales' debut is really, really ridiculously good.
I was a little worried, because the group set a dangerous precedent when it released the spotless “Faces” and “Brass Knuckles” single earlier this year.
But, rest assured, the remainder of “Baker’s Dozen” is every bit as — to plagiarize what I wrote back then — “all at once refreshing and timeless-sounding” as those tracks.
First, though, a quick biographical paragraph is probably in order: This “post old-school” local group stems from Tony Derrick (Giljunko/the Hotel Coral Essex) booking time up at Sparta Sound, the recording studio run by Rich Mattson (the Glenrustles/Ol’ Yeller). The two clicked, and, when the Hotel Coral Essex dissolved, the two two Northland luminaries combined forces. They’re rounded out by Jason “Kokes” Kokal (one of Derrick’s Hotel Coral Essex bandmates) and Derek Rolando (the Six 9’s).
Stellar lineup intact, the songs flowed forward. And, despite the fact that the writing credits are split about 50/50 between Derrick and Mattson, “Baker’s Dozen” flows naturally between its bookends (the Byrds-meets-Heartbreakers “Petty Things” and the unlisted “Stihl B. Rokken”).
In addition to those two, Mattson strikes gold with the aforementioned “Brass Knuckles” and, like a beast off a lesser-known Neil Young masterpiece, “Isn’t It Good?” And Derrick fares just as well, with “Faces,” “We’re the Ones” and “Find It in Me” all but eclipsing his back catalog’s highlights.
All in all, a strong case for the Tisdales being your new favorite band. Nine thumbs up.
“Baker’s Dozen” is out now. The Tisdales’ next scheduled show is New Year’s Eve at Pizza Luce. Visit www.myspace.com/wearethetisdales for details.
Under the tutelage of producer Haley Bonar and pal Sara Thomsen, Duluth’s Rachael Kilgour takes her earnest folk career to the next level with a self-titled album that’s more on than not. While the fledgling singer/songwriter makes a few questionable decisions along the way — namely enlisting a 7-year-old to provide backing vocals on two tracks — and the production is nowhere near as adventurous as Bonar’s own “Big Star,” “Rachael Kilgour” is still one of 2008’s most notable releases. A good place to start is “Baby, Maybe,” which is reminiscent of the go-get-’em country of the early ’90s. Includes contributions from cellist Kathy McTavish and dobro specialist/everyday hero Lance Rhicard. CD release shows will be held at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Dec. 12-13, at Harbor City International School. Cost is $15. Details at www.myspace.com/rachaelkilgour.
Like “Homegrown Rawk and/or Roll: Starfire’s Mix” before it, the festival’s second compilation lets someone integral to the Duluth scene (this time around it’s Mark Lindquist, of Giljunko/Little Black Books/Shaky Ray Records/etc. fame) cherry-pick a handful of their favorite tracks from groups that have played Homegrown. Failure to highlight any of Marc Gartman’s contributions to the scene notwithstanding, Lindquist’s picks are pretty decent. Personal favorites from the likes of Dave Mehling, the Alrights and Retribution Gospel Choir are included, as are ones I’m glad to have been introduced to (particularly Trampled by Turtles’ “Never Again” and the Supertacks’ “Sweat”). That said, Lindquist’s CD roams a little more off the beaten path than Scott “Starfire” Lunt’s, which came across like a local “greatest hits.” Still, another great primer for those new to the area who want to match names and sounds without breaking the bank. A release party for “Lindquist’s Mix” will be held at 9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 19, at Pizza Luce, in conjunction with Shaky Ray Records/Luce’s annual Bad Sweater Party. Admission is free; copies of the new Homegrown CD will be available for $8. The disc will also be available online at www.duluthhomegrown.com for $9.
Tags: budge a and e, arts and entertainment, perrine review-o-rama, charlie parr, rich mattson, tony derrick, rachael kilgour, haley bonar, mark lindquist, budgeteer, reviews, tisdales, duluth, northland, music, homegrown, festival, compilation, review