CD Review: Charlie Parr's 'Jubilee'
Charlie Parr is nothing if not prolific. Sure, he may be one of the most talented musicians to ever come out of the Twin Ports -- but can you believe he's already releasing a new album?...
Charlie Parr is nothing if not prolific. Sure, he may be one of the most talented musicians to ever come out of the Twin Ports -- but can you believe he's already releasing a new album?
Coming just months after he dropped the live album "Backslider," Parr is back with his sixth LP, "Jubilee," and -- let's not mince words -- his most enduring set yet.
Instead of just relying on his laurels -- like, say, Ryan Adams (which I'll get to) -- Parr has been working hard to incorporate more musicians (and, as a result of this, more instruments) into his sound.
While not a total departure by any means, "Jubilee" is simply the sound of a workhorse expanding his sound.
Things start out brightly with the title track, a duet with his wife, Emily. Even upon first listen, you come to the conclusion that these two should do a lot more work together down the road. One just has to ask: "How can they squeeze so much talent into one little house?"
But the fun doesn't stop there. There are at least two more collabs to get all the local boys and girls screaming.
First up is "Just Like Today," which features Dave Simonett, frontman of the nationally celebrated Trampled by Turtles, on guitar and harmony vocals. They work well together, very well. (Keep that in mind in case TBT breaks up and you think your world is coming to an end....)
The other is the ominous "Twenty-Nine." Here Parr is joined by If Thousands' Christian McShane, who plays -- at least according to the liner notes -- a "cello-like object." Whatever it is, it adds a layer of melancholy to an already-dreary tune.
The highlights for this reviewer, though, are the urgent, foot-stompin' Triple Crown of "You Can't Win," "V8 Ford Blues" and "Jesus on the Mainline."
When Parr and washboard aficionado Mikkel Beckmen get together to record in Dave Hundrieser's garage -- no joke -- there is sweet, sweet music to be made.
To catch up with the workaholic (and for some free MP3s to sample), visit www.charlieparr.com .