Roustabout

by Charlie Parr

supported by
/
  • Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

     $7 USD  or more

     

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
01:52
9.
10.
11.
04:13
12.

about

Roustabout was recorded by Tom Herbers using a portable reel-to-reel normally used for movie soundtrack work. We recorded in Mikkel's front room, Dave's front room, the Clown Lounge (basement to the Turf Club in St. Paul), the lounge at Ed's (no name) Bar in Winona and generally had a great month bumming around Minnesota with this machine looking for quiet places to sit down and record. The fidelity is low, and the phonic is mono, getting us a lot of flack from radio stations but I like it alright anyway. The instrumental track, "adrift in lake Superior at sunrise" has also garnered a lot of reverse praise, and was achieved by scraping a violin bow over the strings of my National. I think it's still my favorite track from this record, even if I'm all alone in that.

Reviews
"Of the twelve tracks nine are Parr originals and three are traditionals. That you can’t tell which songs are originals and which are not says a lot for just how authentic Parr’s song writing is. Listen to ‘Farmer’ with Dave Hundreiser on harmonica and Parr growling away and tell me you are not listening to some genuine blues performer." - Penny Black Music

"You're not gonna find any FM radio-friendly tracks amongst the 45 minutes of Roustabout, but that's hardly the measure of an album, and this is one where its authenticity speaks for itself." - Soulshine

credits

released November 20, 2008

National Steel-bodied guitar, 12-string guitar, banjo, vocals – Charlie Parr
Washboard, Bass Drum, Percussion [Chopsticks, Boards, Shovel & Hammer] – Mikkel Beckmen
Harmonica – Dave Hundreiser
Vocals on "Walk Around My Bedside" by Emily Parr
Additional guitar and vocals on "God Moves On The Water" by Dave Simonett
Fiddle on "God Moves On The Water" by Ryan Young

Engineered and mastered by Tom Herbers
Artwork by Shaun Chosa
Design & All Things Web-related by Christian McShane

All songs by Charlie Parr except tracks 3, 9, & 12 trad. arr. Parr

tags

license

all rights reserved

feeds

feeds for this album, this artist

about

Charlie Parr Duluth, Minnesota

"Parr is scruffy and uncomfortable looking, with a longish beard and balding head. He dropped out of high school in the 1980s, but he looks older than that. He's pathologically deadpan in his delivery of in between song banter. The crowd really enjoyed his depressingly hilarious dead cat story. He never smiles." - Lucy Steigerwald

TOUR DATES: www.charlieparr.com/shows.html
... more

contact / help

Contact Charlie Parr

Streaming and
Download help

Track Name: Don't Send Your Child To War
I ain’t been but one little place and lived here all my life
I ain’t known but one woman and now she is my wife
Never been further than up the road to the town and back again
Never known but a handful of folks and them I call my friends

Now I’m going to leave here
Now I’m going away
Keep my fiddle tuned for me
I’ll need it some sweet day

Well the preacher said to my only son I’ll sign you up for war
You’ll fight for your life far from your home and never come back no more
Well my only son come home one day and we buried him up the hill
Next to his auntie and old grandma and dear old uncle bill

Now I’m going to leave here
Now I’m going away
Keep my fiddle tuned for me
I’ll need it some sweet day

Now I’m gonna go myself and see what’s it’s all about
Why’d they take a poor man’s son he was all I got
Who’s pockets are filled with gold and they don’t have to fight
Or leave home and say goodbye to their kids and worry on them all night

Now I’m going to leave here
Now I’m going away
Keep my fiddle tuned for me
I’ll need it some sweet day

I set up camp one day on the street where the rich man lived
He won’t come out and talk to me he don’t have the time to give
But’ll call the cops and say roustabout’s a-living on our place
So take him away and all his kind I don’t wanna see his face

Now I’m going to leave here
Now I’m going away
Keep my fiddle tuned for me
I’ll need it some sweet day

I wished I’d stayed to home and kept my son there too
You can give to the rich man all day long but he’ll never give back to you
So they can call me roustabout and do it all they please
Never will I stop for them or get down on my knees

Now I’m going to leave here
Now I’m going away
Keep my fiddle tuned for me
I’ll need it some sweet day
Track Name: Far Cry From Fargo
Eldon caught outta Portland with Fargo on his mind (x2)
Found an empty icebox and stuffed himself inside
They made good time to Billings but he hadn’t eaten in 3 days (x2)
Daren’t poke his head out they shook for tramps all along the way
His reefer was cut out in Dilworth but he still kept outta sight (x2)
He just couldn’t stop shaking but he stayed in the hole all night
When he finally climbed out of that icebox he was too weak too stand (x2)
He collapsed down to the gravel and prayed lord give me your hand
But the good lord didn’t hear him and the police found him first (x2)
The chief stared hard to his face and Eldon heard him curse
You’re the dirty rounder that shot his girl out west (x2)
We’ll send you back to see the judge about what little life you might have left
Eldon cried and confessed how he’d shot his girl was true (x2)
But he said get it right, you know I shot her boyfriend too
Track Name: Warmin' By The Devil's Fire
Rocky, Joe, and Bundy were sittin' near the pier
Drinkin' what they had and eatin' what was near
Telling all their stories though they’d heard 'em all before
Wonderin' what brought them here warmin' by the devil’s fire
Rocky says now boy’s you all know my tale
Thrown out by my wife and left to hit the rails
She took up with a younger man who had himself a car
Now here I sit with all of you warmin' by the devil’s fire
That ain’t nothing says Joe tossing his gravel to the sea
You can never beat the way that she did me
That car broke down one evening on the way to see her ma
She jumped in with a truck driver left me warmin' by the devil’s fire
Bundy says now fellas there ain’t no need to fight
You can’t blame the woman for doin' what she thinks is right
She stole that truck when she left me but it’s all the same
She’s down in the penitentiary, we’re warm by the devil’s fire
Come Rocky, Joe, and Bundy and all you sinners on the road
Pull up a piece of gravel let down your heavy load
Take a swig outta that bottle when it’s comin' by
And tell us all what has you warmin’ by the devil’s fire
Track Name: Midnight Has Come & Gone
Old woman sell clothes on the side of the road somewhere in Tennessee
I’m passing through on my way back east no one knows much about me
But they stop and stare and say who’s that as I drive along the road
And stop my truck along the way to rummage through that pile of clothes

If they ask you who I am don’t you tell em nothing
About my past out on the trail or anything that’s happened

I’ve got my ghosts and they travel with me everywhere I go
And remind me about things I’d rather forget but they just won’t let me go
I see myself out in the woods with a pistol that I stole
And shake my head and buzz my lips to shed the heavy load

If they ask you who I am don’t you tell em nothing
About my past out on the trail or anything that’s happened

I’m going back to Virginia and live up on the trail
Keep to myself but I’ve got no choice there’s never been another way
I’ve lived alone all my life even in my own neighborhood
I am a dark space that passes by you reach out but it does no good

If they ask you who I am don’t you tell em nothing
About my past out on the trail or anything that’s happened

I’ll disappear into the trees no one will see my face
As I peer out from the branches they’ll quicken up their pace
Or I’ll stare out from a photograph on the post office wall
They’ll stop and think and move along oblivious of me and all

If they ask you who I am don’t you tell em nothing
About my past out on the trail or anything that’s happened

I had a girlfriend once she was pretty and fair
I had a girlfriend once but she’s no longer there
I had a girlfriend once I wonder if she loved me
I had a girlfriend once in the shadows of the trees

If they ask you who I am don’t you tell em nothing
About my past out on the trail or anything that’s happened
Track Name: Come Along and See
Come along and see (x3) my lord
A long long time ago
Look at what we’ve done (x3) my lord
A long long time ago
The blood’s all in our eyes (x3) my lord
A long long time ago
Can we ever live it down (x3) my lord
A long long time ago
Time’s sure haven’t changed (x3) my lord
A long long time ago
Come along and see (x3) my lord
A long long time ago
Track Name: Cropduster
If you were 5 years old again
Would you turn your face to the air
To see the cropduster flying up there
Would you turn your face to the air
Would you stand in the wash of the wind
With your mouth open wide as your arms
Would you fall the ground and roll in the grass
Would you stand in the wash of the wind

I’m 5 years old
5 years old again

Would you wade in the water in the ditch
Or jump in the puddle in the drive
And to hell with your shoes and the cuffs of your pants
Would you wade in the water in the ditch
Would you hide underneath the sheets
And tune out your fear of the dark
And that tapping on the glass in the middle of the night
Would you hide underneath the sheets

I’m 5 years old
5 years old again

Run to hear the roar of the plane
See the leaves of the beans bending down
Feel the spray hit you in the face
And wait for it to come again
Today I was 5 years old
And I turned my face to the air
But the airplane’s roar turned to ash in my ear
And I’ll never grow young again
Track Name: The B&J Ain't Nothing But A Hole In The Ground
Gimme some whisky from the rail
Save your ice for the can
What time did I have to be home
Time to fill this glass again

The B&J’s nothing but a hole in the ground
Ground all soaked in booze
Our loser’s memory’s all bleary and wrong
The real last call is here for you

This place is just a gang of barstools
Stink of stale beer everywhere
Parking lot’s full of rusty pickup trucks
And a crooked pool table piled with broken chairs

The B&J’s nothing but a hole in the ground
Ground all soaked in booze
Our loser’s memory’s all bleary and wrong
The real last call is here for you

In the day we ate our lunch here
Washed it down with cold beer from the keg
Stopped back after our shift was done
Didn’t get home til after dark

The B&J’s nothing but a hole in the ground
Ground all soaked in booze
Our loser’s memory’s all bleary and wrong
The real last call is here for you

They used to say this was a bad old place
Mom told us all to stay away
When I grew up it wasn’t nothing at all
Another dark place to spend the day
Track Name: Farmer
I had to leave the farm when I was 15
Too many mouths for what we had
And I bummed my way to the coast
But things out there were just as bad

The wind blows the topsoil to the sea
What’s left is barren and grey

I came home to make my stand behind the plow
And odd jobs when the times got tight
But the work faces me every morning
And the worry haunts me all the night

The wind blows the topsoil to the sea
What’s left is barren and grey

I can’t bear to see kids starving on TV
Poor folks can’t afford enough to eat
Grain rots in storage for the price
The market has no worries for what’s right

The wind blows the topsoil to the sea
What’s left is barren and grey

When I’m dead the kids’ll dump my ashes
Into the oil of our Allis ‘53
And I’ll live just as long as that tractor
And die when the rust carries me to the sea

The wind blows the topsoil to the sea
What’s left is barren and grey

These crops have gone from green to brown
And my hair’s gone from brown to grey
And the sun will surely shine upon these fields
And I will kneel to pray for rain today

The wind blows the topsoil to the sea
What’s left is barren and grey