When the Devil Goes Blind

by Charlie Parr

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03:11
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03:26
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03:29

about

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.

Reviews
"Parr ensures that even when some tracks sound similar in the tracklisting, each is engaging in their own right. His playing is intricate and creative, seemingly never drawing musical breath until the final chord rings out – particularly evident on the rollicking 'South of Austin, North of Lyle' and 'I Was Lost Last Night'." - Faster Louder

"Opening with the gently rollicking ‘I Dreamed I Saw Jesse James Last Night’ which charmingly references Australia’s own Ned Kelly, the album chugs along and quickly establishes a near-perfect rhythm, veering between the reflective fingerpicking of ‘For the Drunkard’s Mother’ and a hard-driving, infectious foot stomping ‘Ain’t No Grave Gonna Hold My Body Down’, an exhilaratingly impressive take on a traditional standard." - RTR FM

credits

released July 26, 2010

Recorded at Wild Sound Studio in 2010 by Matthew Zimmerman and produced by Bo Ramsey. Mixed by Tom Tucker.

All songs by Charlie Parr except tracks 5 & 10 trad. arr. Parr

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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
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Track Name: I Dreamed I Saw Jesse James Last Night
see that train runnin’ fast rollin’ down the line
see that train rollin’ down the line
I lived by these tracks nearly all my life

there’s money in there rich folks and mail that I’ll never see
there’s money in there that I’ll never see
can’t ride no train ‘less the poor boy rides for free

work all day slave away but my money’s not my own
work all day but my money’s not my own
just feed the kids, and the rest goes on the loan

when I sleep at night toss and turn dream about Jesse James
when I sleep at night dream about Jesse James
we’d hold up that train, brother and then just ride away

when I lay awake stare and ache Ned Kelly’s on my mind
when I lay awake Ned Kelly’s on my mind
pull up those tracks, and just let them rich folks ride

I put on my boots and my hat and whispered my wife’s name
I put on my boots and whispered my wife’s name
got my .410 and went to meet the train

I’m on the track rifle cocked but she ain’t slowin’ down
I’m on the track but she ain’t slowin’ down
she ain’t gonna stop, well I hope I’m heaven bound
Track Name: South of Austin, North of Lyle
There was an old man name of Rudy Moen
80 acres was all he owned

Old Rudy’s clothes didn’t fit him right
Fit for a man ‘bout twice his size

He could wear ‘em when he was young
Back then farmin’ was all he done

Had no wife and he had no kids
Raising corn was all he did

Now he sits and smokes his pipe
Has a sip of whisky every night

Here comes the county cuz they want his land
It done gone fallow and that won’t stand

Rudy won’t go and he just can’t stay
That county judge gonna put him away

Social worker came by but Rudy ain’t home
‘We can’t just leave him out here all alone’

They found old Rudy down in the shed
hanging on a rope tied round his neck

Note in his pocket this is what it said
‘Can’t have my home I’d rather be dead’
Track Name: Where You Gonna Be (When the Good Lord Calls You Home)
Where you gonna be when the good lord calls you home
sitting at your desk or sitting on the throne
coughing up the remnants of last night’s fun gone wrong
Where you gonna be when the good lord calls you home

Where you gonna be when your name comes to the top
make up an excuse and tell it to the cops
ain’t nobody gonna listen until your lyin’ stops
Where you gonna be when your name comes to the top

Where you gonna be when the horsemen ride you down
foreclosing on the land of a farmer who is down
or jackin’ up the rent on a single mom downtown
Where you gonna be when the horsemen ride you down

How you gonna react to the moving hand of god
will you tremble in your shoes with your face down in the sod
will you run like hell and hope you don’t get caught
How you gonna react to the moving hand of god

Will your feet be in the sand when Jesus knocks upon your door
your dreams will wash away when you crash on through the floor
all you try to hold on to will never stand no more
Will your feet be in the sand when Jesus knocks upon your door

Will you be ready at the fountain for the lamb of god to call
will you be ready when what you thought was mighty starts to fall
will you call upon your neighbors and family and all
Will you be ready at the fountain for the lamb of god to call

Where you gonna be when the good lord calls you home
sitting at your desk or sitting on the throne
coughing up the remnants of last night’s fun gone wrong
Where you gonna be when the good lord calls you home
Track Name: For the Drunkard's Mother
now who would have thought
that a mother’s own son
would sleep ‘neath the bridge
bothered by none

and who would have known
how he’d fought in the war
and seen all the horrors
that war is known for

I’d never suppose
that his Mom would approve
of garbage can dinners
and boots lined with the news

and he grew to a man
but a little too fast
and before anyone knew
the world altered his path

how could she protect him
what could she do
for her own little son
when the world pushed it’s way through

she couldn’t bear to see it
her heart it did break
she couldn’t help her boy
and she just passed away

now he’s alone
more alone than before
with no roof to shield him
and rocks for his floor

and he hears her soft voice
beckoning him home
where he’ll always be loved
and never alone

who would have known it
known of her life
to find him like this
in the cold morning light
Track Name: 1890
I was in the burial party
that went back to Wounded Knee
with rock hammers and ice picks
to chip the dead ones free

After the massacre and the blizzard
they’d been frozen to the ground
mother’s and children and warriors
we found them all around

They were frozen in their agony
or shock and terror as they fled
the army’s giant howitzers
that sang their song of death

We found Chief Big Foot
his scarf around his face
the ice was frozen blood
from his neck down to his waist

The bloody footprints along the creek
did the ghost dance for the dead
and I hoped that it was true
what all the legends said

That there’ll be a new spring coming
and our families will come home
and game will fill the prairies
and the crops will always grow

We wrapped the bodies in red blankets
and placed them on our sled
and left their stacked up rifles
and the few things that they had

“Crazy Horse is buried here”
someone said as we were due to start
“just his heart” I told him, crying,
“it’s only just his heart”
Track Name: Up Country Blues
I’m going out to the country boys if I ain’t got a place to live (x2)
I’ll get outta this city boys where I ain’t had a dime to give

I’m going out to the country and find myself a little spot (x2)
build a little shack and sit in the yard and rock

he was staring at the fire just dreaming about the day (x2)
when he’d get up from this city life boys and just walk away

nobody was there to listen when he says ‘boys...’ (x2)
I’m going out to the country and get away from all this noise

he was 70 then but looked to be about 110 (x2)
sleeping rough every night dreaming up country to the end
Track Name: Mastodon
My daddy left home at 14 years
Gone to find his way
He left again when I was 25
This time gone to stay

I don’t feel welcome around here, boys
I don’t feel at home
This old world has brought me low
And made me to live all alone

I walked for miles and years
‘Til I was lost and alone
Like a mastodon buried in the snow
And never found it’s way home

I don’t feel welcome around here, boys
I don’t feel at home
This old world has brought me low
And made me to live all alone

Now I’m older and look like all the rest
Easy to be ignored
I’ll wander free on this side of the fence
That separates the rich and poor

I don’t feel welcome around here, boys
I don’t feel at home
This old world has brought me low
And made me to live all alone

When I die don’t you bury me at all
No coffin and no stone
Just leave me like a mastodon buried in the snow
Maybe someday I will be found

I don’t feel welcome around here, boys
I don’t feel at home
This old world has brought me low
And made me to live all alone
Track Name: I Was Lost Last Night
I was lost last night, I could not find my way back home (x2)
I sat down in the park, after all the light had gone

Memories flew away, and shadows took their place (x2)
A figure approached me, but I could not recognize his face

He struck me once, and I rose from my seat to run (x2)
I was on the path running hard, before I dared to look around

He had taken my place, on that lone park bench seat (x2)
And laying back his head, and putting up his feet
Track Name: Last Day
early one easter morning
christ had arose from the dead
we woke up with the dawn
and got ourselves dressed

we want to take him home
home is where he needs to be
so that’s what we told the doctor
and then they set him free

and our smiling was filled with fear
of what will always come
but we took the time as it was
since there was nothing left to be done

we lived right in the moment
drew out the clock best we could
still the time came for leaving
and our wishing did no good

early one easter morning
christ had arose from the dead
we woke up with the dawn
and got ourselves dressed