When the Devil Goes Blind

by Charlie Parr

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1.
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
2.
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’
3.
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
4.
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
5.
6.
1890 03:11
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”
7.
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
8.
Mastodon 03:26
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
9.
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
10.
11.
Last Day 03:29
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

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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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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