Veteran bluesman Charlie Parr sizzles on ‘Stumpjumper’ release

Charlie Parr‘Stumpjumper’
Charlie Parr (Red House)
4 stars out of 5

Bluesy songwriter/guitarist Charlie Parr has carved out a nice career for himself as a musician, with more than a dozen albums to his credit over the past 15 years. The Minnesota native spreads his wings a little more on latest release “Stumpjumper,” the first platter to feature Parr recording with a full band in the studio. It’s a terrific 11-track release that includes 10 originals and a stirring reading of traditional murder ballad “Delia.”

Charlie Parr CDParr has long said he draws his musical inspiration from his blue-collar hometown of Austin, Minn., whose claim to fame is being where most of the world’s Spam is manufactured.

“Every morning you’d hear the (factory) whistles blow, when I was a kid they had the stockyards and animals there, so you were surrounded by this atmosphere,” Parr recalls. “As a kid I thought it was kind of boring, but now I go and visit my mom and I think it’s the most beautiful landscape there is.”

The fleshed-out sound of having a full band in tow works wonders for Parr on “Stumpjumper.” From the opening notes of “Evil Companion” to the closing strains of “Delia,” he’s at the top of his game throughout. Additional keepers include “Empty Out Your Pockets,” “Remember Me If I Forget,” “On Marrying a Woman With an Uncontrollable Temper,” the title track and “Frank Miller Blues.” Highly recommended. (Jeffrey Sisk)

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