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Easily the finest acoustic line-up in Aberdeen this year


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interesting music promotions present an evening of the finest acoustic folk/blues and country music for the discerning listener, featuring a magnificent line up of

Charlie Parr (Duluth USA)

Hayley Bonar (Duluth USA)

Chris Carroll (Aberdeen)

@ Dr Drakes

Sunday 5th Sept 2004

Doors 8pm

Entry 5



Whats the point in running a label if you cant indulge yourself once in a while with something you really love? Charlie Parrs music has been living in our stereo for the past six months and we firmly believe it should be living in yours too. Charlie Parr is from the same Duluth, MN music scene that spawned the likes of Low, Blacked Eyed Snakes, If Thousands and Haley Bonar. His music delves deep into the back roads of American folk music. Even though theres hints of Robert Johnson, Nick Drake and Will Oldham in his playing its the Harry Smith Anthology of American Folk Music that is the biggest inspiration of this lonely folk music. Recorded live to 2 track and previously issued by Shaky Ray Records of Duluth who describe it on their website as their finest moment. This is music at its most honest, ragged and stripped bare of any frills however the timeless songwriting shines through.

Comments about the CD:

"Charlie Parr is one of the greatest musicians and human beings I know. So many country-blues artists are crippled with retroism and purism, but he has brought wonder and excitement to this music. Even Charlie's foot coming down on the floor boards screams with more soul and life than most anything - past or future."

Alan Sparhawk, Low

"I saw Charlie Parr perform in Duluth, MN one freezing night in 2002. His set comprised of what I took to be a selection of traditional songs and folk covers. I went out the next day, bought his CD and listened in awe realising that all the songs I had heard that night were Charlie Parr originals. There is something real, pure and timeless about this music and from then on in Ive been smitten."

Richard Adams, Hood

Review from Comes With A Smile:

For all the folk, blues and country influences that can find themselves dotted through these pages, that inform a chord change here, an inflection there, few artists among them (if any) come close to locating the heart of traditional American music like Charlie Parr. His presence here is as incongruous as this Duluth, MN residents album arriving courtesy of a British label based in Leeds, yet hes followed a path taken by Duluths most famous son, one Robert Zimmerman, who traced his musical ancestry to Woody Guthrie-whose I Aint Got No Home finds an echo in Parrs Song for Loren B. and found champions in the likes of Alan Sparhawk of Low. (Song for Loren B. also evokes both Nick Drake in its tuning and progression, and the acoustic Jeff Tweedy.) But its the ghosts of Robert Johnson and the little known musicians of Harry Smiths Anthology of American Folk Music who are brought to life on Criminals and Sinners, the authentically aged recording methods and rudimentary instrumentation (Parrs lyrical guitar is augmented by washboard, gut bucket and harmonica) ensuring that the likes of I wonder How Long Til I Can Change My Clothes and Annie Melton sound perfectly at home alongside the traditional Going Up The Country and Troubled bout My Mother.

Haley Bonar


The push and pull of geographical ambivalence is also apparent in Bonar's debut, The Size of Planets, an album deeply concerned with the confusion and conflicting emotions of life in general, but life especially in a place like Duluth, beautiful and engaging but also fading, unsure of what to do with itself. Dylan saw the paint peeling on the sides of houses and took east; Low thought it might be better to stick around, raise a kid, and contribute to the music scene. Bonar still resides in Duluth, and the release of her album is a testament to Low's decision to remain in the city: it's being released by Alan Sparhawk's Chairkicker's Music label, and Bonar has recently joined Low on tour. A first listen to Planets makes clear what piqued Sparhawk's interest. Bonar possesses a voice that makes you sit down and listen, a voice that would make beautiful music no matter what she was singing. Amazingly, though, Bonar's voice is matched with a wit and gift for observation that are rare among any songwriter, let alone one that has yet to turn twenty. Her songs touch on regret, loneliness, and many, repeated attempts to correct these emotions with alcohol. The experiences told through these songs are common and very human, and transformed into something extraordinary through the simplicity and power of her performance. Her sound is, basically, familiar. The guitars are usually acoustic, although keyboards and beautifully recorded pianos surface throughout. However, she manages to move effortlessly beyond girl-with-a-guitar clichs through the consistent innovation in her songwriting and the freshness of her approach. "Drinking Again" is a prime example, as it covers what its title suggests, the relentless, pointless act of drinking away one's troubles. In someone else's hands, it could have been a bland folk song, or entirely heavy-handed, but Bonar's voice possesses a wryness that undercuts the essential sadness of the song, making it far more rich and interesting. There's humor all over the album, but there are also a number of songs that are capable of real, deeply felt emotion, such as "Go Away Angels", a slow, sad lament about hope and hopelessness. Without indulging in overstatement or hyperbole, Bonar is a truly exciting find, and someone who seems destined to break into a much broader audience. Her songs draw from familiar genres, but she makes the kind of music that sounds remarkably original despite its recognizable past. One hopes that as the world beckons, she manages to maintain the perspective and sensibility that has brought her this far; she is a songwriter and performer of potential greatness, one to put another feather in the cap of the fine city of Duluth.

Chris Carroll

Local singer songwriter Chris Carroll draws from eclectic range of influences,

bending Dylan song writing with Nashville style guitar playing.

A stunning new local talent!!

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that sounds excellent!

charlie parr is a great talent' date=' his technique is amazing!

chris carroll to is great, very talented player[/quote']

& don't forget Haley Bonar, who has toured the states on a few occasions

with Low. Alan Sparhawk thinks that much of her, he signed her to his Chairkickers

label. She is barely 20 & will be visiting the UK for the 1st time. She has Scottish

ancestry, so she is extremely excited about her two dates in Scotland.

When interesting music put on acoustic shows they are/will be special & different,

this one I am particularly excited about, so should the open minded music going public

in Aberdeen.

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"Open minded music going public" Where do they hide most of the time?

In front of TV's, computers, washing their hair or their dogs etc. Generally Aberdeen audiences have a reputation of being safe & conservative. They'll turn out in their thousands to see artists in a bloody rubbish tin shack @ the BOD, yet we constantly hear that our small audiences are brilliant, receptive warm & artists want to come back. "the further north out of london you get the better the audiences get".

I supose its a case of tapping into existing audience & letting them know something good

is happening at a venue they don't normally go to!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • 2 weeks later...
I second Dave's statement....it was a very nice way to spend a Sunday night. Great music' date=' as expected (now where can I get the sawn-off end of a shotgun to use as a slide, like Charlie Parr did????)[/quote']

Alan - rumour has it that a vibrator does an even better job than a shotgun slide....

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