Carondelet Guy doesn’t mess around. The very first line of his debut solo 45 sets the scene, that he’s “living by the river on Minnesota Street…” That would maybe be enough to tell some folks all they need to know, but he goes on to describe his neighbor, cover star Mr Henry (who gave the record its title), & from there on out you know you’re gonna get that “Real Talk.” You’ve got Rare Breed’s tale of a troubled teen that C-Guy worked with in Springfield MO, you’ve got the ambivalent situational morality of The Day My Drug Dealer Went To Jail, & you’ve got the understanding homage to the Dirty Drunk Hoosier. You’ll get the jokes on the first listen, but then you’ll get that these are real people being sung about. This is folk music at its most honest, sung by someone blurring the lines between observer & participant. With only acoustic guitar & voice, & with a minimum of chord changes, C-Guy’s sound would maybe get a little same-y over the course of a full length LP, but as a 45 it holds together quite nicely. I both love it as is, & wonder what a full band Carondelet Guy would sound like.
Answer: It would probably sound something like 1993’s “Indianapolis” 45 from post-Chicken Truck, pre-Bottle Rockets frontman Brian Henneman. Released by Rockville Records, surely due to the backing band on the record, then Rockville Records artists Uncle Tupelo, the record is a roots-rock tale of small town woes, broken down vans, rising rivers, & neighbors who share so many of your same ideals, but then have to throw that stupid rebel flag into the mix. Henneman has never shied away from simultaneously upholding & upending the notions of what small town folks are really like. Most of the sound of what later became the Bottle Rockets can be found on this 45, & 20+ years later they’re still going strong. May Carondelet Guy keep rocking that Real Talk as long, too.
Bottle Rockets version of Indianapolis
Carondelet Guy-The Day My Drug Dealer went To Jail