An easily confused and very shy individual, Charlie Parr has been traveling around singing his songs ever since leaving Austin, Minnesota in the 1980’s in search of Spider John Koerner, whom he found about 100 miles north at the Viking Bar one Sunday night. The experience changed his life, made him more or less unemployable, and brings us to now: 13 recordings, 250 shows a year or more, 200,000 miles on a well broke in Kia, and a nasty fear of heights.
Playing everything from a mule resonator to a fretless open-back banjo, Charlie Parr often plays in the Piedmont blues style. He has many acclaimed singles including “1922” and “Just Like Today” which was featured in the closing credits of the Australian drama Red Hill. His most recent album is titled Dog, which he wrote and recorded while in a pretty dark place.
“Over the past couple years I’ve been dealing and continue to deal with clinical depression, and the songs on Dog all seem to reflect a little of my state of mind about that.”
Charlie originally planned to do two records: one by himself and one with a large ensemble. However, this idea ended when he crashed into another bottom and cancelled everything he was working on. The realization then came that he needed to record the songs and move forward. After a recording session at Creation Audio in Minneapolis and having some friends listen to the music, he decided to release the album in 2017. Charlie joined us in the attic lounge at historic War Memorial Auditorium to play us some songs off of Dog and discuss the meaning behind each one.
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