Charlie Parr
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Charlie Parr

Band Folk Americana


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Roustabout - 2008
Jubilee - 2007
Backslider - 2006
Rooster - 2005
King Earl - 2004
1922 - 2002, 2008, 2009



Charlie Parr is a folk and country blues musician, whose tools of a lived-in rasp of a voice, National resonator and 12-string acoustic guitars, a banjo are put to use in his own songs and re-workings of well-travelled numbers by Mississippi John Hurt, Charley Patton and other cohorts from another time. Charlie Parr's songs are inhabited by wandering gamblers, union workers, criminals and sinners, and tell stories that occupy the dark places where regret and remorse part company.

Charlie Parr's self-taught mix of slide, finger-picking and quasi-frailing guitar technique, together with a voice that's low on drama and high on impact, offers a modern take on timeless conditions.

Charlie Parr grew up in Austin, Minnesota, in a house filled with the music that would inform his style. His late father loved the music found on collections like the field recordings by Alan Lomax released on the Folkways / Smithsonian label and Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music. Hearing his father's first-hand accounts of growing up during the Depression, riding the freight trains and travelling to places like the Piedmont region (a North Carolina country blues mecca), made the music all the more visceral to Charlie. The child of union workers at Austin's Hormel plant – picket line fixtures during bitter labour strikes in the mid-1980s – Charlie himself got a first-hand view of what those old songs were talking about.

Charlie Parr has appeared on NPR's A Prairie Home Companion, performed at the Big Top Chautauqua, West Coast Blues and Roots Festival, Electric Picnic, End of the Road Festival, toured with Low and toured Australia nationally with Paul Kelly.