Charlie Parr

An easily confused and very shy individual, Charlie Parr has been traveling around singing his songs ever since leaving Austin Minnesota in the 1980s 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. Resonator fueled folk songs from Duluth Minnesota.

Charlie Parr is the eponymous new album by the Minnesota-based folk blues artist the same name. The album is a collection of new songs and new studio versions of classics/audience favorites from throughout Parr’s career and was released September 27, 2019 on Red House Records. Recorded at Pachyderm Studio in Canon Falls, MN, Charlie Parr features Charlie’s trademark resonator guitar and 12-string with co-producer Liz Draper on bass, longtime collaborator Mikkel Beckmen on percussion, Jeff Mitchell on electric guitar, accordion, organ, backing vocals, and Dave Hundrieser on harmonica.

The album is an honest and raw recording of Parr reflecting on himself and his career up to this point. It’s a musical reckoning that came after a freak accident less than a year ago that forced him to relearn how to play guitar, causing him to take stock of the songs he’s written over his lifetime. Charlie Parr is a stunning folk record that will surely stand the test of time, just like the man himself.

The accident on August 3, 2018 could have put an end to Parr’s career. Only a month earlier he had made his first appearance at the Newport Folk Festival, bookending a summer year of touring and career highpoints. Then, while skateboarding with his daughter along Lake Superior, he hit pavement. His right shoulder was busted into pieces and his ability to play guitar on stage again was suddenly in question. But, when playing the guitar is intertwined with who you are, not playing really isn’t an option.

He underwent surgery that left him with a metal plate and eight pins holding his reconstructed shoulder together. Within days, as soon as he could tabletop his guitar across his lap, Parr was playing again. Three weeks later he made a pain-filled return to the stage with an appearance on the Live from Big Top Chautauqua radio show. “It’s the defining thing in my life,” Parr says. “When you think about yourself, you think, ‘That’s what I am. I’m the guy that plays guitar.’ So what happens when that gets stripped out? If there’s any way you can keep doing it, you’re going to keep on.”

But not everything returned to the way it was; his outlook had been altered. “I’m not really that interested in careerism,” Parr says. “Part of the effect of the accident was a reaffirming of what’s really important to me. That’s not a music career, it’s just making music. That’s what counts the most — having pure motives and loving intention.”

By the time Parr hit the road again, he was reinvigorated to play music in a way he had not been for some time. He started digging out songs from early in his career. “I can revisit any of them I want and meditate on what it was like to be seven years old again, curious about the guitar, obsessed with music and hoarding bike parts,” he says. “I can relive all the joyful times I had with my friends and family. I can grieve all over again my Dad’s passing; I can feel my stomach turn at the mountains of regret that I’ve amassed and the people I’ve hurt when I’ve been too self-absorbed to take better care of my actions, but I can’t change it.

“Songs are a different kind of history though, they’re not subject to the rules of time, they never died and they never will, and they grow and evolve right along with the rest of me.” Parr had never really stopped playing those songs completely and, along the way, they had matured along with him. He wanted a chance to record them again to capture what they had become. “I recorded some of those songs almost 20 years ago and, when I think about what my mind was like at that time, it’s not what it is now,” he explains. “In a way, I’ve been re-writing them over and over again for the past two decades.”

By 2019, Parr is back on his grueling international tour schedule, mended and reinvigorated, covering the entire country alone in his car, occasionally cooking his vegan meals on his car manifold. It’s a lonely existence that leaves a lot of time for reflection and reminiscing. Charlie Parr is the first album -- and there are 13 others -- that Parr he felt like putting his name on. It’s a bit of the new, a bit of the old, and a bit of what’s motivated and moved him. Most importantly, it’s an audio tour of his life and career to date and a celebration of more songs and stories to come.

Past Shows


Jan
31
st
2021
First Avenue
Jan
31
st
2021
First Avenue

Charlie Parr + friends

Sunday Residency Livestream — Live from First Avenue
Jan
24
th
2021
First Avenue
Jan
24
th
2021
First Avenue

Charlie Parr + friends

Sunday Residency Livestream — Live from First Avenue
Jan
17
th
2021
First Avenue
Jan
17
th
2021
First Avenue

Charlie Parr + friends

Sunday Residency Livestream — Live from First Avenue
Jan
10
th
2021
Livestream
Jan
10
th
2021
Livestream

Charlie Parr + friends

Sunday Residency Livestream — Live from First Avenue
Jan
3
rd
2021
Livestream
Jan
3
rd
2021
Livestream

Charlie Parr + friends

Sunday Residency Livestream — Live from First Avenue
Jan
26
th
2020
Turf Club
Jan
26
th
2020
Turf Club

Charlie Parr

with Ingeborg von Agassiz
Jan
19
th
2020
Turf Club
Jan
19
th
2020
Turf Club

Charlie Parr

with Al Scorch
Jan
12
th
2020
Turf Club
Jan
12
th
2020
Turf Club

Charlie Parr

with Todd Albright
Jan
5
th
2020
Turf Club
Jan
5
th
2020
Turf Club

Charlie Parr

with Surprise Guest
May
18
th
2019
Mainroom
May
18
th
2019
Mainroom
Jan
27
th
2019
Turf Club
Jan
27
th
2019
Turf Club

Charlie Parr

JANUARY 2019 SUNDAY RESIDENCY
with Tommy Santee Klaws
Jan
20
th
2019
Turf Club
Jan
20
th
2019
Turf Club

Charlie Parr

JANUARY 2019 SUNDAY RESIDENCY
with Jeff Mitchell
Jan
13
th
2019
Turf Club
Jan
13
th
2019
Turf Club

Charlie Parr

JANUARY 2019 SUNDAY RESIDENCY
with Amanda Standalone
Jan
6
th
2019
Turf Club
Jan
6
th
2019
Turf Club

Charlie Parr

JANUARY 2019 SUNDAY RESIDENCY
with Kyle Ollah
Nov
17
th
2018
Palace Theatre
Nov
17
th
2018
Palace Theatre

Charlie Parr

with Ghost of Paul Revere and Jeff Mitchell
Jul
7
th
2018
TRAMPLED BY TURTLES
Jul
7
th
2018
TRAMPLED BY TURTLES

Trampled by Turtles

with Bad Bad Hats, Charlie Parr, The Last Revel and more!
Jan
28
th
2018
Turf Club
Jan
28
th
2018
Turf Club

Charlie Parr

JANUARY 2018 SUNDAY RESIDENCY
with Joseph Huber
Jan
21
st
2018
Turf Club
Jan
21
st
2018
Turf Club

Charlie Parr

JANUARY 2018 SUNDAY RESIDENCY
with Chicago Farmer
Jan
14
th
2018
Turf Club
Jan
14
th
2018
Turf Club

Charlie Parr

JANUARY 2018 SUNDAY RESIDENCY
with Feeding LeRoy
Jan
7
th
2018
Turf Club
Jan
7
th
2018
Turf Club

Charlie Parr

JANUARY 2018 SUNDAY RESIDENCY
with Superior Siren
Apr
7
th
2017
Mainroom
Apr
7
th
2017
Mainroom

Elephant Revival

with Charlie Parr and Dead Horses
Jan
29
th
2017
Turf Club
Jan
29
th
2017
Turf Club

Charlie Parr

JANUARY 2017 SUNDAY RESIDENCY
with Feeding LeRoy
Jan
22
nd
2017
Turf Club
Jan
22
nd
2017
Turf Club

Charlie Parr

JANUARY 2017 SUNDAY RESIDENCY
with Dumpy Jug Bumpers
Jan
15
th
2017
Turf Club
Jan
15
th
2017
Turf Club

Charlie Parr

JANUARY 2017 SUNDAY RESIDENCY
with Dave Simonett
Jan
8
th
2017
Turf Club
Jan
8
th
2017
Turf Club

Charlie Parr

JANUARY 2017 SUNDAY RESIDENCY
with Mother Banjo
Sep
17
th
2016
Historic Hall’s Island
Sep
17
th
2016
Historic Hall’s Island

Trampled by Turtles

with The Arcs, Andrew Bird, Jake Bugg and more!
May
22
nd
2016
Indeed Brewery
May
22
nd
2016
Indeed Brewery

WHIRLYGIG 2016

with Charlie Parr, Superior Siren, MATT LATTERELL and more!
Jan
31
st
2016
Turf Club
Jan
31
st
2016
Turf Club

Charlie Parr

with Wild Hands
Jan
24
th
2016
Turf Club
Jan
24
th
2016
Turf Club

Charlie Parr

with Superior Siren
Jan
17
th
2016
Turf Club
Jan
17
th
2016
Turf Club

Charlie Parr

with Matt Arthur
Jan
10
th
2016
Turf Club
Jan
10
th
2016
Turf Club

Charlie Parr

with Amanda Standalone
Jan
3
rd
2016
Turf Club
Jan
3
rd
2016
Turf Club

Charlie Parr

EVERY SUNDAY IN JANUARY
with Matt Sowell
Jul
18
th
2015
Turf Club
Jul
18
th
2015
Turf Club
Nov
7
th
2014
Turf Club
Nov
7
th
2014
Turf Club

Charlie Parr

with Wild Hands and Matt Ray
May
9
th
2014
Turf Club
May
9
th
2014
Turf Club

Charlie Parr

with Matt Andersen and Corpse Reviver
Apr
19
th
2013
Mainroom
Apr
19
th
2013
Mainroom

Trampled by Turtles

TRAMPLED BY TURTLES Celebrates 10 Years
with Erik Koskinen and Charlie Parr
Apr
6
th
2012
Mainroom
Apr
6
th
2012
Mainroom

Pert Near Sandstone

with Elephant Revival and Charlie Parr
Jul
23
rd
2011
Cabooze Outdoor Plaza
Jul
23
rd
2011
Cabooze Outdoor Plaza

Trampled by Turtles

with Roma di Luna and Charlie Parr
Feb
28
th
2011
Mainroom
Feb
28
th
2011
Mainroom

More Shows

May
27
th
Fine Line
Cancelled

Waxahatchee

with Ohmme
Apr
24
th
First Avenue

Watsky

Aug
14
th
Turf Club

Nicole Atkins

Jun
14
th
Fine Line

Joywave