Charlie Parr is a folk and country blues musician who is routinely labeled “authentic” and “the real deal” by fans and critics alike. Charlie shows up with a lived-in rasp of a voice, a National resonator, 12-string acoustic guitars, a banjo and a batch of his own songs as well as well-traveled numbers by Mississippi John Hurt, Charley Patton and other cohorts from another time. You sense that the gamblers, the union workers, the criminals and the sinners that wander around his songs are peering right over your shoulder.
Parr has sung about these folks at steady gigs in his hometown of Duluth, Minnesota, showcase performances like A Prairie Home Companion, roadhouses in Texas and Montana, punk clubs in Ireland and pubs in London. His self-taught mix of slide, finger-picking and quasi-frailing technique, together with a voice that’s low on drama and high on impact, can also be heard on four albums (including the acclaimed 2005 release Rooster). The stories he tells get into some dark spots; that place where regret and remorse part company. A bit of a modern take on timeless conditions. Check him out and you’ll probably agree – along with fans such as folk music icon Greg Brown, illustrator R. Crumb and fellow Duluthian Alan Sparhawk of Low – Charlie Parr is coming from a very real place.
Anti/Type shot the man at a performance in Paris in 2010, and we’ve got a couple of tracks to share with you. First up is ‘Rattlesnake’…
… followed by ‘Dead Cat On The Line’.