When he traded a Johnson 9.9 outboard motor for a beat-up Gibson 12-string back in 1979, Charlie Parr unknowingly and unofficially began a career as a world-class practitioner of traditional folk and Piedmont-style blues--though you'll never get him to admit it.
Born in Austin, MN, Charlie honed his craft living and playing in Minneapolis before moving up to Duluth to become a full-time musician. Now he travels a lot of the time, performing more than 200 shows a year. Charlie plays for people all over the United States and Europe, but he still saves most Wednesday evenings for the hometown crowd, performing at the Midweek Bracer at Fitger's Brewhouse in Duluth whenever possible.
With five studio albums under his belt, Charlie and a few friends took a stab at number six sometime last year only to have the sessions fall apart. A painful ligament problem was making playing difficult for Charlie and shaking his already fragile self-confidence. After some time away from the project, he re-recorded the songs alone and the result was magical. Partnering with Mark Trehus, owner of Treehouse Records, Charlie put out "When the Devil Goes Blind" on Mark's label Nero's Neptune. The album is possibly Charlie's finest work to date.
Charlie stopped by The Local Show to talk about recording the new record, his recent show at the Cedar Cultural Center with one of his idols, "Spider" John Koerner, and his upcoming tour with My Two Toms. He also performed a few songs from "When the Devil Goes Blind." See him in person Thursday, August 26th at The Minnesota State Fair when he stops by The Current booth to perform.
Songs performed: "Mastodon," "1890" and "Where You Gonna Be."
- Charlie Parr