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There ain't no reason not to see Charlie Parr in Rochester

There ain't no reason not to see Charlie Parr in Rochester

To understand Charlie Parr is to take an inventory of his record collection.

When he is not performing his own material, Parr, a lifelong Minnesotan, can be found listening to rhthyms from early blues musicians — the likes of Lightnin’ Hopkins — that continue to inspire his own songwriting.

“That’s still the [music] that I go back to when I just sit down and pick up a guitar,” says Parr. “Those are the patterns that come out of me.”

Parr was exposed to the blues young. His entire family enjoyed listening to music and he remembers as a child sifting though his father’s records — searching for riffs that he could later emulate on his own guitar.

“In my dad’s record collection, there were blues records and those were the records that I got into,” says Parr, who grew up in nearby Austin and now lives in Duluth. “And that was the first time I ever wanted to play anything.”

The music that he absorbed when he was young has lived in his soul ever since. Over the past several decades, Parr has become a Minnesota musical hero — putting out 13 albums and attracting a loyal grassroots following. In 2018, he made his first appearance at the Newport Folk Festival, an experience he described as a milestone in his musical journey.

“I have become mindful about music,” Parr says of his career progression, “and I continue to explore and think differently about what I am doing.”

This Friday, March 15, Parr will take the stage at the Castle (old Armory), 121 North Broadway, Rochester, for a show hosted by My Town My Music.

For Parr, who describes himself as debilitatingly shy, the intimate third-store venue is an ideal setting for him to connect with the audience … though don’t mistake Parr’s gentle demeanor for a lack of intensity. As evidenced in the couple hundred performances he puts on each year, the foot-thumping, guitar-plucking songwriter can bring down the house.

Friday’s show will feature Parr, along with two other Minnesota-based performers, Barbaro and My Grandma’s Cardigan. A limited amount of tickets are still available. You can find more info on the show here.

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