Folk blues musician to play at Sleepy Creek

Folk blues musician to play at Sleepy Creek

FAIRMOUNT — Minnesota-based roots musician Charlie Parr will perform at 7 p.m. Saturday at Sleepy Creek Vineyards.

Tickets are $12 each for the show, which is for people 21 and older. Call 733-0330 to order tickets.

Parr performs original folk blues and traditional spirituals and has released 11 albums since 2000.

"It's the music of a self-taught guitarist and banjo player who grew up without a TV but with his dad's recordings of America's musical founding fathers, including Charley Patton and Lightnin' Hopkins, Woody Guthrie and Leadbelly," reads Parr's bio.

"With his long scraggly hair, father-time beard, thrift-store workingman's flannel and jeans, and emphatic, throaty voice, Parr looks and sounds like he would have fit right into Harry Smith's 'Anthology of American Folk Music.'"

In addition to his stomping foot, Parr plays an 1890 banjo he acquired after hearing Dock Boggs for the first time.

"I don't do claw hammer; I don't do Scruggs-style; it's just a version of me trying to play like Dock Boggs, I guess," Parr says in his bio.

He also plays two Nationals: a 12-string and a resonator. Parr became obsessed with the latter after seeing a photo of Son House playing one.

On most of his recordings Parr eschews the studio, recording instead in warehouses, garages, basements and storefronts, usually on vintage equipment. He often works with engineer Tom Herbers of Third Ear Studios in Minneapolis.

Parr draws his inspiration from Minnesota, where he grew up in Hormel, home of Spam. He now lives in Duluth, where he has found a supportive and thriving music scene — one member is Mimi Park of the alternative rock band Low; she and other musicians are featured on Parr's 2011 album of traditional songs, "Keep Your Hands on the Plow."

Parr also draws inspiration from his family background; both parents worked union jobs in the local meat factory.

"Every morning you'd hear the (factory) whistles blow. When I was a kid they had the stockyards and animals there, so you were surrounded by this atmosphere," Parr says. "My mom and dad would come home from work, their smocks would be covered by paprika and gore."

Parr performs an average of three or four shows a week year-round in the United States, Ireland and Australia, where his "1922 Blues" was used for a Vodafone mobile commercial and became a viral and radio success. Three of his songs are on the soundtrack of the 2010 Australian Western, "Red Hill."

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Topics (1):Music

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