Charlie Parr is an American country blues musician. Born in Austin, Minnesota, he spent part of his childhood in Hollandale before starting his music career in Duluth. His influences include Charlie Patton, Bukka White, Reverend Gary Davis, Dave Van Ronk, and Mississippi John Hurt.
Since 2002, Duluth-based Charlie Parr has released more than a dozen albums exploring traditional blues and folk songwriting. His latest, “Last of the Better Days Ahead,” released on the Smithsonian Institution’s nonprofit record label.
“’Last of the Better Days Ahead’ is a way for me to refer to the times I’m living in. I’m getting on in years, experiencing a shift in perspective that was once described by my mom as ‘a time when we turn from gazing into the future to gazing back at the past, as if we’re adrift in the current, slowly turning around.’ Some songs came from meditations on the fact that the portion of our brain devoted to memory is also the portion responsible for imagination, and what that entails for the collected experiences that we refer to as our lives. Other songs are cultivated primarily from the imagination, but also contain memories of what may be a real landscape, or at least one inspired by vivid dreaming. The album represents one full rotation of the boat in which we are adrift—looking ahead for a last look at the better days to come, then being turned around to see the leading edge of the past as it fades into the foggy dreamscape of our real and imagined histories.”
Check out the official music video for “Last of the Better Days Ahead,” the title track and first single off from Charlie’s Smithsonian Folkways debut: