Many people play roots music, but few modern musicians live those roots like Minnesota’s Charlie Parr.
Recording since the earliest days of the 21st century, Parr’s heartfelt and plaintive original folk blues and traditional spirituals don’t strive for authenticity: They are authentic.
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.
Charlie Parr | Live at KEXP
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.”
Most of his recordings, including Roustabout (2008), Jubilee (2007), Rooster (2005), King Earl (2004), 1922 (2002) and Criminals and Sinners (2001) eschew typical studio settings. He has recorded in warehouses, garages, basements and storefronts, usually on vintage equipment, which gives his work the historic feel of field recordings and a quality as timeless as the frozen soil of Minnesota.
Charlie Parr | Live at Simple Folk Radio
Faith, though undefined, underlines all of Charlie’s music, both in the listening, the covering, the writing and performing. “When you listen to Charley Patton playing something like ‘Prayer of Death,’ way over and above it just being a ‘Charley Patton’ song, or a ‘spiritual’ song, it’s one of the most beautiful and haunting pieces of music you’ll ever hear in your life.
You can’t quite put your thumb on it, you just want to do something like that so much…I don’t think I ever have, but it’s a weird, visceral thing. Any time I get a song like that right, I get kind of that weird feeling, you know?
Charlie Parr LIVE
presented by Since The Devil Is Gone I Mostly Feel Lonely & D/B
Dj: Falko Teichmann
Sunday, 19 May 2013 | 20:00 CET
Monarch | Skalitzer Str. 134 | 10999 Berlin/Kreuzberg