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Renowned Minnesota folk bluesman Charlie Parr begins Turf Club residency

Charlie Parr (photo by Chris Schorn, Christine Photography)
Charlie Parr (photo by Chris Schorn, Christine Photography)

Charlie Parr is a Minnesota treasure.

He has evolved from a more straightforward folk/blues guitar player into a singular songwriter that contains multitudes.

Parr began his January residency at the Turf Club – he’s playing there every Sunday this month – with a unique show.

Charlie Parr (photo by Chris Schorn, Christine Photography)
Charlie Parr (photo by Chris Schorn, Christine Photography)

 

Charlie Parr (photo by Chris Schorn, Christine Photography)
Charlie Parr (photo by Chris Schorn, Christine Photography)

He began solo, playing songs on both his electric and classically-blues resonator guitar. As the show went on, more people joined him on stage, until finally there was a five-piece band of his friends and collaborators behind him. The loose collective had never played together live before, but you’d never know it by how tight they were.

The band featured fiddle, banjo, percussion, a second guitar, and that old-time string band contraption that is like a stand-up bass but it only has one string.

Charlie Parr (photo by Chris Schorn, Christine Photography)
Charlie Parr (photo by Chris Schorn, Christine Photography)

 

Charlie Parr (photo by Chris Schorn, Christine Photography)
Charlie Parr (photo by Chris Schorn, Christine Photography)

Parr’s energy was especially high on his classic “Cheap Wine.” The full sound of the band added a new dimension to folk standards “I Wish I Was a Mole in the Ground” and “Casey Jones Blues.”

The band really got cooking towards the end. Gospel stomper “God Moves on the Water” and “Duncan and Brady” (which lovingly nodded to legendary folk musician Dave van Ronk) were also highlights.

Charlie Parr (photo by Chris Schorn, Christine Photography)
Charlie Parr (photo by Chris Schorn, Christine Photography)

 

Charlie Parr (photo by Chris Schorn, Christine Photography)
Charlie Parr (photo by Chris Schorn, Christine Photography)

Each night of Parr’s Turf Club residency promises to be a completely different adventure. If you missed him on Sunday, do your best to catch him the rest of the month. There are no tickets available for the remaining shows, however, so good luck. 

Written by Erik Ritland

Erik Ritland is a songwriter, musician, journalist, and podcaster based in Nashville, Tennessee. He’s released over a dozen albums since 2002, most recently Old Dog Almost Gone (2021), the first-ever multimedia album, and his latest collection of all original material, A Scientific Search (2020). During his 15+ years as a music journalist, Erik has written hundreds of articles for Music in Minnesota, Something Else Reviews, his own blog Rambling On, and more. In addition to continuing his music career, Erik currently runs The Cosmic American, a music journalism website, and is the editor of Music in Minnesota.

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