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.
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.
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.
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.