Charlie Parr

Charlie Parr - November 2014

Charlie Parr Session
Violitionist Sessions

Session Date: April 17, 2014
Posting Date: November 13, 2014
Artist Hometown: Duluth, MN
Links:, Facebook
Recorded by: Michael Briggs @ Civil

Temperance River Blues
I’m Marrying A Woman With An Uncontrollable Temper
ONE: Tell us a little about your life as a working musician.
Charlie Parr: I haven’t had a job in about 10 years! I’ve been mostly recording on my own, and touring around where I can. I’ve been very lucky. I’ve gotten to see every corner of the US, plus England, Ireland, a good bit of Europe and all of Australia a bunch of times. I’ve been happy with how things have grown. I’m comfortable and live as simply as possible. I do the stuff I like and work to avoid the rest. I really try to live in the moment and enjoy each day as I find it. Getting to play the guitar has saved my life in every way and I don’t want to take it for granted. I’m grateful for every chance I get to play, no matter where it is.
Brent Frishman: As a working professional musician, how have you learned to balance your home/family life with your rigorous touring schedules?
CP: I haven’t! Haha. It’s really hard, and the best I can do is to try and be present wherever I am. To try and take time to be at home and be there for my kids as much as possible, to be grateful and patient wherever I am. It’s gonna work out, at least as well as working in a packinghouse 9 hours a day and being tired every night; which is how my dad spent most of his life. He said not to go that way… and it’s been the best advice I’ve got.
TWO: You released “Hollandale” earlier this year, through Chaperone Records; an instrumental album that feels like a slight departure from your previous works. What was the song writing process like, and how did it differ from earlier records?
CP: It’s been a very different process. Normally, I write songs and play them for a while at shows, and then record them; but with Hollandale I had a handful of tunings and a few phrases and just improvised the rest. Which was really fun for me! The song took the lead for a change and I just kind of followed along.
BF: On “Hollandale” you worked with Alan Sparhawk (of Low, Retribution Gospel Choir, Black Eyed Snakes, etc). How did that relationship and collaboration come about?
CP: I’ve been friends with Alan for a long time, and a fan of his for even longer. When I mentioned that I’d like to do an instrumental record, but didn’t have the guts, he was supportive and offered to help me; and it turned out to be one of the most relaxing and satisfying session I think I’ve had.
THREE: You have a strong connection with North Texas; playing shows here quite often and influencing a strong group of musicians/friends. How do you feel the scene in Denton compares to the rest of the country?
CP: I love North Texas, and getting to play around Denton has always been good for me. I’ve made some great friends and have been influenced and awed by some incredible music. There are a few places I visit like Denton (and Duluth for that matter) where music seems to be in overdrive, and it’s pretty energizing to come to those places and feel a part of that. Denton’s always made me feel welcome and at home. Plus Burntsienna Trio is always on heavy rotation in the car.
BF: Right on. So, what’s next?
CP: Same. Record another record, and hit the road.
– Email interview by Brent Frishman.