Oregon Music News: Oregon’s all-genre music magazine since 2009


Charlie Parr Coming to Oregon for Three Shows in December / Preview

By C. FRANCIS O’LEARY // Charlie Parr will play three shows in as many days in Oregon in December. The Country/Blues musician will be in Eugene on Dec. 11, Portland on the 12th and Bend on the 13th.

Charlie Parr will play three shows in as many days in Oregon from December. The Country-Blues musician will be in Eugene on Dec. 11, Portland on the 12th and Bend on the 13th. Parr is currently on tour following the release of his latest album, Charlie Parr. The album, released Sept. 27, is a mix of revisited classics and new material.

Parr recalls being obsessed with music from a young age. In 1974, when he was 7-years-old, Parr was bouncing back and forth between his father’s and sister’s record collections. From his father, he learned to appreciate Lead Belly, Mance Lipscomb and Woody Guthrie. His sister exposed him to Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and Grateful Dead. Parr got a guitar from his father and he began to teach himself how to play. Inspired by the music he heard at home, Parr started making music with his friends.

For years it was enough just to get a few friends together and have a good time. In fact, it wasn’t until 2002, decades after he started playing the guitar, that Parr released his first album, Criminals & Sinners. But Parr has never quite gotten comfortable with recording his music. To him, music is something that’s continuously being created. “What I do happens brand new every time I play, so I don’t trust recordings very much,” Parr said. Nonetheless, since the release of Criminals & Sinners he’s released more than a dozen albums and live recordings.

Parr’s musical career was thrown into question last year when he fell victim to a crack in the sidewalk. One night, while Parr and his daughter were skateboarding around the neighborhood, he hit the ground. Hard. The accident forced Parr to undergo surgery to reconstruct his shoulder. Whether or not he would play on stage again was called into question, but Parr was as obsessed with music as ever.

Parr spent his recovery on his porch relistening to albums he hadn’t in years and literally dragging his guitar up onto his lap to relearn how to play. He said his doctors attribute some of his recovery to the effort he put into playing guitar.

Before the accident, Parr had already booked studio time and planned to invite an audience to be present for the recording of his next album. The accident changed those plans, and Parr elected not to make a live album. He went to the studio unsure of what record he would make and recorded Charlie Parr in a single day.

In support of the new album, Parr is currently in midst of a 43-show run. While four other people played instruments on the album, this tour is completely solo. When Parr is on stage, his only companion will be his 12-string guitar.

The stripped-down style is a good fit Parr, whose songs often focus on not having much and getting by on grit. Those unfamiliar with his music should familiarize themselves with “Mag Wheels” from the new album, a song about battered old car and the freedom it gives to a young driver. “Cheap Wine,” a classic that Parr reworked and rereleased for this album, is a fan favorite.

Eugene:  Wednesday, Dec. 11
                Sessions Music Hall
                Doors: 6:30 p.m.
                Tickets: $12 in advance, $15 at the door.
Portland: Thursday, Dec. 12
                Aladdin Theater
                Doors: 7 p.m.
                Tickets: $17
                All ages
Bend:      Friday, Dec. 13
                Volcanic Theater Pub
                Doors: 8 p.m.
                Tickets: $12
                All ages

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