A shy man from Duluth, Minn., with 13 recordings, 250 shows a year or more, and 200,000 well-lived miles, comes to Fort Collins for two days, Aug. 17-18 at the Swing Station, presented by Go West T-Shirt Company, Billy Goat Moving, and New Belgium Brewing.
“I started playing in Fort Collins a long, long time ago at Surfside 7. It was at least 12 or 14 years ago. It’s been a nice relationship. The first time I came to Fort Collins I came up from Denver to do the show the Surfside and I met a couple of guys that worked for Go West T-shirt Company. I got to know those guys really well and then it just kind of went from there. They’ve been involved in every show I’ve done in Fort Collins and help with promotion and (they are) just dear friends.”
Charlie is touring pretty heavily this summer, playing songs off of his previously released albums and premiering new songs he writes on the road. This tour is a bit unique as Parr is accompanied by a few good friends from Minnesota. In the past, he never had money to support back-up musicians, always going solo on the road. “I’m trying something new. I’m bringing along a percussionist and a bass player, which I haven’t done before, Charlie says. “I’m going to try to do it and see what that’s like.” Charlie likes to experiment and see how things organically evolve. His approach to songwriting is very much the same.
Charlie says his songs seem to just “show up” for him; he writes them down and he works out the rest.
“I’ve got a notebook that I keep a lot of ideas and stuff. Usually, the song that I’m happiest with kind of comes along more or less fully realized,” Charlie says. “Then I just kind of learn how to play them. That’s the way I feel. I’ve read a lot of interviews with other songwriters or writers in general who feel the same way. These are independent, of yourself, and they come along, and if you go ahead and grab them, then you can make them into something that is something of your own. You can mold and shape them. If you don’t, they’ll go on and find someone else who will. As weird as that sounds, that’s really the way it feels to me.”
Charlie Parr writes songs and travels around the United States year-round. He is working on a new album to be released in the New Year. See him play this summer in the Fort and experience some endearing Minnesota folk.