Charlie Parr dishes on a busy schedule and getting home with family

Published 6:01 am Monday, October 12, 2015

Charlie Parr. Photo by Richard T. Narum

Charlie Parr. Photo by Richard T. Narum

After a busy summer of touring in support of his latest release, Charlie Parr is returning home before he takes a break this winter.

Parr, an Austin native now living in Duluth, will return home Oct. 24 perform at the Historic Paramount Theatre.

“I look forward to every time I get to come down and stay a couple days,” he said.

 ‘Part of a family’

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Parr has been on the road a lot since releasing his 13th album, “Stumpjumper,” on April 28, but he’s had a lot of help this time around.

ah.01.11.bAfter several years touring largely on his own, Parr released “Stumpjumper” through St. Paul-based Red House Records.

“It’s been great,” Parr said. “It’s been pretty busy, but having this record label on my side has been pretty amazing as far as getting extra support.”

After years of hauling around records to sell them himself at shows, Parr said it’s been good to have the backing of the label, which does promotions, helps distribute the record and boosts promotions. That also often translates to more people coming to shows, Parr said.

“You feel like you’re kind of part of a family, and Red House is very much a family,” Parr said.

After many years on smaller labels, Parr’s music was able to reach a larger audience since Red House released the album digitally and in record stores around the world.

“They’re reaching more people than I was ever able to reach by myself,” he said.

Parr will stay on the road playing shows through Christmas, but he plans to take January and February off, partially because he enjoys winter and wants to avoid traveling on icy, snowy roads.

“I’m just going to enjoy winter this year,” he said.

But Parr has no intentions of slowing down or stopping anytime soon.

“I’m never feeling like I’m falling into a bad rut,” Parr said. “I still have that feeling of looking forward to the next show.”

Parr is already looking ahead to his next release. He’s already begun writing songs, and has tentative plans to record. Red House will have an option to pick up the album once it’s recorded.

“I’m working out new material nowadays for the next record,” he said

It’s been a memorable stretch of shows for Parr. Along with playing at the Minnesota State Fair, he played over the summer on a moving train in Durango, Colorado, but required he take steps to ignore the train’s rhythm to stay on time.

“Playing on a moving train is challenging,” he said. “The train moves in ways that you don’t expect it to.”

 Coming back home

Parr is looking forward to returning home to play, though he has been back recently to visit his mother.

He said this show will likely be a solo show, and he expects to mix in some older material with some of his new stuff.

Parr last played the Paramount as part of the Caravan du Nord show in 2013, and he played at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Club last year.

“I’m always grateful to get to come back to Austin,” he said.

Parr is excited to perform at the Paramount Theatre, as he said fewer and fewer historic theaters are around today, especially in as good of condition as the Paramount.

“It’s an honor really, to get to play there,” Parr said. “And I don’t use that word lightly.”

Along with his upcoming visit to Austin, Parr said he’s still enjoying his life as a musician.

“Right now, things are in a nice kind of place,” Parr said. “I’m excited about music and happy to be alive another day.”