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Thursday, November 30th, 2017
8:00 PM
By

Kyle Harris

There’s no shortage of wounded men crooning about their emotions, tearing open their guts like they have nothing to lose. This gimmick, too often mistaken for lyrical bravery, has become so pervasive that one could easily disregard the stunning fingerpicking country-blues poet Charlie Parr, whose introspective songs about depression are infused with pain but also hope. On his most recent album, Dog, Parr veers from sounding like a frenetic Cab Calloway on “LowDown” to mumbling like Will Oldham on “Sometimes I’m Alright.” Although he walks a line between cultural appropriation and appreciation — Minnesota artists can’t lay claim to Piedmont-style blues — it’s impossible to write Parr off: His masterful lyricism is undeniable, and while his roots-music palette may be limited, his range of styles is vast.