Charlie Parr Announces New Album, ‘Last of the Better Days Ahead’

Photo by Shelly Mosman

Now in his 50s, musician Charlie Parr takes stock of his life. If you could just go back, even for a minute, you’d forget how you don’t even know what it was you’ve lost, he sings over rumbling guitar in his new song, “Last of the Better Days Ahead.” The title track to his forthcoming record, announced today (May 5), finds the Minnesota native meditating on “perceived loss, on pining for a thing from my past and not realizing that what I’m really nostalgic for is something far more intangible than something I once owned,” he shares.

“The song (and the video) are inspired by so many conversations with people who have come to the conclusion that searching for meaning is its own end, and begins anew each and every day,” Parr tells American Songwriter. “I’ve learned (all too recently) to take comfort in this daily effort and look forward to it every morning. The song was recorded on a Guild 12-string in standard tuning but one step low. “

The accompanying visual, filmed across Salton Sea, Bombay Beach, and Slab City, California, gives even deeper meaning to Parr’s personal revelations. Why do you always feel so empty in spite of all you have / Were those feelings you remember even real and were they honestly about some junky old Falcon or any other thing that you could own, he sings, beautiful landscapes flying out in every direction.

Last of the Better Days Ahead, now up for pre-order, arrives July 30 as Parr’s debut on Smithsonian Folkways. The record was co-produced with Brad Cook (Bon Iver, Waxahatchee, Kevin Morby).

Check out the tracklist below:

  1. “Last of the Better Days Ahead”
  2. “Blues for Whitefish Lake, 1975”
  3. “Walking Back from Willmar”
  4. “Anaconda”
  5. “Everyday Opus”
  6. “On Fading Away”
  7. “817 Oakland Avenue”
  8. “On Listening to Robert Johnson”
  9. “Bed of Wasps”
  10. “Rain”
  11. “Decoration Day”

Here are Parr’s upcoming tour dates:

5/15 – Ft. Collins, CO – Ravensdale Farm (Sold Out)

6/11 – Austin, MN – Historic Paramount Theatre

6/12 – Harris, MN – North Folk Winery

6/20 – Superior, WI – Earth Rider Brewery

6/26 – St. Joseph, MN – Milk & Honey Ciders

6/27 – Superior, WI – Earth Rider Brewery

7/1 – Custer, SD – Custer Beacon

7/2 – Livingston, MT – Pine Creek Lodge

7/3 – Cody, WY – Sleeping Giant Ski Area

8/20 – Eau Claire, WI – Blue Ox Music Festival

8/27 – Roxbury, NY – Roxbury Arts Center

8/28 – Greenfield, MA – Green River Festival

9/25 – Boise, ID – Treefort Music Festival

9/29 – Bend, OR – Volcanic Theater Pub

9/30 – Seattle, WA – Tractor Tavern

10/1 – Portland, OR – Aladdin Theater

10/9 – Denver, CO – Globe Hall

11/13 – St. Paul, MN – Palace Theater

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