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Smithsonian Folkways Recordings

Last of the Better Days Ahead

by Charlie Parr

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  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Compact disc in digipak packaging with liner notes [note: product image is a mock-up].

    Includes unlimited streaming of Last of the Better Days Ahead via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 10 days
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  • Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    UPDATE: The vinyl edition of the album is now slated for release on November 19th, 2021.

    Double LP in gatefold jacket, standard weight black vinyl, featuring liner notes [note: product image is a mock-up].

    Includes unlimited streaming of Last of the Better Days Ahead via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    shipping out on or around November 19, 2021
    Purchasable with gift card

      $26.98 USD or more 

     

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Anaconda 03:46
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Bed of Wasps 03:44
10.
Rain 06:07
11.

about

Charlie Parr’s newest album, 'Last of the Better Days Ahead,' is a collection of powerful new songs about how one looks back on a life lived, as well as forward on what’s still to come. Its spare production foregrounds Parr’s poetic lyricism, his expressive, gritty voice ringing clear over deft acoustic guitar playing that references folk and blues motifs in Parr’s own exploratory, idiosyncratic style. When it comes to what it all means, Parr says it best:

“'Last of the Better Days Ahead' is a way for me to refer to the times I’m living in. I’m getting on in years, experiencing a shift in perspective that was once described by my mom as ‘a time when we turn from gazing into the future to gazing back at the past, as if we’re adrift in the current, slowly turning around.’ Some songs came from meditations on the fact that the portion of our brain devoted to memory is also the portion responsible for imagination, and what that entails for the collected experiences that we refer to as our lives. Other songs are cultivated primarily from the imagination, but also contain memories of what may be a real landscape, or at least one inspired by vivid dreaming. The album represents one full rotation of the boat in which we are adrift—looking ahead for a last look at the better days to come, then being turned around to see the leading edge of the past as it fades into the foggy dreamscape of our real and imagined histories.”

credits

released July 30, 2021

Charlie Parr, vocals, 12-string, resonator and baritone resonator guitars
Liz Draper, electric bass, upright bass (“On Listening to Robert Johnson,” “Rain,” “Decoration Day”)
Tasha Baron, keyboards (“Decoration Day”)
Chris Gray, drums (“Decoration Day”)

Produced by Charlie Parr, Liz Draper, and Erik Koskinen
Recorded and mixed by Erik Koskinen at Real Phonic Studios, Cleveland, MN, January 13, 2021
“Decoration Day” recorded and mixed by Tom Herbers at Pachyderm Studios, November 11, 2020
Mastered by Huntley Miller

Introductory essay Abraham Smith
Track annotations by Charlie Parr

Executive producers: Daniel E. Sheehy and John Smith
Production manager: Mary Monseur
Production assistant: Kate Harrington
Editorial assistance by Carla Borden

Cover art by Abe Partridge
Art direction, design, and layout by Matthew Curry at Boyvsdragon Studios

Special thanks to Mark Gehring and Periscope Management, Talulah Parr, Smithsonian Folkways, Andrea Weber, Mule Resophonic Guitars, Creston Electric, Brad Cook, Metz Amplification, Vig’s Guitars, Willie’s American Guitars, Twin Town Guitars, Music Go Round Duluth, and everyone who keeps listening. Thank you!

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Charlie Parr Duluth, Minnesota

"Parr is scruffy and uncomfortable looking, with a longish beard and balding head. He dropped out of high school in the 1980s, but he looks older than that. He's pathologically deadpan in his delivery of in between song banter. The crowd really enjoyed his depressingly hilarious dead cat story. He never smiles." - Lucy Steigerwald

TOUR DATES: www.charlieparr.com/shows.html
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