I watched the sun set behind Charlie Parr

I watched the sun set behind Charlie Parr Wednesday night and thought, once again, about how lucky we are.

The colors — an optimistic gold, orange, pink and purple, proved to be a perfect backdrop and foil to Parr’s bluesy folk music; they stretched out slowly across the sky behind him while his fingers, with their old school thumb pick, plucked rapid magic on the strings.

Sunsets don’t cost anything but time, of course, and in Appleton the music often comes equally free. I thought about that while I watched Charlie Parr play. Live music and beautiful sunsets make ordinary Wednesdays feel like occasions and it behooves us all to pause every now and then to appreciate them.

We, the standing room only crowd at Mile of Music’s Rhythm and Brews, and Charlie, an undeniably talented musician who seemed almost bashful at times, enjoyed an evening of mutual gratitude. He stopped several times to thank us for coming out on a Wednesday night.

“You all have to work in the morning,” he said. “But I don’t.”

We enjoyed Parr’s dry wit as much as his music, which is saying something because Charlie Parr is a very entertaining performer. He draws a rich sound from the guitars he plays, including a resonator decorated with his son and daughter’s school pictures.

In March alone the Duluth-based Parr will have traveled through seven states, including an intriguing zigzag across Wisconsin.

Here’s hoping his summer travels bring him back to Appleton for Mile of Music 5. In the meantime, join me at Riverview Gardens for a Wednesday night of sunsets and excellent music.

The backdrop for Charlie Parr’s set made a great foil — the colors stretched out slowly in perfect contrast to his flying fingers.
We all enjoyed his stories as much as his music — and we enjoyed his music a lot.
The sun set but the music rolled on. It made an ordinary Wednesday night feel like an occasion.
The sunsets have always been free for the taking and, in the last few years, the excellent music has been too. I highly recommend treating yourself to regular doses of both.

Here’s a taste of Charlie Parr:

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