Maybe it was recording outside of Minnesota for the first time that got Charlie Parr to thinking about the old hometown.
Parr, an Austin native who now lives in Duluth, recorded his new album, “Stumpjumper,” in North Carolina. But Austin was apparently on his mind as the songs were taking shape.
“Some of the songs on this album are pulled right out of my feelings about Austin,” Parr said by phone from a tour stop in Oregon. “Austin is my hometown. I grew up there. Austin has always been where I feel like I’m going home.”
Going home won’t come soon enough for Parr, who performs Saturday at the State Theatre in Zumbrota. After signing a deal with Red House Records, Parr has been on the road practically nonstop since Feb. 1 promoting “Stumpjumper,” which will be released next week.
Zumbrota is the final stop on a tour has taken Parr from coast to coast. In some cases he had to unpack his guitar and banjo in places where he was playing for the first time.
How much of a challenge is it to introduce yourself to new audiences?
I don’t know that it’s a big challenge. My attitude has always been that I’m going to do my best. If things are going well, it will be fine. If not, I’ll try to do better next time.
This tour took you to some new paces on the East Coast.
I’ve always done well in the West. This last time, being out east, I had great audiences. They were super nice. We had a good time.
How did you end up recording the new album in North Carolina?
Phil Cook suggested I come down to North Carolina and record in this re-purposed barn he has on his property. It sounded good to me. It was a really good environment for the songs and for me. I ended up with a lot more sound on the album than I thought I would.
What does it mean to be with Red House Records?
Red House has offered me a ton of support, publicity and radio help I didn’t have access to before. I’ve never been a business head. Playing guitar is enough for me.
What’s your formula for writing songs?
It’s a long process. I really don’t believe songs are ever completely finished. They’re always being tinkered with and refined in front of audiences. A lot of the songs in my song bag are constantly being tinkered with. Some of the songs on the new record were written two or three years ago, so they’re almost completely different songs now. It keeps things fresh. It keeps me interested, and if I’m interested that’s something the audience will catch on to and will be there with me.