US folk legend Charlie Parr is heading to Birkenhead as part of an extensive tour in support of his acclaimed new album Last of the Better Days Ahead, available now via Smithsonian Folkways.

The Minnesotan musician’s vast knowledge of traditional folk & blues and beautiful renditions of his own songs and those from the folk repertoire, not to mention his incredible fingerpicking on his trademark resonator guitar, have earned him a devoted worldwide fanbase and a reputation as one of the best roots musicians to catch live.

Last of the Better Days Ahead is Parr’s first release on Smithsonian Folkways, the non-profit record label of the Smithsonian Institute. The label is home to a diverse roster of contemporary artists such as Our Native Daughters and Kronos Quartet and also preserves and releases historical recordings from artists like Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie, Elizabeth Cotten and more.

Over the course of a prolific career spanning 13 full-length albums, Parr has become renowned for his strikingly candid songwriting and raw stage presence. 

Of the new album, Parr, said: "These songs feel more like poems to me than songs, and I’ve kind of let them have their way in that respect.

"The music serves these lyrics, rather than the other way around, which is the way I usually organise songs.

"Instead of trying to stick words to a more or less rigid framework of chords or melody, I’ve let them have their lead, and the music has evolved accordingly. So this is a kind of experimental record for me, and I’m sure the songs will show up in performances wearing different clothes than they’re sporting here."

Charlie Parr plays Birkenhead's Future Yard on Friday, May 20. Tickets available from: