After a successful vinyl release show here in Vancouver earlier this month at the venerable LanaLou’s, Songs of Serenity is starting to pick up a little renewed momentum. Despite spending more time lately working on the songs for our follow-up album, I am jumping at the chance to refocus on promoting this album which may have been recorded last year, but is still so very new to the world at large.
Hot on the heels of the 12″ vinyl release (get it here!) comes a review by Stacey Zering in the venerated Journal of Roots Music, No Depression. I am way too humble to pull quotes about this “collection of earnest and passionate music” like “simple and direct, yet nuanced and sophisticated” and “Perry is a true master at crafting tunes that are quite simple at the core” so why don’t you just go check out the full review for yourself HERE. While you’re there, have a look around: it’s a great site and magazine highlighting music with an authentic and timeless vibe, made the way the best music has always been made: by people, for people.
And whether you spin vinyl yourself, still do CD’s or just grab your music out of the air (we are on all the streaming sites as well, just look us up!), Songs of Serenity is available in all formats except 8-track & cassette (ahh, we’re not quite that nostalgic) right here on this website. Grab yourself one (or three!) before the initial run sells out!
A quick update to acknowledge the mounting excitement as we hit a fairly important milestone: actually receiving 8 boxes filled to bursting with these lovelies!
It has been a long build-up to having a 12″ vinyl LP of our still-pretty-new album Songs of Serenity. Getting records pressed and then shipped takes time and money (plenty of both), and you have to plan ahead to make sure you don’t over-promise and under-deliver. After all, the release party was booked months ago (Saturday, March 10th – be there or be… well, let’s just say you won’t be round!) and if those 8 heavy boxes hadn’t arrived in time, it might be a sad show.
But now it will be a very happy show indeed! LanaLou’s will be rocking that night, and I hope to see many of you there. If you don’t live near here, the album is available for pre-sale now (click HERE!), but if you come on down you’ll save on shipping, and get to see a great show live with not only us, but Gold Stars are for Suckers and The Top Boost as well. You’ll love them, I guarantee!
And I’m fairly confident you will like this record too, so get it now on CD, digital or the all-time classic format of 12″ high quality 180gm black vinyl. This right here is the look of happy pride I felt first opening one of my own records – a lifelong dream realized. Come on out to LanaLou’s March 10th to share in the joy and celebration, we are going to have a legendary time!
If something about that sounds tantalizing, just wait till you hear how the music itself sounds in the deep grooves of that marvellously malleable material! At long last, the 12″ vinyl LP of Songs of Serenity will be officially released on Friday, March 10th.
To celebrate and launch this record (again), we are having a big party at LanaLou’s (362 Powell) to play songs off the album plus a few from the next one, coming in the fall. We’ll be joined by two more incredible bands, Gold Stars Are For Suckers and The Top Boost, who are going to make it a night to remember packed with great music. Special thanks to Gold Stars bassist and man-about-town Richard Katynski for the cool poster design.
Those of you who can’t make it to Vancouver for the release show can buy the record HERE – and we will ship it to you anywhere in North America! Remember, there is a bonus track on the vinyl record that did not appear on the CD or digital release, a fun tongue-in-cheek ode to my friend Ben, “What Would Ben Mills Do?” As well, every vinyl record purchased will include a digital download of all the songs at the same time.
If you don’t spin the black circle, we still have plenty of CD’s available, and of course the digital tracks swirling around in the ether somewhere. See it all at our online store. One way or another, you’ve got to hear this record — while it’s still fresh! We are very proud of what we put down, and excited to be doing it all over again so soon. Before that next one drops, scrape up a few bucks and get yourself a copy of Songs of Serenity! You’ll never miss the $10 or $25, and you will own this record forever!
Well, we’ve had a good busy stretch over the past month and a bit — apparently too busy for me to update the old website in a timely fashion! That’s how it goes, sometimes you’re just doing things, other times you have to step back and take a moment to talk about things you are doing.
We played two weekends in a row to close out 2017 – Dec 23 at the Railway (with Gold Stars Are For Suckers) and Dec 30 at the Fairview Pub with Danny Echo and the Shittalkers. Then we rolled right into the new year with a big show back at the Fairview alongside Preston & Fletcher and The Eleven Twelves on Jan 19th. This was my favourite show to date of this new Scott Perry band. We had lots of people there, crazy dancing, a very engaged crowd and great sets by all three bands. When you can feed off an audience’s energy and pour it all back out, that’s when you really get what a live performance should be. Here’s a little glimpse of the night’s energy:
So, I guess I’ll keep playing shows for a while yet! February will be another busy live month, if only for me and my treasured ’72 Gibson Hummingbird. Sunday Feb 11th I am playing an acoustic set opening for local psychedelic garage rockers The Top Boost at theHeritage Grill (447 Columbia St, New West). That will be a fun night since I’ll be debuting some new songs alongside my tried and true Songs of Serenity (buy here!) and then I get to sit back and enjoy a fantastic band I haven’t seen in too long! The Heritage has great food to go with all those drinks, there’s no cover and a full night of music, so we hope to see you there!
And continuing my ongoing love affair with the Fairview Pub, I will be hosting open mic nights there every Wednesday in February. So I’ll be playing more acoustic gems myself those nights, plus enjoying a wide variety of performers getting up to strut their stuff. It’s a very supportive environment, so I encourage everyone who might want to play a few songs to bring their instrument down and sign up (I’ll be there from 6:30-10pm). I have a few special treats lined up, so even if you don’t perform, you should make it out to watch the show. The Fairview is a great pub to just hang out in, so come on down and say Hi.
As for the band, we are gearing up to go back into the studio this month to continue work on the ten songs we have lined up for 2018’s follow up album. I will post updates on that as we firm up dates and get down to business.
Lastly, the long-awaited vinyl edition of Songs of Serenity – awaited by no one more eagerly than myself! – is finally on track and definitely going to be available in March. We have listened to test pressings, so this is really happening, and it sounds GOOD. Once we have a confirmed date, I will post an update on pre-ordering and announce a new album release show.
Stay tuned, music fans! See you out at the Heritage and Fairview my Vancouver fam!
It’s time to take a moment and reflect on what a year it has been. 2017 saw some major changes in my life, mainly the recording of a brand-new solo album (with many people contributing their talents, it wasn’t entirely “solo”), Songs of Serenity(you can buy it here!). We’ve played a bunch of shows to support the new record, and had some great times, especially at the CD release party at LanaLou’s – a celebration we will be repeating in a couple of months for the official release of the 12″ vinyl record (with bonus track! so excited!)
I owe so much to my awesome collaborators: above all, my bandmates Derek Macdonald on keyboards and vocals, Eric Lefebvre on bass and vocals, Adrian Buckley on drums, vocals and mixing. Beyond the band, we have to thank Matt DiPomponio, who recorded everything out at Echoplant Studios; Steven Drake, who mixed the lead single Say I Do, which featured some blazing steel guitar work from him as well; Graham Myrfield who added his backup vocals to many of the songs in one long and memorable studio day; Scott Fletcher who helped out with some additional recording, as well as laying down a great slide part for the song Trigger; and Meghan Engel for her sweet fiddle part on Todays – one day, we’ll meet in person!
And it doesn’t end with just the musical creation, I had an incredible group of people contributing their particular talents to every aspect of this project. Where would I be without Brandy, who helped in a million ways, primarily creating this website and our smooth-running business operation; the fabulous Wendy D who took all the pictures and helped us create a visual look to go along with the sounds; and Exploding Haggis, who designed the album and helped define the overall look of everything with his keen eye for colours, fonts, etc.
Which brings us to Robert Riendeau, who truly makes visual what our ears receive as music, a longtime collaborator who I love working with for his unique vision – which always comes entirely from the song as he hears it. Robert and I went to Las Vegas for the first video that launched all this (Say I Do), but the latest one he put his cinemagical touch to was shot a lot closer to home. It was shot AT home, my home, true to the central message of the song Serenity.
So, I would like to close out this amazing and fruitful year with this little video that comes from the heart and sums up what making music means to me. I hope you all enjoy it! From our home straight to yours, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year! 2018 will bring much more, and I can’t wait (I’ll get back to you later!)
There have been some serious delays putting together the vinyl edition of Songs of Serenity – something I’ve been looking forward to so long, I feel like a kid tortured by a big wrapped present under the tree long before Christmas. Originally, I planned to have this ready for that magical date, but now it is going to be into the new year before the 12″ vinyl record is delivered.
Naturally, we will do another release show here in Vancouver when we have confirmed dates, likely in early February.
Meanwhile, we’ve been slowly spreading the word to promote the album online beyond the old hometown, hoping to break through the avalanche of music constantly streaming out there in the wide world. Touring is not in the cards right now for a number of reasons, so it’s all good old-fashioned hustle. That’s the hard part of this whole independent enterprise, taking care of the business when all I really want to do is play and record music.
With that never-dying urge pressing us on, we are headed back into the studio TOMORROW to start work on what will eventually be the follow up album, coming later in 2018. We have 10 songs ready to go, and are excited to get back in Echoplant with Matt DiPomponio for two full days of recording.
But not to get ahead of ourselves, we still need to give Songs of Serenity its best chance of being heard (TCOB). We have one more local show coming up to cap off this amazing year of 2017 — Dec 30th at the Fairview Pub with Danny Echo and the Shittalkers. If you’ve missed our other shows, this is your chance to see what this band can bring live (hint: I’ve got some great players on board!). Come and ring out the old year with us and some awesome local musical friends!
Watch this space for an announcement of the vinyl pre-order and album release show!
Vancouver’s largest daily newspaper, the Vancouver Sun has just published their review of Songs of Serenity, by one of the city’s foremost music writers, Stuart Derdeyn.
Singling out the album’s “really tasty vocal harmonies,” the review offers up adjectives like “catchy” and “hooky” to describe the songs, as well as one which could apply to the whole project and persona of this particular singer-songwriter: “easygoing.” Yup. I’ll take that as a compliment!
We are thrilled to get our first major review on the books! It is certainly easier to get the word out to more publications, blogs and music reviewers once that seal is broken. So thanks to the Sun and Stuart for writing about this new Vancouver band composed of four veterans of the local music scene. That kind of local support is crucial if you hope to reach a wider audience at the national or international level.
Again, you can read the full review here. And if you haven’t got the album for yourself yet, you are almost there! Just head to the shop on this very site to instantly get your digital download or order a CD to be shipped to you (while supplies last, all CDs ordered through the website will be signed copies from the initial run). If you are a vinyl aficionado, a proper 12″ record is definitely on the way as soon as a few details are sorted (including a brand-new bonus track). Stay tuned for news on pre-ordering that and another special event vinyl release show in January.
We’ll leave you with this video clip for one of the songs mentioned in Stuart’s review, as a bit of a departure from the rest of the album’s more personal tone, “gunsun.” Don’t be fooled by the fakeout at the beginning! It’s a bit of a cheeky video for an admittedly simplistic song on a serious subject.
After completing Songs of Serenity, publishing the book I put together to go with it, and playing the big show on my birthday, I’ve gone through some deflation in energy, perhaps inevitably. You build up to something so long and when it’s finally done and out there, you’re not only drained, but in my case, a little unsure of what to do next (other than record another album – which is going to happen very quickly).
I know what I did right after the show, which is coming up below, but after this quick trip to Vegas I let the foot off the gas, and lost some momentum when I should’ve been pushing and promoting this album with all my energy and enthusiasm. By month’s end I was finally ready to update with some pics and stories from that trip when suddenly October 1st hit and the city I’ve felt a growing connection to was in tatters, innocence shattered, a nation and world mourning — again.
In the immediate aftermath of that tragedy I didn’t feel my tribute to Vegas and its status as wedding destination was appropriate or timely. I shut down a little, lost my will to promote, and went through a period of depression that I’ve dealt with by jumping ahead to work on songs for my next album. But now it is time to pick up the threads of this musical journey again and return to the city of Las Vegas in sunny September when all was golden.
The main reason I wanted to return here was to revisit the location of my video for Say I Do, shot by Robert Riendeau in a whirlwind 24 hours in early 2017. I was already there (thanks to a reward trip for my team at Got Junk), so decided to fly him down and take advantage of being in the World’s Wedding Capital. My first challenge was getting a guitar to film with, as I wasn’t flying one of my precious babies down just for this. Renting one proved difficult so I ended up walking into the fabled Cowtown Guitars hoping to find something cheap that looked cool enough. Lucky me, they had one for $200 that fit the bill.
Robert and I shot some street scenes walking around with that guitar, but our plan to capture all the craziness of the strip at night fizzled and we ended up getting a lot more footage of me playing in the hotel room, an introspective mood suggesting a musician on the road, missing the love of his life. But early the next day we headed up the strip to the wedding chapels to at least get some footage in front of one. That turned out better than hoped as we immediately found the Little Vegas Chapel who were thrilled to have us shooting there as long as we gave them credit (here it is: they’re GREAT!)
After we’d filmed as long as we could, and had to get to the airport, I realized I didn’t want to spend extra money just to fly or ship another guitar I didn’t really need. I asked the Chapel if they wanted to keep it and they were thrilled with that too, as long as I signed it – see how great they are? So everything worked out perfectly, we got a video out of it, the Little Vegas Chapel got a little PR and a memento to display with all their Elvis photos and records.
Walking back in with Brandy, who had never been to the city, felt like a homecoming. The chapel owner Mike was in full Elvis mode and welcomed us with open arms. I gave him a copy of the finished CD, and played the guitar again (it looks better than it sounds, folks!). I was eager to finish signing it, as I’d realized after leaving I should’ve added the words “Say I Do!” to mark the connection more clearly (and of course, promote the song).
After signing it up, jamming and posing with the guitar and Elvis, the nice folks at the chapel offered to take a set of photos of us as newlyweds (though we are neither ‘new’ nor ‘wed’).
This is something you can do there if you’re already married: they renew vows, and also take pretend wedding photos for those who want to freak someone out back home!
I won’t pretend we really got married there, because to my mind we already are; 11 years in, we’re as in love as ever, and enjoying growing old together. But the photos were a fun way to wrap up our visit (see a gallery with more here), the folks at this chapel are lifelong friends, and all of this will form great memories we look back on fondly in years to come – not to mention a little backstory to this video:
After some local airplay of a couple of songs (“Say I Do” and “gunsun” were both spun on CFRO’s Radio Bandcouver by tireless champion of indie music, Mark Bignell), today marked the international radio debut of the new album, Songs of Serenity! (You can still buy the album here – head on over and throw down a few bucks, why don’tcha!)
Big thanks to DJ Michael McCartney, a fixture of the Maui radio scene and host (along with Tanya Teal and Summer Blue) of the long-running Time Machine Radio Show heard all over the island and beyond. In a broadcast mainly dedicated to the recently departed — and dearly missed — Tom Petty, they gave us a double spin! After all those Petty songs, and right before two new ones from Lisa Loeb, they played two songs from our album as well: “Onboard” and the lead-off single, “Say I Do“.
It was certainly a thrill to hear a couple of my own songs sandwiched in with those of the great Tom Petty’s, and other notable acts like Lisa Loeb, Queen, and Vince Gill. I almost got even more of a thrill imagining my music wafting out across one of my favorite places in the world, Maui — especially Lahaina town on the west coast, where Brandy and I have spent some memorable times.
The livestream was only live for so long of course (three hours) but I did record a bit of the broadcast on my phone, just for posterity. So, here’s a clip covering the end of “Onboard” with Michael’s sonorous radio voice breaking in at about :45 to talk about the album a bit before spinning “Say I Do”
It was a long slow build-up to this date – my birthday as it happened! – but the show we booked to release the brand-new album Songs of Serenity went by in a flash so that I can already barely remember all of it. That’s what momentous occasions are like, they’re so huge in the moment you can’t really take it all in.
Good thing for pictures!
Great thing to know someone like Wendy D, who snapped all through the big occasion (go here for a gallery of some of the best shots summing up the whole night). I want to thank everyone who came out, especially my sister Rae, who drove all the way from Williams Lake (that’s in theCariboo, folks!) after work, to make it there just in time for the show. That’s pretty amazing, and was surely a birthday surprise for me.
Wendy also did all the photography on the album itself (available here!)
We had Gold Stars Are For Suckers open the night (great band, check them out if you haven’t been fortunate enough to see them before), and my good friend and comedian extraordinaire Ben Mills hosted and gave us a great intro. We returned the favor by serenading him with his own song – “What Would Ben Mills Do”, which isn’t on the album we just unleashed on CD and digital but WILL be the bonus track on the vinyl record (coming soon).
All in all, we had just an amazing night, Ben Mills working the crowd, Gold Stars more than warming them up, a super-fun set for me, Derek, Adrian, and Eric playing the whole album, and there was even cake after all that! It was a busy Friday night in Vancouver all around so quite a few people who wanted to attend had other things going on – that’s the challenge hosting a show on the last nice weekend in the city. But the good news is there will be more, and in fact a whole other release party for the real treat – my very first actual record, in the format of my early youth, 12″ vinyl, baby!
So, do yourself a favor and pick up this album (did I mention?BUY HERE!) and we would absolutely love to see you out at our next show. Because music really comes to life when it is played live – that’s why we call it that!