When I read Six String Nation by Jowi Taylor, it blew me away – the story of how one incredible guitar, called “Voyageur,” was lovingly crafted (by Luthier George Rizsanyi) out of some 64 different pieces of Canadian history. I was inspired to write this song, paying homage to hockey sticks from Gretzky & Paul Henderson, part of Rocket Richard’s Stanley Cup ring (inset in the 9th fret), and many more pieces. I only wish I could’ve fit more of them into the song! The most crucial top piece was cut out of the Golden Spruce of Haida Gwaii, a great honour as that tree, felled before its time, is still sacredly guarded by the local Haida. It is my dream to one day record this song with Voyageur, but for now, here’s a glimpse of the finished 7th track on Follow UP!
I came across a George Herbert poem (from 1630) and music popped into my head as I read it. Naturally I imagined many voices singing the chorus and choral verses in a call and response exchange, and I got to use some good ones on this recording: Graham Myrfield and Tim Payne joined the rest of my band singing around one microphone. Take a listen!
It might seem odd, but on my second “solo” album — intended to chip away at a massive backlog of songs I never got to use in any bands I’ve been in over the years — we included a song by Eric Lefebvre. It’s one he never got to play with the Top Drawers (our other band) or elsewhere and he asked if we could do it, so I thought “why not?” It just so happened to fit the developing theme of following the UP in life perfectly (nothing more positive than the line “It’s gonna be alright”), so it was in. We had a great deal of fun recording this, especially building up all the harmonies and some incredible keyboard work by Derek (OK, and some sweet guitar soloing by me). Have a listen to what’s coming!
Next up from Follow UP is a song I wrote while busking down on Granville Street, which I used to do regularly on Friday and Saturday nights, milking the exiting bar crowds of coins while they drunkenly requested Free Bird and Stairway. Sometimes there were quiet moments between waves and I would noodle around, and idly write something new while waiting for more people to show. That’s how this song came to be; I still have the two tiny scraps of paper I wrote down the minimal lyrics on to be sure I remembered it.
The third song off our brand new upcoming album Follow UP is this quirky little number called Not Jane, check it out!
Nothing against the name Jane, of course! This just happened to be a real-life experience where a girl named Angel (for real) swooped down out of nowhere while a friend and I had coffee on Commercial Drive. She turned out to be a teenaged model skipping high school to do a photo shoot later. We shared a few memorable moments and she moved on, leaving a subtle wonder in her wake as we exchanged glances thinking, “did that really just happen?” I couldn’t resist turning it into a song later the same day, with the twist of turning Angel into the “plain” name, and not Jane.
Check back tomorrow for a preview of the next song from Follow UP, coming out in just over two weeks, Saturday, September 8th!
Our brand-new album (coming out Sept 8) is a companion to Songs of Serenity, recorded with the same band and producers at the same studio – Echoplant. All songs started on acoustic, fitting the singer-songwriter feel I started this project out with, but this time there is definitely more electric guitar, leads, and an overall upbeat feel that feels like a natural progression from our first release.
Calling this record Follow UP started as a pun, coming so closely on the heels of the last one, but the songs we worked on all had a positive vibe, so a theme naturally grew that justified the name. I also couldn’t resist the social media import of “follow”s and “up”-votes (whether “like”s, “love”s, or thumbs up). As we trot out the new tunes over the next couple weeks, you’ll see some different aspects of positivity featured in each.
Without further ado, our first preview is the 2nd track (leaving the lead-off till last), called “Swept Away”:
This song looks back at single days, being flirtatious, finding that one perfect gaze in a crowd that says so much – and knowing it’s a mutual, equal attraction. I’ve always hated the concept of someone being ‘out of your league’ or putting someone ‘up on a pedestal’ so I set out to puncture some of those myths in this song, while preserving the spirit of excitement we all feel when we suddenly find that connection with someone new. As for the cliche of “seizing every day”, I will own that one – it definitely still rings true!
Stay tuned for more previews over the next week and a half, and we’ll see many of you out at the Fairview, Thu Aug 30th, and the album release party at LanaLou’s Sat, Sep 8th!
The new album, Follow UP, is completed and waiting to be delivered to the world as of September 8th — which just so happens to be my birthday, and the one-year anniversary of our first album release, Songs of Serenity. Get ready to celebrate all of these with us!
Naturally, here in Vancouver, that means a big album release show which we are once again putting on at fabulous local Rock n Roll Eatery, LanaLou’s (362 Powell). You won’t want to miss this show, we’ll be playing songs from the new record plus a few faves from the still fresh one-year-old; a special surprise opening act will hit the stage around 9pm, and after our 10pm set the fabulous Danny Echo (11pm) close out the show with their characteristic rock and roll energy and fun.
But first, we will be onstage at the legendary International Pop Overthrow festival, at The Fairview Pub (898 W. Broadway) on August 30th. IPO runs for 3 nights and you should do yourself a favour and go see all of them with line-ups absolutely jam-packed with great bands. We play the Thursday night and will be onstage at 11pm, playing songs from the new album and giving a sneak peak at what’s to come the following week. You can pre-order Follow UP from us there that night, so get on down and be one of the first to own it!
Also at the IPO festival, the final night September 1st will see the reunion of Eric’s and my other band The Top Drawers for a sure-to-be epic night of rock and roll goodness! The line-up for this Saturday is off the charts with other old-school reuniting legends The Ryecatchers and Star Collector (featuring our own Adrian Buckley on drums!) sharing the stage with us and local faves like Danny Echo and The Top Boost.
Pre-orders for Follow UP will be available very soon – watch this space!
After some months of apparent inactivity (which trust us, have been well spent working on new songs for the next album), we finally have some shows to announce in the Vancouver area — and an official release date!
On B.C.’s holiday Monday August 6th, an excellent local organization S.A.F.E.R. (Suicide Attempt Follow-up Education & Research) is holding a fundraiser at Moose’s Down Under (830 W. Pender). Painting Hope is “a night of Burgers, Beer, Painting (optional), Live Music, and Fun!” and we will be kicking off that live music at 8pm. You can purchase tickets to this event supporting a very worthy cause here.
The build-up to our brand-new upcoming album continues with a show at The Fairview (898 W. Broadway) for International Pop Overthrow (IPO), which we played last year (and every year for the past decade in various bands!). The touring fest launched and run by David Bash will be here Thursday Aug 30th (when we will take the stage at 11pm precisely) through Saturday Sep 1st, when all of us will also be playing in several other bands, including an overdue reunion of The Top Drawers with Eric and myself! If you love great music in the classic stylings of power pop, garage-y sixties and pure fun rock and roll you should come to all three nights (I know I am).
And only one week later, we will officially release our follow-up to Songs of Serenity (still available hereon CD, digital or glorious 12″ vinyl – get it before we drop our next one!) Saturday, September 8th, which just happens to be my birthday and the one-year anniversary of last year’s release, we will hit the stage at LanaLou’s to introduce the world to… Follow UP! The title that started with a pun, but became so much more: a collection of songs focused on positivity in its various forms. We are very excited about this album and can’t wait to play songs from it on stage – and get these catchy little tunes humming in all your CD and digital players via whatever media you like best. Vinyl to follow by early 2019.
We hope to see you out to one or two – or all three! – of these shows as we get set to release this latest full-length album into the wide world. More to come!
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.
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!