Bill Perry (#608)

A long-time Richie Havens sideman shows off his solo skills.

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Talented songwriter, soulful singer, and fiery guitar player Bill Perry brings his hard-driving blues to this edition of Jubilee.

Among the best of a new generation of blues performers, Perry put in a long apprenticeship under folk-rock singer Richie Havens throughout the 1980s. Then, in 1995, Pointblank/Virgin Records signed him to his own five-album deal.

The bluesman from upstate New York made a memorable debut with the first of those albums, Love Scars. Its go-for-broke intensity, reminiscent of Perry’s blazing live shows, showcased his gutsy vocals, songwriting skill, and guitar ferocity while earning praise from all corners. Guitar Player declared it “an astounding solo debut.”

The album released shortly before Perry’s Jubilee taping, Greycourt Lightning, built on the success of Love Scars but took an expanded instrumental approach, with horns, piano, and Hammond B3 organ complementing Perry’s guitar-driven sound. Perry says that this album captures a “strong, modern blues feel”—the same driving sound that punctuates his Jubilee performance, taped at the 2000 W.C. Handy Blues Festival in Henderson, KY.