Get this crazy baby off my head!


Bill Perry


Bill Perry - Fire It Up - 2001 - Blind Pig Records

Following his acclaimed earlier recordings for Pointblank, the Blind Pig debut release from blues-rocker Bill Perry chronicles the rise of a major force on the blues scene. Fire It Up was produced by Jimmy Vivino and showcases Bill's stunning guitar virtuosity and the raw power of his voice. Check out his albums, Raw Deal , and Crazy Kind Of Life.


1. Itchin' For It
2. Clean Thing
3. Fire It Up
4. Pressure
5. I Can't See The Light Of Day
6. Born In New York
7. Thinkin' Of You
8. G & L Jump
9. I Ain't Lyin'
10. Heaven In A Pontiac
11. Cheatin' Blues


Frank Pagano - percussion
Johnny B. Gayden
Bill Perry - vocals, guitar
Rob Curtis - drums
Jimmy Vivino - guitar, mandolin, organ, background vocals
David Bennett Cohen - piano


Like Blind Pig labelmate Jimmy Thackery, New Yorker Bill Perry churns out a rugged blend of electric blues-rock and the occasional ballad, infused with authority, class, and dogged dedication to his craft. While he's not breaking any stylistic barriers, Perry and his band -- led by the Conan O'Brien Show's music director Jimmy Vivino (who also co-produced) -- grind out a satisfying set of rough originals with a few obscure covers. As an adequate representation of his style, neither the songs nor Perry's gruffly serviceable vocals on his third studio album will shoot him into the blues-rock stratosphere. But Fire It Up is the souvenir you'll take home after experiencing his notoriously electrifying live act. This band, featuring legendary Johnny Winter/Son Seals/Albert Collins bassist Johnny B. Gayden, is a no-frills outfit that leaves plenty of room for Perry's muscular yet remarkably compact leads. The album's John Lee Hooker-styled opening boogie, "Itchin' for It," and the swampy following tune, "Clean Thing," are indicative of Perry's workmanlike approach. The album's closing solo acoustic slide on "Cheatin' Blues" shows he's been inspired by Johnny Winter's "Dallas," and is a vital indication of his talents. Perry displays his Freddie King side on the hyperactive double-time instrumental "G & L Jump." While Fire It Up likely won't end up as a blues-rock fan's most treasured possession, it's a sturdy, tough, unfussy work that offers proof of Bill Perry's guitar abilities without resorting to extraneous flourishes or frivolous grandstanding. © Hal Horowitz, All Music Guide


Although guitarist, songwriter, and singer Bill Perry may seem like a newcomer to the blues scene to some, he's actually put in a long apprenticeship with folk-rock singer Richie Havens. Perry was Havens' main guitarist for shows where he performed with a band through the 1980s. Signed in 1995 to an unprecedented five-album deal with the Pointblank/Virgin label, Perry's a sharp songwriter, an adequate singer, and a fiery guitar player. Perry's style could best be characterized as hard-driving blues for the 1990s. Perry's song "Fade to Blue" is covered by Havens on his album Cuts to the Chase.

Perry was born in the upstate town of Chester, NY, and grew up in a music-filled household. His grandmother played organ in the church, but a young Perry was attracted to his father's Jimmy Smith albums, which featured guitarist Kenny Burrell. Perry began playing guitar at age six and played in his first talent show at 13. By high school, he led bands as vocalist and lead guitarist before graduation. After graduating, he lived in California and Colorado, all the while honing his distinctive guitar playing. He moved back to upstate New York and accompanied Havens on most of his shows with a band through the 1980s. Perry toured with the Band's Garth Hudson and Levon Helm at the same time he was working with Havens, and all that traveling spurred him on to form his own band, and he did in the early '90s.

He released his first album for Pointblank, Love Scars, in 1996. He followed it up with the more polished Greycourtlightning in 1998. Neither album did much box office and Perry was let go by Pointblank. His next release was 1999's live album High Octane, recorded at New York nightclub Manny's Car Wash. Perry then hooked up with indie blues label Blind Pig and issued Fire It Up in 2001. The album featured Conan O'Brien's bandleader, Jimmy Vivino, and offers proof of Perry's still vital talent. Crazy Kind of Life was released by Blind Pig Records in 2002, followed by Raw Deal (produced by Popa Chubby) in 2004. A second Popa Chubby-produced album, Don't Know Nothing About Love, also on Blind Pig, showed up in 2006. © Richard Skelly © 2007 All Media Guide, LLC. All Rights Reserved.


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