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Crazy Kind of Life

Bill Perry

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Album Review

Joined again by shotgun-riding guitarist/vocalist/songwriter/producer Jimmy Vivino (who wrote or co-penned six tunes), New Yorker Bill Perry's second Blind Pig album wallows in his gruff, no-frills blues/rock. Neither Perry's throaty voice, workingman lyrics, nor guitar sound are particularly recognizable, yet he gets by on enthusiasm and fiery playing, raising the temperature on such trite concepts as "Too Hot" with his rugged, straightforward attack. Explorations into light funk ("Take You Down") and gospel ("Morning Spiritual" is the album's only instrumental) effectively break up the tough roots rocking that remains the album's core attraction. As clichéd as the sounds and sentiments of the Stevie Ray Vaughan-ish "Can't Buy My Love" or the good-natured misogyny of "Girl's Gone Crazy" are, Perry delivers them with such exuberant finesse that they click, regardless of how religiously both stay within standard guidelines of the genre. Slide excursions on the opening "Trouble in the Shotgun" and the Elmore James riffage of "500 Miles" also tread familiar territory. Only a well-intentioned but entirely out-of-place near-acoustic version of the Rolling Stones' "No Expectations" (with Perry's old employer, Richie Havens, on vocals and acoustic guitar) derails the mood on this perfectly adequate, energetic, enjoyable, but hardly essential release.

Biography

Born: 25 December 1957 in Chester, NY

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Veteran guitarist, singer, and songwriter Bill Perry was one of the most inventive storytellers in the modern blues idiom, yet sadly, he passed away from a heart attack in the summer of 2007. He was 50. He burst upon the national blues touring circuit in the mid-'90s with the short-lived Point Blank/Virgin Record label. Born and raised in Chester, NY, Perry got his first guitar at age five. He quickly learned the theme from "Batman" on it while growing up in a music-filled household. Perry's grandmother...
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Crazy Kind of Life, Bill Perry
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