Bill Perry – Raw Deal

Raw Deal

This record, plain-and-simple, cooks. Perry’s mix of rock and blues lands right in that perfect area that highlights the attraction of both kinds of music without being too self-conscious. He and producer Popa Chubby sink their teeth into the grooves and don’t let go.

What does that mean? Well, check out a couple of tunes that any musician can relate to. “Bluesman,” and “Big Ass Green Van” will be smiles for folks who’ve spent any time trying to make money working in this crazy field. The first tune is on-the-money rock with a cranked solo, and the second is a cop of “La Grange,” complete with modulation on the solo.

Perry’s gruff vocals are the perfect complement to his rough-and-ready guitar work. The guitars are loud, ballsy, and out front, just the way you want ’em for this kind of stuff. Same goes for the vocals. His take on the Tom Waits classic “Til the Money Runs Out” is incendiary and masterful with burning guitar work. The pentatonic solos mix with double-stops on “Going Down to Memphis” to make the perfect mix of country and rock. “Live On” is a nice nod to soul music, with heartfelt guitar work and singing. Things wrap up with a long boogie arrangement of Dylan’s “Gotta Serve Somebody.” Perry’s playing and singing on the seven-and-a-half-minute tune are a perfect capper to a disc full of no-bull music. The nice thing about this is Perry puts it out there, gives his heart and soul, and you either accept it or you don’t. I confess, I do.

This article originally appeared in VG‘s Dec ’04 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.

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