Dana Perry will hold a CD release event at SOSONIC, 3001 Latham Dr. on Thursday, October 20th at 8 pm. Joining her will be Meghan Rose, Helen Avakian and Sam Ness.
You can buy the CD at the release event and it will also be made available at other online outlets.
The list of exceptional women making extraordinary music in Madison is a long one. A remarkably nurturing environment is in place to catalyze collaborations and inspire the individual. Most people will know Dana Perry from her involvement with SheShe, a folk rock trio that includes Julia McConahay and Shannon Calloway. Still more will find out about her with new group Imaginary Watermelon who are about to release their debut recording. Perhaps fewer people know her as a solo artist even though Me & Lady G follows two three-song releases, 2009’s Here, Try This and 2013’s The Shit in My Pockets. It’s the solo work that really brings out Perry’s character and talent and Me & Lady G reveals the giant leaps she’s taken, particularly on guitar.
Perry takes a lot of cues from Ani DiFranco: a fierce individuality, complex, percussive guitar styling, and encyclopedic lyrics that reflect her existentialist intellect. Her guitar playing is also reminiscent of Nick Drake in its right-hand fingerpicking technique.
Opening track “All is One” can be seen as her philosophical bedrock, where the answers to life’s questions lie within, the self is an illusion, while “all these days are one day” and “all is one.” “Big-Ass Butterfly” is a whimsical invitation to partake in life’s small pleasures and larger contemplations with a guitar figure right out of Nick Drake’s songbook.
Thought-provoking lyrical gems are bountiful. “So Me, So Here, So Now,” ruminates on the need for change and a restless spirit. “There’s a million notes between F and F-sharp / Naturally I’m a quarter-step flat of where I want to be,” Perry muses over a fingerpicked guitar pattern that keeps the tension taught. If “As soon as I start to know something / Get a handle on the angles and dimensions / It’s gonna be challenged and inevitably destroyed / All self-evolution / It’s an intensified ride to feel the source inside / it’s so nice to know I’m just an illusion / A story happening within me” sounds like a mouthful for a chorus, it is and Perry enunciates every syllable. Background music this is not.
“Euphoria Junkie” veers toward early Joni Mitchell territory, exploring a relationship’s breakdown. Perry’s vocal range is wide and she can sing with breathy delicacy or with grit, stretching to hit the higher notes with strength and spot-on pitch while speaking with utter frankness. “Catatonic” exudes an Appalachian vibe with Perry adapting her percussive guitar style to banjo. The album concludes with an extraordinary guitar piece “Noises.” With her hand banging the wood, Perry demonstrates her evolved fundamentals and recalling the likes of Michael Hedges. The guitar tones throughout the album are beautifully captured by Beth Kille who recorded and mixed the album in her home studio.
Me & Lady G may be considered Dana Perry’s proper debut and it’s quite an enjoyable and impressive one. There’s boatloads of talent here and that’s a reflection of the strong community of musicians that , working together, are doing Madison proud.