Sunday, March 29, 2009

Bonnaroo 2009 Artist: Elvis Perkins in Dearland

Folk-rock's Elvis Perkins would rather be known as a recording artist, rather than a singer-songwriter because the latter reminds him of open-mic nights and coffeehouses. So with that being said, the recording artist is the son of actor Anthony Perkins (Psycho) and photographer Berry Berenson (Life Magazine).

Named after Elvis Presley, he was raised in both L.A. and New York and attended Brown University. Taking up music at an early age, Elvis first learned the sax, and then the guitar in high school, where he took lessons from Prescott Niles (The Knack). While playing in rock bands, he developed an interest in classical guitar, and as a poet, he gradually began to morph his words into lyrics.

The "In Dearland" part is the band that he takes on the road, consisting of Brigham Brough (bass, vocals, sax), Wyndham Boylan-Garnett (organ, harmonium, trombone, guitar, vocals) and Nick Kinsey (drums, clarinet, vocals). Perkins' claim to fame came as a result of his debut album, Ash Wednesday.

That album was a project long in the making, but took a serious detour after the terrorists attacks on 9/11. Tragically and sadly, to say the least, his mother was a passenger on American Airlines Flight 11 that was horrifically flown into the World Trade Center's Tower 1. To make matters worse, 9/11 was the day before the ninth anniversary of his father's death.

Their latest release, the self-titled Elvis Perkins in Dearland, was released on March 10 of this year, and in just that short amount of time, the album has already been drawing rave reviews.

With this album, we begin to see some closure, with the losses that Elvis has experienced. These songs are somewhat of a celebration, bringing in strings and horns, as well as elements of blues and gospel.

Other Bonnaroo artists you may like:

Bon Iver, Grizzly Bear, Delta Spirit, The Low Anthem

Watch some videos...

Elvis performing "While You Were Sleeping" solo on The Late Show with David Letterman

Title-track, "Ash Wednesday", live at New York's Bowery Ballroom

"May Day" live from Bonnaroo 2007

Clip of the full-band version of "While You Were Sleeping" live from Bonnaroo 2007

The band's first single from the new album, "Shampoo"

"Doomsday", also from the new album

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