At tonight’s “Singers in the Round” Songwriter Showcase, Brian Perrone will debut tracks from his new “Dog with Ball” EP in a live, intimate acoustic setting in Ferndale.
He will perform at The Parliament Room at Otus Supply, 345 E. 9 Mile Road, starting at 7 p.m. with Tom Butwin, Shiny Penny and JonPaul Wallace.
“It’s such a neat experience because every person is clearly different, so you might have somebody playing blues, somebody playing folk. I feel really honored and blessed to have an opportunity to take the stage with the three people I’ll be playing with,” said Perrone, a Livonia singer-songwriter.
“I get to do four songs, and I’m going to do at least one from ‘All Growns Up,” and then I’m going to do two from ‘Dog with Ball.’ My fourth one is either going to be this brand new one I just wrote or another one from ‘All Growns Up.’”
Today also marks another significant musical milestone for Perrone – the release of “Dog with Ball,” a new five-song EP with stripped-down, piano-based tracks that chronicle changing relationships, personal growth and inner reflections. It’s a warm, dreamy follow-up to his 2014 jazzy debut, “All Growns Up.”
Perrone collaborated with a host of talented, established Detroit area musicians on “Dog with Ball,” including Ypsilanti producer and guitarist Steve Somers, Re-Cure and Ethos guitarist and Siamese bassist Eric Cojacari, bassist Ronnie Smith, guitarist James Peltier and Honey Monsoon vocalist and guitarist Ana Gomulka.
“I think I’m gravitating toward more rock, that’s where I’m really rooted, and I love acoustic simple stripped-down basic songwriting,” said Perrone, who features his bulldog Sookie on the EP’s cover. “I love the singer-songwriter movement that’s going on.”
The EP’s opening track, “Hey Kiddo,” beautifully meshes ‘50s rock with a lush early ‘70s sound with Peltier on guitar, while “Time to Go” opts for a Brit pop approach wrapped in dreamy shoegaze with Cojacari leading the six-string.
The Elvis Presley-inspired “Songbird” features soothing, sweeping melodies backed by a piano and the beautiful Perrone-Gomulka duet ballad is reminiscent of Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova singing sweet harmonies in the 2006 film, “Once.”
“Lost Together” is a splendid, country-tinged track to close out “Dog with Ball” due to its nostalgic, longing nature for a first love that got away. It’s a heartwarming reminder to cherish the early relationships of the past, yet focus on the current ones we have today.
“I would say a lot of the songs I write, some of them are autobiographical, some of them are influenced by friends or family. Like an author or an artist, you’re always watching people and relationships,” said Perrone, who’s influenced by Presley, The Beatles, The Smiths and Radiohead.
“You see what somebody else is going through and whatever you’re writing or painting, I think you look inside, too, and at some point in your life, you feel a certain way, and you pull from that as well. I think if you can weave the two together, you can craft something that could strike a chord or resonate with the viewer or the listener.”
Perrone grew up striking a chord (or cymbal) with metro Detroit crowds as an in-demand drummer for heavy metal, grunge and alternative rock bands. While crafting his chops as a drummer, he also cut his teeth on the piano at Motor City jazz clubs, including Baker’s Keyboard Lounge, and frequented open mic nights to test out new songs before releasing “All Growns Up” four years ago.
Perrone continues to drum on his albums, but looks forward to evolving artistically as a rock-oriented singer-songwriter. In addition to “Dog with Ball,” Perrone has several new songs he’s saving for a future release and eagerly awaits to share them with fans.
“My friend Tom is one who told me to get my stuff out there and to share it with people,” Perrone said. “It’s true, any type of art form, it’s meant to be shared, people want to experience and see it. I want to hear everybody’s stuff, I want to see everybody’s art. There’s so much good stuff out there, there’s not enough time to digest it all.”
Show details: Singers in the Round Songwriter Showcase tonight at 7 p.m. featuring Brian Perrone, Tom Butwin, Shiny Penny and JonPaul Wallace at The Parliament Room at Otus Supply, 345 E. 9 Mile Road in Ferndale. For information, visit Otus Supply’s website.