Mark Perry BIO
Long Bio (click to expand & collapse)
A dozen albums strong, Mark Perry is deeply loved in Canada for his good-humoured and thought-provoking performances that get festival audiences up on their feet and make theatre crowds feel like they’re in his living room.
Perry’s concerts feel like a Canadian roadtrip as he sweeps you up in emotional and animated tales of sinking ferries, rising rivers, NHL dreams, or buying a car for “two cords of wood and 24 beer”. Towns dying, towns being born, small planes going down… this Canadian singer-songwriter draws us in to reflect and to laugh as he pays tribute to real characters and events in rural Canada. Somehow his music connects us from coast to coast.
“New Jersey has Springsteen, New York has Billy Joel, northern BC has Mark Perry. These are the storytellers of their times and places.”
salutes music reviewer Frank Peebles.
Perry has been writing, recording and performing since the mid-1990s when he recorded his first album with Roy Forbes and Shari Ulrich, and headed out on to tour with Connie Kaldor as her opening show. These days he sells out his own theatre shows in western Canada. He is well-loved in his region of the world and, with recent exposure at international music events, his songs are getting a new rush of international airplay in places like New Zealand, the UK, and across North America– from Alabama to New Jersey to Alaska.
Perry is currently touring with a variety of talented accompanists including Mark Thibeault (Hungry Hill), Tobin Frank (Spirit of the West), Ian Olmstead (Alex Cuba) and Mip (Mip Power Trio). With 12 albums recorded and another in the wings, Perry has a huge repertoire of both contemplative and lively songs to draw from; he’ll transfix you with a dirt road ballad one minute, and have you cutting a rug to a river-rising frolic the next.
Perry produced his 1st album in the 1990s with his west coast hero Roy Forbes (Bim) and recorded his next 10 with acclaimed producers Steve Dawson, Hugh McMillan, Mike Lent, Bob Hamilton, Joby Baker, and Jordy Walker. In 2019, he created a sampling from his first 10 albums and released “Recollections” plus a new single “Cold Road” which premiered on “Roots Music Canada”. He has more singles planned for release in 2020 as he builds a new album releasing 2020-21.
As a kid growing up in a small northern town during the 70s, Perry got his start when he tuned in to the scratchy, barely audible, late night radio waves coming from Vancouver and heard CCR, the Rolling Stones, Eric Burdon and Gordon Lightfoot. He traded an old lawnmower for what he calls “an electric(ish) guitar” and into the neighbour’s basement he went… guitar in hand, trying to play that music. He earned his calluses playing consecutive 6-nighters with his road band, and started writing and crafting his own popular songs. In between raising a family and working for the Canadian railroad, he recorded and performed to his growing fan base.
These days, Perry runs a small horse farm with his wife Jane in a beautiful mountain valley outside Smithers, British Columbia.
What They Say
“Mark Perry had our audience captivated through the entire show. His heart shines through in his voice and his songs. Mark Perry’s performance is a ‘must-see’ and a ‘must-see again’.”
~ Bruce Champion, Terrace Concert Society
“Mark Perry is to the Northwest what Gord Downie was to Canada – he captures our hearts by telling our stories in a way no one else does.”
~ Nathan Cullen, MP Skeena-Bulkley Valley
“The soundtrack for my life is taken from Mark Perry’s music. His song-writing, musical expression and stage presence emanates the very best, most magical qualities…. Perry’s music invites me in to sit by his fire and feel like a cherished neighbour for a while.”
~ Carolina DeRyk, Host, CBC Radio
“This singer/songwriter from Smithers is one of our finest. In a world of so much artifice, he’s one of the real things.”
~ J.P.M., The Province, Vancouver, BC
“New Jersey has Springsteen, New York has Billy Joel, northern B.C. has Mark Perry. These are the storytellers of their times and places.”
~ Frank Peebles / Prince George Citizen
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Theatre Concerts, Community Halls, Festivals
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