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Rain is a consummate songwriter. And has always risen to the challenge that I know too well: Finding new ways to do the same old thing. Her latest project goes after that tricky third rail of race, entitlement and whiteness. That got your attention, right? That’s why Rain is an inspiration to many of us. She’s always reaching for something. And finding new ways to do it. — Chuck Prophet
Rain Perry’s A White Album is a gorgeous collaboration with producer multi-instrumentalist songwriter Mark Hallman. It is a brave collection of songs that take on being white. Here’s to the courage it takes to go there, and the bravery makes this record a success. It is art, full of heart, to the core. — Mary Gauthier
An Americana gem...she’s a confessional folkie with a rock and soul heart. — No Depression
Rain Perry’s song “Yosemite” struck me at first listen, and struck me again and again. It’s odd, unique, and moving. It slapped my heart around like a good song should. I recorded it with Nanci Griffith. Watch out for Rain Perry. She writes with her heart, and she’ll blindside you with her art. — Tom Russell
Perry is someone who has signed on full-time to express as much as possible about all the social and humanistic challenges in modern America. She is someone who goes all the way when it comes time to try to make her music make a difference in how everyone’s struggle is represented…she offers solace to the needy and power to the committed. Break on through. –Americana Highways
WRITER OF THE WEEK — American Songwriter
...strong songwriting, fine voice and a penchant for a kind of intelligent adult pop music informed by folk, country, rock ‘n’ roll, blues and soul music... — Sing Out!
Artists who mine a cross-pollination of rock, country and folk aren't uncommon these days, but few do it as deftly as Rain Perry ... [T]his set [is nearly] irresistible. — Performing Songwriter
Five Stars: This is confessional folk-rock at its best: wise, specific, sometimes harrowing, funny in places, smart about personal mistakes and truly grateful to those who helped make her the fine artist she is. — Los Angeles Daily News
“Witty and slyly sarcastic, open and honest, a sweet voice of sharp observation, she's truly a local treasure.” — Ojai Valley News
Rain Perry’s “Beautiful Tree” was the theme for the CW Network’s Life Unexpected, on which she also had the surreal pleasure of appearing as herself. She has released six albums on her own Precipitous Records, as well as writing and touring a solo play about her childhood called Cinderblock Bookshelves: A Guide For Children of Fame-Obsessed Bohemian Nomads. In 2016 she directed The Shopkeeper, a documentary about the impact of the streaming economy on the longest continuously operating recording studio in Austin. Rain's new record, A White Album, wades into the fraught topic of the day: what does it mean to white in America? Can we face our demons head on?
Rain Perry wades into the fraught topic of the day on her upcoming 2022 release A White Album, in which she asks, with clarity, empathy and a little wry humor: what does it mean to be white? What can we learn if we face our demons head on? Can we get past the defensiveness and shame and build a more just and empathetic America?
A White Album is Rain’s fifth collaboration with Mark Hallman, who serves as producer and player of most of the instruments, at the Congress House in Austin, TX. Featuring guest appearances by Ben Lee, Akina Adderley, BettySoo and Wilco’s Mikael Jorgensen, Rain takes a fresh look at her own family history through the lens of race in seven original songs and two covers.
“Melody and Jack,” the album’s opener, recalls a family story of an interracial crush that Rain now realizes occurred “about the same year as Emmet Till.” “The Money” is an unexpectedly funky, singalong primer on the real estate practice of redlining. Akina Adderley joins Rain on a duet on Stevie Wonder’s gorgeous “Visions.” The final song, “This is Water,” finds Ben Lee realizing along with Rain that the world they grew up in was stacked in their favor:
“As a little fish swimming in the water of this great big sea / I went to school, I read my history / and at the movies, and on my TV / I saw a world where nearly everybody looked like me”
Perry is currently at work on a stage version of A White Album directed by Kim Maxwell.
“Rain Perry is a lemonade maker. Life has handed her lemons and she is determined to make the best damn lemonade anyone has ever tasted”…“An Americana gem…she’s a confessional folkie with a rock and soul heart.” – No Depression
Rain was born in Hollywood to a couple of young theater students whose divorce was nearly as quick as their Las Vegas wedding. Some of her earliest memories are of her mother, Melody, recording demo tapes in their living room – one of which, “Kind of a Woman,” made its way to Nancy Sinatra. By the time the 45 RPM single arrived in the mail, Melody had joined a fundamentalist hippie cult in Redondo Beach, where Rain spent her young years until Melody’s early death from the then-little-understood Toxic Shock Syndrome, launching Rain into a haphazard California & Colorado childhood that spanned nearly 25 houses and a dozen schools, with an actor/writer dad who moonlighted as an oyster fisherman, a chef, an ecstasy dealer, and a traffic school instructor.
Raised amongst artists and musicians, Rain gravitated naturally to writing songs and to activism, participating in anti-nuclear demonstrations and proudly getting arrested at UC Santa Barbara while protesting investment in apartheid South Africa. Settling in Ojai, California, she mortified her hippie father by marrying a young lawyer. When she was diagnosed at age 22 with rheumatoid arthritis, a degenerative illness that damages the joints, she lost the ability to play guitar, and stepped away from music to focus on her health and raising a family.
But music couldn’t stay away, and Perry learned to delegate the instrumentation to musicians who were better players than she ever was. She formed her own label Precipitous Records to release her first homegrown album, Balance, as well as producing a local music festival and a concert series. Her song “Yosemite” won Grand Prizes in both the John Lennon Songwriting Contest and the ROCKRGRL Discoveries Competition, and Tom Russell recorded the song as a duet with Nanci Griffith.
Her father’s death from cancer spawned the loving, clear-eyed Cinderblock Bookshelves, a memoir that took the form of an album and a play (and a recently released radio drama) which was Perry’s first of multiple records produced by the great Mark Hallman at the Congress House in Austin, TX. Perry’s career received a boost when the creators of the CW Network’s Life Unexpected chose the final song on Cinderblock Bookshelves, “Beautiful Tree,” as their theme. In a surreal twist, Perry was cast to play herself on a One Tree Hill-crossover music festival episode.
Perry is also proud to count many stellar artists as collaborators and special guests, including Perla Batalla, Julie Christensen, Matt the Electrician, Eliza Gilkyson, Jon Dee Graham, Danny B. Harvey, Sara Hickman, Chuck Prophet and Victoria Williams.
In 2016, Rain produced and directed The Shopkeeper, a documentary about the impact on the music business of the streaming economy, featuring Ani DiFranco and a host of Austin artists, and appeared at dozens of screenings and panels to talk about artists’ rights.
At home in California, Rain co-founded Ventura County’s CFROG (Climate First, Replacing Oil & Gas) in 2014. In 2017, the Family Separation Policy spurred Rain to form Every Child Returned, a multi-state vigil in front of facilities holding separated children and babies. She co-managed a Houston field office for Beto O’Rourke’s 2018 Senate campaign and worked as a Digital Organizing Director for Mission for Arizona in 2020. She currently serves as Board President of The Townies, Inc., a storytelling collective in Ojai, CA.
"...strong songwriting, fine voice and a penchant for a kind of intelligent adult pop music informed by folk, country, rock 'n' roll, blues and soul music..." – Sing Out!
"FOUR STARS: confessional folk-rock at its best: wise, specific, sometimes harrowing, funny in places, smart about personal mistakes and truly grateful to those who made her the fine artist that she is." – Los Angeles Daily News
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