by Lee Zimmerman
Rain Perry, a superb singer/songwriter based in Ojai California, offers up her best effort to date with Let’s Be Brave, a steadfast series of mantras which are well worth heeding. From the Bo Diddley beat that propels the album opener “Whitier Street,” to her heartfelt ode to her native state, “California I Love You,” and “Vapor,” an equally affecting shout out to a presumed lover and confidante, Perry sings with an insistence and commitment that’s clearly inspired by her attachment to her environs. She’s aided and assisted by some equally able support players — Mark Hallman, who produced and played a majority of the instrumentation, acclaimed auteur Chuck Prophet and Jon Dee Graham, courtesy of his edgy rap-like vocal on Bruce Springsteen’s “Rocky Ground.” Perry herself delivers this set of songs with conviction, confidence and an unshakeable determination. Indeed, given its attitude and execution, consider Let’s Be Brave apt advice for our turbulent times.