|Photo by: www.casanueva.com/|
Take a peek in any given bar, café, nook or cranny in Athens on just about any weekend of the year. More likely than not, a strong scent (or at least a faint whiff) of Americana can be detected in the house band of the evening.
You know, acoustic pickin', country twangin', Supremes-inspired, vintage clothed, education degree-holders with a penchant for Sylvia Plath and murder ballads.
Despite conjuring folky nostalgia with Perley's sweet country-girl vocals, their injection of alternative and indie motives defy the status quo for tradition-laden groups.
"We've played in like New Orleans, Atlanta and a lot of different states, and people there are like, 'We don't know what to call it, how to describe it', because it's kind of a broad spectrum," said Perley.
She recently played both a solo and full band set at Nelsonville Music Festival and retains a full touring schedule with her band, regularly playing all around Ohio and frequently venturing into Tennessee.
While working on a language arts education degree at Ohio University, she made home recordings of her music, distributing them to whoever would listen in paper bags. Following a chance obtainment of one of these swaddled CDs by Columbus-based label Vital Music USA, Perley received a record deal and has remained with the company to this day.
"They were like 'Hey, we'd love to record you,' and [they] kind of introduced me to different bands and different musicians out in Columbus," she said. "It was a very strange situation."
These musicians included the future members of The Howlin' Moons: guitar player Chris Connor and bassist Billy Zehnal. Perley said that she focuses on different kinds of songs when she performs with her band or goes it alone.
"I try to make it swing more with the band, because it's more fun for everybody because they can kind of take it away," she said. "But, my solo stuff is really stripped down, and I like that too because it kind of focuses on just the story and the vocals."
And stories are crucial to her aesthetic. Citing romantic-era poetry as an influence, her lyric-writing skills are shown in the sense-driven imagery of songs like "Blackberry Rain." She touches on more than the tried-and-true love and change-of-season themes, however; she won a Marietta songwriting contest for her song "In Bisbee."
She explained that the murder-tinged lyrical inspiration came from a story surrounding an Arizona hotel in which she stayed.
"There was like a massacre that happened in the 1800s, and it was because the mayor's wife was sleeping around with some guy that came to town, like some cowboy, and the mayor killed his wife, and killed everyone in the hotel, like all the hotel guests," Perley said. "So, it's kind of creepy."
Hmm... This sweet country girl ain't no Pollyanna.
Angela Perley and The Howlin' Moons will give local rootsiness a whirl at Casa Cantina this Thursday at 10 p.m. Just be sure to bring $6 if you're younger than 21 or $4 if you're legal.
Two bands from across the country and one from around the corner will meet at The Union Monday night.
Check out Columbus-based MojoFlo and support a great cause this Friday night.
Angela Perley, substitute English teacher-turned-soulful entertainer, has found success with her band The Howlin’ Moons and is returning to Athens on Friday for a show at Casa Cantina.
The bodega bar is donating one of their Thursday evening shows to helping research for the fastest-growing serious developmental disability.
Five bands come together for a night of unique music that all goes to benefit a good cause.
Dead Turquoise, Sal Lake and Shade Circles take the Smiling Skull stage for a Thursday night ACRN show.
The city's biggest tribute to decadence is here, spread out over three nights at The Union.
Don't expect the typical tripped-out jam show from Asian Teacher Factory's Thursday concert at Jackie O's.
Ever wonder what a folk singer would do during the zombie apocalypse? Come to The Smiling Skull this Friday to find out.
Thursday's ACRN show will bring unique indie pop, hip-hop and hazy, throwback tunes to Casa Nueva.