Singer/Songwriter - Smithers, British Columbia
A Mark Perry concert is like a Canadian roadtrip…
from playing hockey on frozen lakes, to trading a car for “two cords of wood and 24 beer” to that time your were sinking on a BC Ferry.
This Smithers, BC-based singer-songwriter pays tribute to characters and events in rural Canada and he’s made icons of some of them as a result. The Prince George Citizen nailed it when they wrote: “New Jersey has Springsteen, New York has Billy Joel, northern BC has Mark Perry. These are the storytellers of their times and places.”
Perry’s musical repertoire is a mix of contemplative and lively; you’ll be transfixed by a dirt road ballad then cutting a rug to a river-rising frolic. With 11 albums under his belt, he has a hearty selection of songs to share and a candid stage presence that’ll warm your heart and get you grinning.
For decades, Perry’s had a large following in northwest Canada and in recent years he’s begun to broaden his reach; his songs are getting a new rush of international airtime and favourable review in places like New Zealand, the UK, and across North America – from Alabama to New Jersey to Alaska. He’s currently touring as a trio or full band with various musical compadres including Ian Olmstead (bass/accordion/vocals), Mark Thibeault (pedal steel/electric guitar), Tobin Frank (accordion/bass), Kiri Daust (violin), Mip (vocals/bass) and Richard Jenne (percussion).
Perry recorded his 1st album in the 1990s with his west coast hero Roy Forbes (Bim), recorded the next 10 with acclaimed producers Steve Dawson, Hugh McMillan, Bob Hamilton, Joby Baker & Jordy Walker, and released his most recent album of new songs, “Right Here”, in 2018. In 2019, Perry released a collection album, “Recollections”, re-recorded his single “Queen of hte North” and released a new single “Cold Road” which premiered nationally in March. Perry has a few more songs scheduled for release in 2019-20.
As a kid growing up in the 70s in a small town in the north, 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, learned to survive playing 6-nighters with his road band, and started to write and craft alluring songs.
In between raising a family and working for the Canadian railroad, he continued to perform to a growing fan base. These days, Perry runs a small horse farm with his wife Jane in a beautiful mountain valley outside Smithers BC. With his recent releases, he’s fired up and touring, connecting with audiences across Canada.