Songs Of Walden


Guitarist Bill Perry is a big fan of the Henry David Thoreau epic book from 1854 Walden, going back to the 1980’s. Perry continues to read Walden and in 2009 he released a CD of exquisite acoustic guitar instrumentals appropriately entitled Songs Of Walden. New Age guitar fans will simply love this thoughtful and meditative 16 track CD. From Perry’s sterling track by track liner notes he writes, ‘Thoreau’s message of simplification, conservation and living with nature continues to grow in influence and is as important today as when it was first published in 1854.’ Some of the Walden tracks are slightly reminiscent of Leo Kottke and Will Ackerman’s Windham Hill concept, while others echo some of the more pop instrumental side of classical masters such as guitar icon John Williams. Either way, if you appreciate the scenic, atmospheric grandeur of the nylon string acoustic you’re going to love Perry’s Songs Of Walden. While every track here holds infinite fascination and maintains the rapt attention of the listener, the whole album seemingly explodes with the godliness of nature on the final cut “Spring.” Perry explains how his track fits into the concept of Walden adding, ‘In the final chapter, Thoreau in great detail describes that slow and at first almost imperceptible change from the gray cold and dark of winter, to the warmth light and colors of spring. A single guitar starts slowly in the introduction and the song gradually builds in intensity with the use of multiple guitars in an orchestral style, leading to the final chorus.’ Perry’s song is just bursting with the concept of regrowth and regeneration of nature and is a fitting finale to a fantastic album of acoustic guitar magic. /

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Musical Background

I was and artist when I was very young, but always had a great interest in music and I have always found it easier to write my own music than to play someone else's. Around the age of 15 I bought and started playing my first guitar. I am self taught on electric, but dropped it completely to study classical privately for several years in my 20's. I then went back to the electric and taught both electric and acoustic and toured with several bands in New Hampshire for about ten years before quitting altogether. In 2002 I recorded and released my first CD, A Christmas Carol on the Eroica classical label.

New CD

The title of my new CD is Songs of Walden. I think most people are familiar with Thoreau's book Walden. Basically I composed a song to go with each chapter of the book. I really like the idea of the concept CD. It gives me a great amount of inspiration. I actually started recording the CD in 2005 but had to stop due to tendinitis. I got back to recording in the fall of 2007 and it took about a year to finish. I recorded it at Blackwater Sound in Webster, NH and mixed and mastered at Cedarhouse Sound in Sutton NH. On this CD I composed and recorded all of the songs on my Taylor nylon string. Also I used 12 string and steel string guitars on "Brute Neighbors" and "Spring". I really enjoyed getting an orchestral sound from the use of multiple guitars on some tracks and the production work that went into making this CD a reality. I am exploring this further on my new CD.

Favorite Guitars

Right now I am exclusively using my Taylor NS24ce. Being an electric guitarist for so many years I really like the action and feel which is similar to an electric guitar. I use a normal gauge string and no effects. I like the pure sound of the guitar. When I record I use mikes but also go direct into the board to give the option during the mix to bring in a little more clarity and brightness if needed.

Musical Influences

As far as my musical influences are concerned, on electric I am a huge Jeff Beck fan. Robin Trower's album Bridge of Sighs is still one of my favorite albums. Alan Holdsworth and John McLaughlin come to mind as far as jazz/fusion is concerned. I bought Christopher Parkening's first two albums Parkening Plays Bach and Romanza and they inspired me to study classical. Though I do not play classical music per se, my music is classically based. I am also a Don Henly fan. He's not a guitarist but being a composer, I love the way he crafts such beautiful songs.

Upcoming Plans

Though I have just released Songs of Walden and am busy promoting it, I am currently hard at work in the studio working on my third CD. It is another all acoustic concept album and I am very excited about the way it is turning out.

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