It is unclear where the “Lonesome Road” will lead.
For Eli Perron, that route was from Lancaster to Nashville, and now, for one night, back.
Perron, a graduate of Mannheim Central, will perform with his band, New Suede, at the Lititz Shirt Factory on Friday, February 25. Tickets are $20.
Besides a show at Tellus360 with a previous incarnation of New Suede, Perron made a name for himself in Tennessee, first in Murfreesboro to attend Middle Tennessee State University for audio production, then in Nashville.
“Being in Lancaster and then being in Nashville…it’s just very different,” Perron said over the phone. “I definitely had culture shock at first.”
In the summer of 2021, Perron and his bandmates tracked what would be the band’s official debut album, “Lonesome Road,” over the course of two days at Nashville’s famed Welcome to 1979 studio. All nine tracks were recorded live to tape by Perron on guitar and vocals, Danny Anderson on bass, Aaron “Bucky” Anderson on drums, and Nathan Aronowitz on keyboard.
After recording in spurts and releasing a few songs over several years, “Lonesome Road” was released in January this year.
“I just wanted to release an album, because I wanted to do that,” Perron says. “We’ve released singles in the past, but for some reason never released an album, which frustrated me. This time I thought, ‘I just want to release a few songs and feel good about this.’”
“Feeling good” is an apt description of “Lonesome Road,” as its heavily blues and funk rock-influenced sound seems ready to be the soundtrack to your next barbecue or party. Songs like “Looking Glass” and “Freedom Funk” vibrate with wah-wah guitars, harmonica and a driving drum beat.
While some songs were born in the studio, some, like “Soulshine,” whose lyrics provide the album’s name, date back years, with Perron only recently unearthing demos to work on further.
“It’s a matter of feeling,” Perron says of his creative process. “Sometimes things line up, and it’s easier when you don’t think about it and just sit there scratching. What you’re doing subconsciously catches your attention, and that’s how you know it’s happening. ‘is good.”