Early Years ~ Until his recent move to New Orleans in January of 2013, Jim Perrett lived in the Northeast and has been a musician for over four decades. He is a self-taught artist who began his exploration of the acoustic guitar and harmonica as a youth and by the age of fifteen was publicly performing American and English folk music. Overcoming his dyslexia but disappointed that he could not major in guitar at Penn State University, he enveloped himself in studying recordings.
Influences ~ The music that he found most attractive and challenging was the obscure and complex guitar styles of John Fahey and Leo Kottke, the extemporaneous nature of the jazz masters Django Reinhardt, Louis Armstrong and Bix Biderbeck and the soulful spirit of the blues legends. Feeling that there are were no better teachers than his own ears, he made it his goal to be an improviser and interpreter with his own self-imposed standards of quality music.
Minor Swing ~ Perrett arranged songs of The Quintet Of The Hot Club of France for two guitars and founded the duo “Minor Swing” in 1989. Also performing improvisations of 1930’s and 1940’s swing and jazz standards, blues and novelty tunes, “Minor Swing” debuted at the Three Rivers Arts Festival in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and for years were a welcomed act at music and art venues.
Cheap Snails ~ Perrett returned exclusively to solo performances in the mid 90’s and was encouraged to produce his first recording, “Cheap Snails”. He succeeded in getting the CD accepted in over one hundred radio stations across the country. This far exceeded his initial intention of making a record “to sale at shows” using the songs that were most enjoyed by his audiences.
Minor Swing Redux ~ Returning to “gypsy jazz”, Perrett resurrected “Minor Swing” but this time he lead it as an open band. He enlisted a group of high caliber musicians who were also well versed in the swing genre. With the increased instrumentation, Perrett enjoyed the extra latitude in cord playing and someday hopes to recruit a New Orleans version.
Current ~ Perrett is well traveled having met musicians of various musical styles in New York, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Montreal, Paris, Madrid, Barcelona, and Rome. His current goal is to find his place in the culture and the music of New Orleans.
Shows ~ Perretts’ performances remain distinctive, spontaneous and unscripted. Using fingerstyle and bottleneck slide techniques, his influences are represented in his shows with improvised and often originally arranged renditions of blues, swing and American primitive songs and original instrumentals. His song choices are made from his extensive repertoire and usually are chosen at random depending on the mood of the venue and the feedback from the audience. He typically brings four guitars, a six string, two twelve strings and a dobro, and several harmonicas.