Cinderblock Bookshelves

by Rain Perry

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about

FOUR STARS: Part of a larger autobiographical multimedia project, singer-writer Perry's astoundingly insightful song cycle takes on subjects ranging from growing up with an artistic but irresponsible father (the title track and several others) to the emotional impact of California's landscape (Yosemite). This is confessional folk-rock at its best: wise, specific, sometimes harrowing, funny in places, smart about personal mistakes and truly grateful to those who made her the fine artist that she is (whether they consciously helped her along or not). Each cut has a distinctive, pleasing arrangement, and Perry's voice, though dominantly sweet and wearily dry, is a marvelous instrument of many supple colors. --Bob Strauss - Los Angeles Daily News (May 18, 2008)

Rain Perry s guileless lyrics and infectious melodies remind one of Dar Williams best work...the arrangements add organic ornamentation without drawing attention from the innate power of the songs. --Vintage Guitar Magazine (Jul, 2008)

Confessions of a post-hippie wild child This impressive album, with guest spots from Victoria Williams and Eliza Gilkyson, was recorded in Austin, Texas, and is a concept album that doubles as an intriguing autobiographical song cycle about her childhood growing up with a hippie-drifter-dreamer-sometime-drug-dealer-would-be-screenwriter father, who passed away in 1999 of colon cancer, at age 53. As she explained Sunday at Center Stage Theater, the piece also is a belated and elaborate eulogy, for both her father and mother, who died when she was young. On another level, the piece also is a tragicomic account of lost 1960s idealism and the wayward pathways of its progeny. Beyond the musical component, Ms. Perry has created a multi-media opus by stitching together archival images, letters and other artifacts. Various threads come together in a venturesome 90-minute one-woman show theater version of the project, which she premiered at Ojai's Theater 150 earlier this year and also brought Sunday to Center Stage. Guitarist Danny B. Harvey was her versatile musical ally, who supplied quotes and riffs from classic rock tunes as a way of hinting at certain eras, and who supplied the support for the series of songs from the album -- mostly presented in abridged form here to allow for theatrical flow throughout the evening. Such a nakedly autobiographical piece as this could easily drift toward the cultural transgression sin of excessive navel-gazing or the blog era's habit of oversharing. Yet Ms. Perry keeps us empathetically tuned in, through humor, her engaging way with a song and the smart theatrical structuring of her piece. "Cinderblock Bookshelves" is the songwriter's grand attempt to get some closure or the illumination of perspective on her life. "Bent or broken, it's a family tree"; she sang philosophically in closing. --Josef Woodard - Santa Barbara News-Press (Jun 15, 2008)

credits

released April 29, 2008

Cinderblock Bookshelves
Album Credits

Produced by Mark Hallman

Recorded, mixed and mastered by Mark Hallman at The Congress House in Austin, TX, with
additional engineering by Ned Stewart

Interior photograph: Timothy Teague

Graphic Design: Brian Turner at Cricket Press

Christopher Foley recorded Victoria Williams and the Beautiful Tree Singers at Sound + Vision in Ojai, CA.

Kevin McCormick tracked the rhythm section for “There’s a Problem With the Dam” at the Linda Vista Social Club in Ventura, CA.

Jonathan McEuen captured Phil Salazar at McZar in Ojai, CA.

Rain did some of the sound editing, as well as a couple of BG vox, at home on her Macbook.

Rain wrote the songs. Jonathan Raffetto and Mark Hallman improved some of them.

Rain sang the lead vocals, an assortment of incredible musicians sat in here and there, and Mark did everything else.
Specifically:
1. Yosemite – words and music by Rain Perry 1999 Precipitous Music/BMI
a. Mark Hallman – guitar, mandolin, accordion, lap steel, bass, tambourine, bg vox
2. Cinderblock Bookshelves– words and music by Rain Perry 2008 Precipitous Music/BMI
a. Mark - acoustic guitar, bouzouki, tambourine, drums, bass
b. Phil Salazar – fiddle
3. Wild Child – words by Rain Perry, music by Rain Perry & Mark Hallman 2008 Precipitous Music/BMI and Blue Racer Music/BMI
a. Mark – electric guitars
b. Dave “Snizz” Robinson - drums
c. Wheat Bailey – bass
d. Riley Osborn – organ
e. Victoria Williams – harmony vocal
4. Girl in the Boy’s Room – words by Rain Perry, music by Rain Perry & Jonathan Raffetto 2008 Precipitous Music/BMI
a. Mark – most excellent Jimmy Page interpretation, acoustic guitar, electric guitar
b. Wheat Bailey – bass
c. Dave “Snizz” Robinson – drums
d. Riley Osborn - organ
e. Mark & Rain – bg vox
5. Girl on the Side – words by Rain Perry, music by Rain Perry & Mark Hallman 2008 Precipitous Music/BMI and Blue Racer Music/BMI
a. Mark – acoustic guitar, keyboards
b. Wheat Bailey – bass
c. Dave Robinson – drums
d. Andrew Hardin – electric guitar
e. Mark & Rain – bg vox
6. Dear Dana – words and music by Rain Perry 2008 Precipitous Music/BMI
a. Mark – drums, bass, organ, guitars
b. Sara Hickman – harmony vocal
7. Many Moons of You – words and music by Rain Perry 2008 Precipitous Music/BMI
a. Chris Maresh – upright bass
8. Patty – words and music by Rain Perry 2008 Precipitous Music/BMI
a. Mark – acoustic guitar, piano
9. There’s a Problem with the Dam – words and music by Rain Perry 2008 Precipitous Music/BMI
a. Mark - Acoustic guitar, bouzouki, hand drum
b. Jim Christie - Drums
c. Kevin McCormick – Bass
d. Bradley Kopp – slide guitar
e. Rain – bg vox
10. Airborne – words and music by Rain Perry 2008 Precipitous Music/BMI
a. Mark – acoustic and electric guitar, keys
b. Rain – second vocal
11. Eliza on the Car Tour – words and music by Rain Perry 2008 Precipitous Music/BMI
a. Mark – acoustic guitar, mandolin, bass, pennywhistle, percussion
b. Eliza Gilkyson – harmony vocal
12. Thank You – words and music by Rain Perry 2008 Precipitous Music/BMI
a. Mark – second acoustic guitar, Chamberlin
b. Sara Hickman – acoustic guitar
13. Beautiful Tree – words by Rain Perry, music by Rain Perry & Mark Hallman 2008 Precipitous Music/BMI and Blue Racer Music/BMI
a. Mark – drums, bass, guitars, spot on synth patch, additional vocals
b. The Beautiful Tree Singers:
i. Charlie Bosson
ii. Julie Christensen
iii. Patty Clarke
iv. Kae Herron
v. Jim Lashly (via telepathy)
vi. Kim Maxwell
vii. JB White
viii. Victoria Williams

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Rain Perry Ojai, California

Rain Perry’s “Beautiful Tree” was the theme for the CW Network’s Life Unexpected, on which she also had the surreal pleasure of appearing as herself. She has released four albums on her own Precipitous Records, as well as writing and touring a solo play about her childhood. In 2016 she completed The Shopkeeper, her first film. She teaches a series of classes called Songwriting for Civilians. ... more

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