Gene Perry was born in St. Ignace, Michigan, but was raised mostly in the U.P. town of Ishpeming. As a boy, he fell in love with music and caught "guitar disease", to the point of wearing down the frets of his father's guitar entirely. Gene lived in various Michigan towns and was a member of quite a few rock bands in the 80's and 90's. He moved back to the town of his family's roots, St. Ignace, in 1995. After many frustrating attempts at finding good, like-minded and dependable band musicians in the sparsely populated area, Gene started to develop an acoustic solo act in earnest, then started playing out solo in 2000.
Gene has played many venues of towns in the Straits area since then, including Mackinac Island, Petoskey, Mackinaw City, St. Ignace and others. Click here for a listing of past and present venues played.
During the winter of '02-'03, Gene put playing professionally on hold for a while to take on the ambitious project of his first all-original album. The album was written, performed, produced, graphically designed and manufactured all by Gene himself. Upon turning 40 the spring of 2003, his aptly titled "It's Time" album was finished.
Gene continues to reside in St. Ignace with his wife and two daughters. He enjoys a successful career as a Systems Administrator for the Mackinac Bridge, and designs vehicle toll software for Port Huron's Blue Water Bridge and The Soo’s International Bridge as well. With all Gene’s many talents, his favorite is his music, and he enjoys every chance to share it whenever he can.
Gene's musical style can best be described as classic rock centered, with some country, modern rock, blues, oldies, jazz, comedy/novelty and even showtunes thrown in just to mix it up, and is delivered with an "on vacation" spirit. Musically, tourist venues, which Gene dominantly plays, have a wide demographic where variety is what is called for, and Gene has evolved to become a product of his environment. Fortunately, Gene enjoys playing it all, and has gotten to know so many songs over the years that he can be a hit with audiences of any age just about anywhere. Click here for a sample of song lists.
"I'm very open-minded about music and I'm influenced by so much, but if I had to pick one artist I'm most like, it would be Tom Petty, I guess. He's an exciting performer that does good pop music in, basically, an electrified folk wrapper. But unlike most folkies, he's often riff-centered with his songs, as opposed to just doing 'dummy-strummy' chording all the time, like most folkies do. I LOVE big, 'hooky' riffs. I also have an affinity for a 'jangley' guitar sound, like he favors, too. I bet if me and Tom sat down and talked over a beer or two, we'd prove to agree on a lot of things."
But Tom Petty is only one of Gene's many influences.
"The whole delivery of Jimmy Buffet is great. He has music you can't quite categorize, but the audience gets it completely. It's exciting and relaxing at the same time. I hope I can be an Up North version of Jimmy Buffet someday!"