Homemade Jamz Blues
Pay Me No Mind
Blues fans who think the genre might
be on its last legs would do well to check out the
Homemade Jamz Blues Band. The Tupelo, MS group
consists of the Perry siblings, singer/guitarist
Ryan (16 years old), bassist Kyle (13 years old) and
9-year-old drummer Taya. When their father, Renaud,
returned to Germany from military duty in Korea,
young Ryan found his dad’s guitar and wanted it.
Within a week, he was playing along to commercials
on TV. Upon his family’s return to Tupelo, Ryan
embraced the blues, soon to be followed by his
younger brother and sister.
An audition at Clarksdale’s Ground
Zero Blues Club eventually led to further club and
festival dates, appearances in local newspapers,
magazines, and on TV. In 2007, as the youngest band
ever to compete in the International Blues
Challenge in Memphis, they finished second in a
field of 157 bands. The band signed with
NorthernBlues Music and has released their debut
recording, Pay Me No Mind.
The disc was recorded in the band’s
home in Tupelo, and features compositions written
for the group by Renaud Perry (the lone cover is an
energetic remake of John Lee Hooker’s “Boom Boom”).
The songs are well-crafted and mature, considering
the voice belongs to a teenager. Some of the
highlight tracks include the lively opener, “Who
Your Real Friends Are,” the SRV-like “Voodoo Woman,”
“Right Thang, Wrong Woman,” “Blues Concerto,” and
the muscular title track.
Listening to Ryan Perry’s playing,
it’s obvious that, like scores of others before him,
he’s learned a lot from listening to the masters
since there’s a lot of the Kings (Albert & B.B.) in
his playing, as well as SRV. However, he’s already
capable of expanding on that sound considerably,
which is impressive. The young rhythm section is
solid, too, with very few missteps. Other than four
appearances by dad Renaud on harmonica and producer
Miles Wilkinson on rhythm guitar, it’s all on the
trio, who play with loads of energy, confidence, and
Stay tuned for big things from the
Perrys over the next few years. Sounds like the
blues could be in good hands for a long time to
--- Graham Clarke
Every now and then a CD comes along
that just blows you away, for one reason or another.
Pay Me No Mind, from the Homemade Jamz
Blues Band, is one of them, and for lots of
reasons. When this CD arrived, I put it on without
really looking at the cover – just a cursory glance.
Halfway through track one I knew I liked it, and by
halfway through track two I knew it was special.
I didn’t realize just how special
until I read the notes and found out that the three
main band members are two brothers and a sister – 9,
13 & 15 years old! The 9-year-old is a girl and
she’s the drummer! Her 13-year-old brother is the
bass player, and her other brother takes lead guitar
and vocals. Oh, and their Dad writes the songs and
plays harmonica on some of them. They hail from
Mississippi, the home of the blues, and it’s very
obvious that they listened to the blues from the day
that they were born.
I had listened to the first two
tracks thinking that this was a band of 50+ year
olds who had been playing together for 20 years or
so – and I still thought they were good! Currently,
I’ve listened to the CD approximately 20 times and I
still can’t believe the age of this band – my feet
are tapping and my body is boogeying!
There’s only one cover version
amongst the 11 tracks, and that’s a good version of
John Lee Hooker’s “Boom Boom” – Dad Renaud Perry
wrote the rest, and it’s all good stuff. He plays
harp on four of the tracks and fits in so well with
his kids. They have a guest, in the shape of rhythm
guitarist Miles Wilkinson, on four of the tracks,
but apart from that it’s a family affair.
They’ve been playing at the Ground
Zero Blues Club in Clarksdale, Mississippi, and
they’ve been on CBS Sunday Morning. I can’t help but
imagine what they will be like in 10 years time (and
one of them still won’t have reached 20 years of
If you don’t buy another blues CD
this year, make sure you buy this one.
--- Terry Clear