Bill & Eli Perras

Bill & Eli Perras

 DeLand, Florida, USA
BandFolkBlues

As Performers of Original Folk, Blues, and Activist music from DeLand, Florida, Bill & Eli can be booked as a duo, or with up to a six piece band dubbed the Florida Acoustic Segue Orchestra.

Biography

The many inspired lyrics given to and interpreted by Eli, combined with Bill's expertise bluesy finger-style guitar playing create a very uniquely modern take on true Americana music in its purest form. Receiving much recognition for their tightly woven musical creativity, and having opened for some long time musical masters such as Bill Staines, John Gorka, Jack Williams, Small Potqatoes, Anne Feeney, Scott Ainslie, Emma's Revolution, and Paul Geremia; they humbly remain true to their personal values. They continue to speak out with strong heartfelt lyrics accompanied by soulful genuine pentatonic rhythms against social injustices, corporate greed, and daily follies in everyday life. They can grip your heart, search your soul, change a mindset, or softly strike a funny bone, all the while leaving the audience with a sentiment for the common good we desire in all mankind.

From Sing Out! Magazine - Vol. 52 No. 1 - Spring 2008 - Page 110
BILL AND ELI PERRAS CD - "Runnin' Outta' Georgia"
After listening to this release from the Perras' I would have selected "I Had a Dream" as the title cut, as it speaks to their dreams for change, the need to make good of bad, right of wrong. "If only my dreams could come true," they sing. Their songs of protest . a magnifying glass applied to our society and a marker underlining the issues that require discussion and debate. Each has its own unique sound and groove, its own mission, and all creating an interesting mix.
One of the strongest messages comes with "Front Page News," Bill's slow, loping guitar blues about the Katrina disaster, venting all of our frustration and anger over the aftermath of the storm and the lack of response. With frustration closer to home, "Housewife Blues" is Eli's response to all of those who question the workload of the housewife, a little tongue and cheek but speaking truth to word, giving ammunition to those who feel the need to defend their good work. The similarities between modern times and the times most of us boomers grew up in seem to go unnoticed by many, but the déjà vu feeling I have doesn't escape the Perras family. They've resurrected a Country Joe McDonald ode to peace, "Free Someday," a ballad the band used to sing outside White House during the Vietnam war era. "We'll all be free someday" they hope.
Even closer to home is the heart and Eli's unaccompanied ballad, "Julia Buttefly", is a tribute to their granddaughter who passed away far too soon. It reaches us all deep inside and speaks to the sorrow that gives birth to the blues. Even though the melody resembles an early-American hymn, it is draped in the spirit of the blues. "Tribute to a Friend" is equally as poignant and personal as they deal with the loss of a close friend.
Throughout, the duo is assisted by a collective of musicians they call the Florida Acoustic Segue Orchestra, playing stand-up bass, piano, banjo, percussion and slide. Of the performers, I was driven most to the slide work of Steve Rinker. His Dobro solo on "Housewife" is sweet and soulful with just enough sass, and his riffing with electric (lap steel?) slide on "Florida Blues" and "Paid Your Dues" really caught my ear. Great tone and sustain in all the right places. Stan Geberer's phrasing on harmonica on "Tribute" adds another sad voice to the mix and really helps set the mood of the piece.
This is a collection of topical songs that point to the social issues that frustrate us every day, from corporate injustice to the homeless, from political inaction to stereo-types, and prejuice. Each song thoughtfully brings the human condition to light and most offer a silver lining, the possibility of change if we get off our butts and reach out to each other. Their website is "BluesGotUs". Hopefully their "blues" will get us. --- RDG

Some of the venues where Bill & Eli have shared their music are:
All That Jazz Cafe - Cocoa, FL
Barberville Pioneer Days - Barberville, FL
Barrington Coffee House - Barrington, NJ
Cantab Lounge - Cambridge, MA
DeLand Original Music Festival - Deland, FL
FairGrinds Coffeehouse - New Orleans, LA
Florida Coalition for Peace & Justice Pick-In - Hampton, FL
Florida Folk Festival - White Springs, FL
Folk's Cafe - Wilmington, NC
Freedom Blues Festival - Tallahassee, FL
Friends of Joe Prine Concert Series - Lakeland, FL
Gamble Rogers Folk Festival - St. Augustine, FL
Great Hudson Sloop Revival - Croton-on-Hudson, NY
Kerrville Folk Festival - Kerrville, TX
Koolbeanz Coffeehouse - Cocoa, FL
Lake County Folk Festival - Eustis, FL
Leu Gardens - Orlando, FL
Mosaic Concert Series - Lake Helen, FL
Mother's Musical Bakery - Sarasota, FL
Neutral Ground Coffeehouse - New Orleans, LA
Rose Garden Restaurant & Pub - Upton, MA
Sacred Grounds Coffee House - Tampa, FL
Sailing Squadron - Sarasota, FL
Sarasota Folk Festival - Sarasota, FL
Savannah Folk Society - Savannah, GA
Skipper's Smokehouse - Tampa, FL
South Florida Folk Festival - Fort Lauderdale, FL
Sunshine

Lyrics

Paid Your Dues

Written By: Bill & Eli Perras

Life's a funny chain of events
To where you're goin' from where you went
"You paid your dues", the stranger said
I replied, "I guess", then hung my head

No, It don`t matter much what you do
The road you take's pre-planned for you
"You paid your dues", the stranger said
I replied, "I guess", then hung my head

Some things we change still nothin` much
A new direction is often rough
"You paid your dues", the stranger said
I replied, "I guess", then hung my head

We all try the best we can
We're only human, one simple man
"You paid your dues", the stranger said
I replied, "I guess", then hung my head

Life's a funny chain of events
To where you're goin' from where you went
"You paid your dues", the stranger said
I replied, "I guess", then hung my head

Discography

CD - BluesGotUs 2005
CD - Runnin' Outta' Georgia 2007

Set List

Two 45-50 minute sets of mostly original songs.

Typical repertiore includes:
Think Before You Speak
Let The River Run Free
Cracker Thru-and-Thru
Hands - Phil Ochs
Harry T Moore
Roaring 20's Rag
Florida's Song - Sir Charles Atkins
Doomsday Blues
I Had a Dream
Small Box of Pictures
Will McLean
Front Page News
Flatwoods Auction
An Old Mans Dream
Hey NASA
Paid Your Dues
Runnin' Outta' Georgia
9-11
Tuskegee Airmen
Peace Keeper - Pat McCune
Housewife Blues
Tribute to a Friend
Free Someday - Country Joe McDonald
Mama's Bank Account
The Night Wind and Ben