If the Beatles and the Perras’ got it right, then All You Need Is Love (1967, Parlophone). And on their latest CD titled We Are The People, Bill and Eli Perras (www.bluesgotus.com) got lotsa love to spare.
A thirteen track compilation of both covers and originals, We Are The People is the reason I write CD reviews. With their time, energy and love, Bill and Eli have produced music worth listening to, and listening to clearly. For whether it’s the opening title track where they’re proclaiming we are the people who need to take the stage, or Dr. Kevorkian Blues (track 9) where we maintain a life at more cost than most ever imagine, there is a tenderness and insight of both care and compassion woven between each word and every note.
More than meaning, this is a CD with history. I Am A Tribe Called Arawak (track 2) recounts the fate of the West Indies natives first encountered by Columbus and later mercilessly slaughtered by the Spaniards. Harry T. Moore (track #8) tells the tale of the founder of the NAACP who along with his wife was slain in 1951 on their 25th wedding anniversary. And if you don’t know who The Real McCoy was, just listen to track 11 to learn about Syracuse, New York, born William McCoy (1877-1948) who became the most respected rum runner of the American prohibition era.
In addition to these originals, Bill and Eli cover Jim Ballew (When I Die – track 4), Tom Pacheco (There Was A Time – track 10) and even Pete Seeger (Quite Early Morning – track 13). But whether it’s their song or someone else’s, Bill and Eli radiate their love and warmth for folk music throughout this CD. And how can I be so sure about this. Cause I’ve been listening to them for years. Want proof? Just check out the photo on the back of the CD. I took it!