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If you watched the first season of CW Network's "Life Unexpected" you've heard Rain Perry's strong clear voice sing the theme song "Beautiful Tree" from her 2008 release Cinderblock Bookshelves. Confession: I didn't. I hadn't. How did we get here? An email offering a cover of Bob Seger's "Till It Shines", a song I know but don't own, by a singer I had never heard of somehow caught my eye, then caught my ear and left me wanting more. Internal Combustion (Precipitous Records), produced by Mark Hallman, is an Americana gem that finds room for gospel, folk, country, rock & roll and soul in Rain's music tent.
The usual cast of contemporary intelligent female singer/songwriters (Suzanne Vega,Vanessa Peters, Aimee Mann, Tift Merritt, etc.) are easy reference points but those comparisons might sell Rain short. She's a confessional folkie with a rock and soul heart. The piano driven "A Perfect Storm" could be a long lost Warren Zevon track, there's a fantastic cover of Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On" and Tom Russell and Nanci Griffith have both recorded a Perry song ("Yosemite" from Cinderblock Bookshelves). Need I say more? If you are or aren't familiar with Rain Perry I hope you take the time to read the brief interview that follows and I've added four of my favorite tracks from Internal Combustion to my NoDepression Music Player for your listening pleasure: "Till It Shines", "Let's Get It On", "Ambulance Song" and "Keanuville". Enjoy!