HOUGHTON - Fresh off a European tour that included dates with southern rockers Molly Hatchet, Houghton native Mojo Perry is flying high, with a new album, "Absinthe Journeys," out, and three albums planned for 2012.
The seven-week tour for Perry was a great experience for him, as he got the chance to play with his band - The Mojo Perry Band consisting of bassist Keith Farnum and drummer Sammy Meade - as well as with European musicians and solo work.
"It was a tour I started to book lightly here and there," Perry said. "I was originally planning on three weeks, and it grew to seven."
La Gramola in Spain ended up being one of his favorite tour venues, but the biggest dates were selling out the O2 Academy in the United Kingdom with Molly Hatchet for three days. Perhaps the best part for Perry, however, was seeing Europe in a different light.
"I got to see Europe from the viewpoint of local musicians, as I had to depend on them," Perry said. "What started out as really difficult was really fun and gratifying. It was really cool, as now you could put me in the middle of New York City and I wouldn't break a sweat."
Now that's he's back from the road, Perry is hitting the studio hard, with three albums in the works.
"One of them I'm work on right now, features Chris Duarte on guitar; he's a world-renowned guitar player," Perry said. "It also has Victor Delorenzo on drums, who is the old drummer for The Violent Femmes."
Perry, Duarte and Delorenzo recorded the album in a mansion they lived in for a week, recording throughout the week. Perry also had his "partner in crime," fellow Yooper Dove Dewey, working on the album, which is due in March or April.
Another album Perry is working on with Duarte and Delorenzo is a bit different than his usual genre, and is titled "Winter Psychedelics."
"It is all avant-garde experimental fusion," Perry said. "It's a very different album I'm using to say hello to the jazz and fusion genres."
What's guaranteed before every Mojo Perry album is a pre-release somewhere in Michigan - and in the U.P. when he can - which is important to him.
"I remain really close to my Upper Peninsula roots," Perry said. "I employ Yoopers when I can, and if I hear U.P. bands are playing near me, I try to attend the show."
Perry will make a return to the U.P. for the Fat Tire Festival in Copper Harbor Labor Day weekend, playing for the 16th year.
Another exciting development for Perry is an endorsement deal with Matchless amplifiers, a product he's been using for a long time and one he's honored to be affiliated with.
"I don't know how I wound up in that boat where it's happening for me," Perry said. "I've been using that gear for 12 years ... and they've done a lot to accommodate my specific needs. They make me feel like one of the bigger pros."
For more information about Perry, visit mojoperry.com.