Liner Notes - Lonesome Train

A couple of Perry’s bluesiest tunes, “Lonesome Train” and the mock-menacing “Pistol Packing Son Of A Gun” follow. “Train” features a touch of sanctified piano, while “Pistol” percolates along behind Perry’s mellifluous declarations of malicious intent.

The two-part “Building A Home” is a lost classic of mid-seventies R&B, a swirling, latin-tinged tour de force reminding me of Donny Hathaway’s “The Ghetto” or even some of Santana’s bluesier work. Perry’s deep baritone melds with electric piano, congas, a retinue of female back-up singers, a crisp horn section, and a James Brown-like guitar riff, creating a piece worthy of standing next to the best the decade had to offer.

“End of Your Road” was cut by Bobby “Blue” Bland. Over the years, Perry has written a good portion of Bland’s repertoire, often under a pseudonym. Once, at a Bland-BB King show in the seventies, King, who had never met Perry, spotted Perry in the audience and introduced him to a Houston crowd as “one of the world’s finest songwriters”. I think if you have listened closely this far into the disc you will be inclined to agree.

Love is not all that was on Perry’s mind in the turbulent early 70’s. “Watergate” and “Three K’s” are topical songs memorializing four fallen American leaders. The “Three K’s” are the two slain Kennedys and Martin Luther King, the deaths of whom inspired many bluesmen to wax touching songs of regret. Perry’s mordant take on Nixon’s toilet-spiraling presidency is a somewhat rarer bird, much of which could have been written again many times over since then, with only the name of the “-Gate” changed.
Two songs from the false advertising department: The misleadingly-named “Do The Honky Tonk” is actually a sterling example of glittering High Disco, while the preceding tune, “The Best Thing I Ever Had” is the bloodbucket, sawdust-on-the-floor, honky-tonker, traversed with ease by Perry’s bottomless baritone.

~John Nova Lomax, April 1999