Former Houghton resident makes good with music

HOUGHTON – When Mojo Perry lived in Houghton, he often found there was nothing for him to do. But something came out of nothing. He discovered a love for music.

“All I did was play, play, play and play,” Perry said in an email interview.

But in addition to playing music, living in the area also taught him to have courage in himself and in his music.

“I wasn’t well received at first,” he said. “It taught me to have faith.”

But Perry ultimately decided to leave, and in doing so found acceptance of his music elsewhere.

Perry, whose upcoming album “Milwaukee” drops in May, still finds time to make it back to the Copper Country, but usually on the sly so he can concentrate on his work.

“I never announce I’m there and write very quietly and discretely,” he said.

He also goes to Copper Harbor every year not only as a retreat, but to perform and lay down new music and get feedback on new songs.

Perry describes his music as something original that contains his own fingerprint.

“My sound and tones are very much an extension of what I do,” he said. “It’s blues in nature but rock and psychedelic at the same time. To develop a distinguishable sound that’s your own is very tough these days.”

For his upcoming album, Perry said the response has been great and he hopes people walk away feeling any sort of emotion.

“I think that if you can walk away feeling something, then it’s done its job,” he said. “I’m not trying to be famous and Lord knows, I’m not getting rich but the lives and people I get to interact with is beyond cool.”

The influences for Perry are as diverse as they are literary. He cites not only Jimi Hendrix, but also the works of Jack Kerouac and Charles Bukowski.

“It was Jimi Hendrix’s influence that changed my playing and helped me to be recognized as a guitarist,” he said. “It all adds up.”

With an album dropping in May, Perry also hopes that his future in music continues to allow him to do the things he loves to do.

“More recording, gigs and touring,” he said. “As I get older, I see that I need to accommodate that change in my life some day. Every boxer retires tough but smart enough to step out of the ring. In my case, they will carry me off that stage on a stretcher before I will gently expire.”