ABBEVILLE • To be an independent music artist, Lafayette County’s Shy Perry says you must perform a lot of roles.
Musician, singer, songwriter, arranger, record producer, booking agent, public relations manager, social media contact, roadie ... even as a driver to your own gigs.
“It means that you have to work your butt off in doing your own thing,” she said.
Doing her own thing has earned Perry recognition for her music. The keyboardist and songwriter from Abbeville has been nominated for three 2019 Josie Music Awards, which honors independent music artists as well as other categories such as photography, video production and management.
Perry is up for two individual honors in the R&B/Soul category: Artist of the Year and Vocalist of the Year. She is one of four nominees in each category.
Her third solo album, “Brand New Day,” is up for Female Album of the Year. The album, which creates a modern sound of blues music, is going against 14 other entrants from a wide range of music genres.
The fifth annual Josie Music Awards will be presented Sept. 21 at the Dollywood Theme Park in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
“To have three nominations is amazing for me, an absolute honor,” said Perry, 42. “It was over 22,000 people who applied for different categories. You have to put in for whatever category you want to be nominated for and you have to have a little of history behind it.”
Perry’s history has been shaped by her musical family.
She began performing professionally as a teenager with her family band, The Perrys. The group included Shy’s legendary father, Mississippi bluesman Bill Howl-N-Madd Perry, on guitar and brother Bill Perry Jr. on piano.
Both father and son played on Shy’s award-nominated album, which received airplay in the U.S. and Europe and reached No. 30 on the Independent Blues Broadcasters Association chart. You can hear album cuts and download them from Perry’s Bandcamp and Reverb Nation web pages, as well as her website, sharoperry.com.
Perry has played venues around the world with her father, and this summer they toured the U.S. to support her album. She considers her music “the Great Grandchild of the Blues.”
“It’s both of us out here doing our thing,” she said, “but when it comes to the awards, this is me out here. I think I have my history, and the album had a lot to do with helping me get this nomination.”
While her solo work is drawing praise, Perry still enjoys being on stage with her father.
“He’s my dad, so I’ll always perform with him,” she said. “Eventually, I’m going to have my own thing and my own band, and he’ll do his thing. But we’re family and we’ll always come back together. At this point, we’re working as partners.”
Perry is excited to attend the award ceremony and hopes to come home a winner. She was nominated for a Josie Award in 2015.
“We’re going to Dollywood,” she said. “We’re going to have a whole weekend of events hanging out in Dollywood.”
The list of 2019 Josie Award nominees can be found online at www.josiemusicawards.com.
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