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Elvis Perkins in Dearland

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Biography

Elvis Perkins (born February 9, 1976) is a folk-rock singer-songwriter. He is the son of actor Anthony Perkins (an Academy-award nominated screen actor best known for his role as Norman Bates in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho), and a well known Elvis Presley aficionado, and photographer Berry Berenson, whose work appeared regularly in Life magazine. He was raised in Los Angeles, California and New York City. Perkins is a great-grandson of the fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli and a nephew of the actress Marisa Berenson. Perkins attended Brown University, in Providence, Rhode Island.

Perkins has been known as Elvis since birth; it is not a moniker he pointedly adopted. Perkins was raised in Los Angeles and New York and took to music at an early age. He briefly learned the saxophone before picking up the guitar in high school and taking lessons with Prescott Niles, one-time bassist for The Knack. While he played in rock bands, Perkins also developed an interest in the classical guitar, and began to compose music in both idioms. He also wrote poetry, and that gradually morphed into lyrics. After a short stint at college, he began to cultivate the idiosyncratic, highly personalized style that distinguishes Ash Wednesday.

“It’s been a long journey, long in the coming,” Perkins admits, when he discusses the album, and it took a serious detour on September 11, 2001, when his mother, a passenger on the ill-fated American Airlines Flight 11 from Boston to Los Angeles, perished in the attack on New York City’s twin towers, a day before the ninth anniversary of his father’s passing. Ash Wednesday has been shaped in part by this tragic event and its aftermath.

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