Angela Perley & The Howlin’ Moons/ April 19, 2013/ Casa Cantina

angela-perley-howlin-moonsIt’s always interesting to see how fellow Bobcats fare in the world after leaving the secluded Appalachian nook that is Athens to start their lives.

In 2008 Angela Perley, a Hilliard native, was a graduating English major. Now the substitute English teacher turned soulful entertainer, has found success with her band The Howlin’ Moons and is returning back to Athens this Friday for a show at Casa Cantina.

The band comprised of two longtime friends, Billy Zehnal (bass) and Chris Connor (lead guitar), and Perley’s high-school classmate Steve Rupp (drums) formed in Columbus, OH in 2009.

 Angela Perley & The Howlin’ Moons have went on put out four EPs in the last 3 years including Black Cat (2010), Yellow Moon (2011), Fireside (2011) and latest project Nowhere is Now Here (December 2012).

Influenced by the classic sounds of Loretta Lynn, Patsy Cline, Bob Dylan and Wanda Jackson, Perley and her band are part rock and roll, part rockabilly, with a pinch of R&B and some good ole’ southern sounding country sass.

“I’ve always been interested in old movies and songs and a lot of older artist who’ve definitely influenced me in the music I listen to,” said Perley. “I think more and more people are winding back, because everything has hints of the past.”

Just days ago while in New York, Perley and her band mates found themselves at a tribute show for their idol Loretta Lynn’s birthday.

“There were all these young artists singing Loretta Lynn’s songs at this little club in New York which was really cool because you wouldn’t think that many people were fans of Loretta Lynn’s music, especially the young crowd there playing her songs.”

Perley also grew up doing children’s theatre and went on to perform in her high school theatre. Her acting chops are actually what brought her to OU, earning her a theatre scholarship that she later declined.

“I wanted to make up my own parts,” said Perley. “I thought it would be to dog eat dog to actually do it as a profession, and I just preferred music.”

Her lifelong theatre background is what gives her music such a dramatic bite, as she melodically narrates tales of love and even murder like in her song “18 Feet Under”.

“You can create whatever you want with it and have control over your roles,” said Perley. “I think of a lot of songs as little scripts in plays, so I think it influences me in how I write songs.”

After four EPs the band’s first full-length album is finally in the works.

“We’re hoping to have it out by next August or September,” said Perley. “We have pretty much all the parts of it recorded but we’re wrapping it up this month.”

In fall of 2014 they plan to get away from the familiarity of Chicago and New York venues to go on their biggest tour yet in the UK, where they’ll release the album and promote it.

While in Athens, Perley plans to perform a lot of new material, including a song most likely to be a fan favorite that’s all about Athens.

“We love playing in Athens,” said Perley. “I didn’t really get serious and find my voice until I lived in Athens.”

The show will take place at Casa Cantina. It’s $3 for 21 and up and $5 for those under 21.

This show preview was written for ACRN.com and published on April 18, 2013.

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