A Q&A with the Valley’s busiest live-music performer.

Music Notes: Lee Perreira

Written by Jason P. Woodbury Category: Arts Issue: May 2017
Group Free

Lee Perreira is all about versatility. The blues rocker is as comfortable playing solo acoustic songs on his Martin guitar as he is playing rowdy electric rock with his backing band. Phoenicians have plenty of chances to see him in either role – or both – at his regular gigs at The Vig, Crescent Ballroom and Copper Blues. We caught up with Perreira while he was recording his second album in Phoenix and in Nashville to discuss his sound and playing with Chicago blues legend Buddy Guy.

In addition to modern rock, there’s a big blues influence on your album Melodies for Marie. are the blues a big part of your musical makeup?
I use the term “blues-infused.” The blues definitely comes out in the things I write and play, but I wouldn’t call myself a traditional blues artist.

You performed with Buddy Guy at the Marquee Theatre in Tempe. What was it like playing on stage with him?
It was awesome. I opened for him with my full band and I talked with him backstage. He asked me who I looked up to, and I said John Lee Hooker. I told him I saw Hooker at Celebrity Theatre years ago. He was 92 when I saw him and he sat the whole time, but for about 10 seconds during “Boogie Chillen’” he stood up. Buddy laughed and said, “‘Boogie Chillen’’ is the first song I ever learned on guitar.” I asked if I could sit in with him, and he said “I don’t give a shit, let’s do it!”

You play solo acoustic shows a lot, but also play with a full band. Do you gravitate toward one more than the other?
They’re two sides of the same coin. If I only did one, I’d miss the other, for sure.

— Jason P. Woodbury