Joe Perry

Rockin' the Basement

JoeAerosmith guitarist Joe Perry didn't have far to travel when it came time to polish the material on his self-titled solo set. Instead of flying across the country or even driving to the other side of his Boston home base, he simply walked down the stairs and flipped on the lights in his basement home studio, the Boneyard.

"Part of my process for writing is, I like to go down and cover other songs just for the hell of it, just to see how they come out," Perry says of the set, which was a largely solitary endeavor. "That's one of the benefits of having a studio at the house. There's nothing like being able to just go downstairs and get the guitar sounds I have in my head to come out of speakers and get them on tape."

Due this week via Columbia, the album blends relatively recent compositions such as "Shakin' My Cage," "Lonely" and "Push Comes To Shove" with new versions of old, never-completed ideas. Perry says the closing instrumental, "Mercy," has been around in some form since sessions for Aerosmith's 1993 album "Get a Grip," while "Ten Years" was written "about 10 years ago for my 10th wedding anniversary, as a present for my wife. I never really planned on anybody hearing it other than her."

Also featured are covers of Woody Guthrie's "Vigilante Man" and the Doors' "Crystal Ship." Says Perry of the former, "It's a tip of the hat to one of the most important musical figures of the last century, in my book anyway. Hopefully somebody who doesn't know Guthrie will hear this and explore, or grab one of his records."

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