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Elvis Perkins performing live at Joe's Pub in New York City on March 1, 2007.
|Born||February 9, 1976|
|Instruments||Vocals, guitar, harmonica|
Elvis Perkins (born February 9, 1976) is an American folk-rock recording artist. He released his debut studio album, Ash Wednesday, in 2007. Perkins subsequently toured in support of the album with his band Elvis Perkins in Dearland, composed of Perkins alongside multi-instrumentalists Brigham Brough (bass,vocals, saxophone), Wyndham Boylan-Garnett (organ, harmonium, trombone, guitar, vocals) and Nick Kinsey (drums, clarinet, vocals). The band released their eponymous debut, Elvis Perkins in Dearland, on March 10, 2009.
The band formed in Providence, RI around 2004 when Elvis moved to the East Coast upon completing Ash Wednesday, although the members have been friends and collaborators for many years. The band are currently based out of the Hudson River Valley of New York State, where Perkins is working on a novel.
Perkins is the son of actor Anthony Perkins and photographer Berry Berenson. He was raised in Los Angeles, California, and New York City with his older brother, actor Oz Perkins. Perkins is a great-grandson of the fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli who was a great-niece of Giovanni Schiaparelli, the Italian astronomer who believed he had discovered the supposed canals of Mars, and a nephew of the actress Marisa Berenson, Berry's sister. His paternal grandfather Osgood Perkins, was also an actor. His maternal great grandfather was Count Wilhelm de Wendt de Kerlor, a Theosophist and psychic medium. His mother was also a great-grandniece of art expert Bernard Berenson (1865–1959) and his sister Senda Berenson (1868–1954), an athlete and educator who was one of the first two women elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame. Perkins attended Brown University, in Providence, Rhode Island, after graduating from high school at the Harvard-Westlake School in 1994.
Perkins' father was a well known Elvis Presley fan and thus named his son Elvis. Perkins took to music at an early age, briefly learning 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 death. Ash Wednesday has been shaped in part by this tragic event and its aftermath.
Berry Berenson was the younger daughter of Robert L. Berenson, an American diplomat turned shipping executive, who was of Lithuanian Jewish descent; his mother's family's original surname was Valvrojenski.
Some of his ancestry on his mother's side is French, Jewish, Egyptian, Italian, and Swiss. His father Anthony Perkins died in 1992 of complications related to AIDS.
Ash Wednesday was independently released in 2006 and was subsequently released February 20, 2007 by XL Recordings.
His band released their debut album Elvis Perkins in Dearland on 10 March 2009.
Elvis Perkins' song "Doomsday" from the Doomsday EP appeared on the second season premiere of the HBO series Enlightened.
In 2009, Perkins worked with the Yellow Bird Project to create a t-shirt to raise money for the World Wildlife Fund. In that same year, on September 2, he also performed an acoustic benefit concert in New York City at the Housing Works Bookstore Café to help promote the project's first publication.
- "While You Were Sleeping" (July 16, 2007)
- "All the Night Without Love" (November 20, 2007)
- "The Doomsday EP" (October 20, 2009)
- Official Elvis Perkins website
- UK based Elvis Perkins website
- Elvis Perkins at MySpace
- Elvis Perkins: Brooding, Thoughtful, Sophisticated from National Public Radio
- Elvis Perkins and Dearland on Letterman performing "While You Were Sleeping"
- Gibson Guitar's Interview with Elvis Perkins by Ellen Mallernee
- Interview with Elvis Perkins on The Line Of Best Fit