Bluegrass, even bluer waters

Sunday December 15, 2019 Written by Published in Entertainment
Jim Perkins. 19121218 Jim Perkins. 19121218

It took the big move to Rarotonga with his family, for one-time backing guitarist Jim Perkins to finally focus on recording his own songs. Anneka Brown goes for wade and a chat in the lagoon with him.


The living room is filled with instruments, guitars litter the carpet, loud speakers lean on the walls and the floors are draped with the cords of microphones.

This family home comes alive when Jim Perkins picks up his guitar and lets his melodies flow.

Since moving to Rarotonga in 2017 with his wife Roni, also a musician, and his daughter Indy, he has worked on creating bluegrass inspired instrumentals and writing songs that he describes as the soundtrack to his life.

When he first arrived he began the challenge of renovating his family home, then he started teaching guitar lessons on the side and now he launches his first original EP, simply titled Jim Perkins.

It has been a long project with some songs written almost six years ago and recorded two years apart.

The songs he says are about people he has met and some of his interesting experiences in life.

There are two instrumentals in the collection about his daughter Indy too.

All the songs are special to him but the one he likes to play the most is ‘When I was a Kid’. This one he says tells the story of having less worries when you’re young and leaping into life without figuring out all of the details.

Another song ‘You and I’ brought Roni to tears as she listened to the lyrics.

“I really like the ballads in bluegrass music, some of them really hit home,” says Perkins.

The feeling of completing his EP is a bit weird, he says, because for many years he worked as a guitarist for other people.

While studying music in his youth he worked relentlessly in covers bands and in various rock groups and jazz combos as a session guitarist finally arriving in the NZ Reggae legend David Grace Band.

“But coming to Rarotonga was a good opportunity to become focused on my own music.”

Perkins performs at Trios every Monday night and jams with his fellow musicians Mii Taokia and Mo Newport. On other nights he and his wife Roni perform duets at resorts and restaurants around the island.

Today Perkins’ singer-songwriter skills culminate for the launch of his album which has already made its debut on Spotify, iTunes, iTunesmusic and BandCamp.

Perkins will be performing today at Charlies Café in Titikaveka at 1pm.

Motone Productions Glenda Tuaine says “The EP is a sincere and genuine statement from a musician who is comfortable and real in his songwriting and composition.

“Each song is beautifully constructed and perfect music for those Sunday afternoons when you need to take a breath. So worth listening too and adding to your favourites.”

·         The Jim Perkins EP is available on Spotify, iTunes, iTunesmusic, or BandCamp.


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