She appears to have “done it all”– musician, journalist, photography model, graphic/web designer, actor.
But Rose Cora Perry stresses that music is where it’s at for her, first and foremost.
The 30-something singer-songwriter leads her trio, The Truth Untold, onto the stage at Barrie’s Waterfront Festival Saturday, May 26, bringing that alt-rock edge to town. The crowd – which may include some relatives who live here – will take in sounds like her self-penned Away I Go, off her latest album Onto the Floor, among others.
Perry tells BarrieToday her musical quest started at age four when she first took classical vocal training, soon followed by her first song at age seven. While she never stopped singing and playing growing up, Rose added other forms of art to her arsenal, never afraid to try anything.
“My various endeavours - from writing columns, doing photoshoots, dabbling in graphic/web design, acting, emceeing special events and hosting TV shows - are all a part of who I am holistically and constitute the various ways in which I choose to express myself. However, it all ties back to music.”
The Truth Untold formed in 2016, around the same time Onto the Floor was released, Perry deciding her sound needed more of a “band sensibility” than just an acoustic guitar could offer.
Drummer Tyler Randall was seen on a Facebook group for musicians, jammed with Perry, and just seemed to “get” what she was aiming for.
”We’ve been together ever since.”
Amber Gorham started out doing live sound on Perry’s tour, but after hearing an old demo of Gorham’s singing, Rose decided she could also supply harmony vocals, “even if it meant teaching her to play bass myself.” Fortunately, Gorham was facile on about a dozen other instruments.
Perry gives Randall propers for “reviving my love of distortion and bringing the 'rocker' back out in me.”… and Amber for “basslines (that) play nicely off of my guitar work - enhancing our overall sound - and she’s totally made my dream of being able to perform vocal harmonies live a reality.”
Labels are often difficult to stick on a fledgling rock band, but Perry gives it a try. “We’re a raw alternative-rock band, but the vocals are clean and the songs are melody-driven. We’ve been told we’re basically a mix of Joan Jett and Pat Benatar, if both were raised in the 90s.”
In expressing more amazement than ego, Rose calls Away I Go her favourite song. “Honestly, I’m still surprised some days that I wrote it. It’s so catchy and so beautiful yet also heartbreaking and very real.”
Beauty, of course, is in the eye of the beholder, but this rocker wants folks to laud her musical skills rather than her looks – even though one media outlet branded her “Rock Babe of the Week” over a decade ago. Given the changed climate between men and women, does the title rub her the wrong way?
“Do I think female musicians, in particular, are hyper-sexualized? Yes. Do I think it does a disservice to us in terms of being taken seriously as musicians first, and females second? HELL, YES. But do I also understand that I work within an industry where image, branding and marketing matter? Absolutely.”
“Whether someone thinks I’m a ‘babe’ or not is truly irrelevant to whether I can write a decent song. All that matters is how you feel about yourself. I’m happy with who I am.”
And Barrie’s Waterfront Festival in Barrie is happy to welcome Rose Cora Perry and the Truth Untold Saturday, May 26. For more, click here.