Nashville band New Suede, featuring Manheim Central grad, performs at Lititz Shirt Factory on Friday
Photographs by Cameron Broadhurst
Feb 23, 2022
There's no telling where the "Lonesome Road" will lead.
For Eli Perron, that road went from Lancaster to Nashville, and now, for one night, back again.
Perron, a Manheim Central grad, will perform with his band, New Suede, at the Lititz Shirt Factory on Friday, Feb. 25. Tickets are $20.
Other than a show at Tellus360 with a previous incarnation of New Suede, Perron has been making a name for himself in Tennessee, first in Murfreesboro to attend Middle Tennessee State University for audio production, and then on to Nashville.
"Being in Lancaster and then being in Nashville...it's just a lot different," Perron says by phone. "I definitely had culture shock at first."
In the summer of 2021, Perron and his bandmates tracked what would be the band's official debut album, "Lonesome Road," over the course of two days at Nashville's famed Welcome to 1979 studio. All nine tracks were recorded live to tape by Perron on guitar and vocals, Danny Anderson on bass, Aaron "Bucky" Anderson on drums, Jacob Markus on saxophone, Lance Highers on blues harp, and Nathan Aronowitz on keyboard.
After recording in spurts and releasing a few songs over the course of several years, "Lonesome Road" released in January of this year.
"I just wanted to put out an album, because I wanted to do that," Perron says. "We've put out singles in the past, but, for whatever reason, we just never got an album out, which was frustrating to me. This time, I thought, 'I just want to get some songs out and feel good about it.'"
"Feeling good" is an apt description of "Lonesome Road," as its heavily blues and funk rock-influenced sound seems ready to soundtrack your next barbecue or party. Songs like "Looking Glass" and "Freedom Funk" pulsate with wah-wah guitars, harmonica and a head-bobbing drum beat.
While some songs were birthed in the studio, some, such as "Soulshine," whose lyrics provide the name of the album, date back years, with Perron only recently unearthing demos to work on further.
"It's a feel thing," Perron says of his creative process. "Sometimes things align, and it's easier when you're not thinking about it and just sitting there strumming. What you're doing subconsciously catches your attention, and that's how you know it's good."