Anchored by music since 1986, Nick Peraino has considered a lifestyle with easier, predictable, or more lucrative paths absent of music on many occasions, but he has always been drawn back to it. Originally inspired to play classical piano by his fathers performances of Chopins nocturnes, Nick was grasped by true musical addiction when his brother started a band and brought home Stevie Ray Vaughans Live at El Mocambo, then a VHS release. With great obsession Nick learned the performance note for note, wearing out the rewind button on the VCR. Copping SRVs guitar style so diligently rocketed Nicks skills on guitar, and far faster than anything hed learned on the piano. It was this vein-pumping, retina-dilating excitement that got Nick hookedhe became a lifer. Years later Nick realized the importance of honing his own unique style and sound, and began listening to a wider variety of guitarists, singers and songwriters.
Nick cut his teeth performing on the world-renowned Chicago Blues circuit, what Nick refers to as music boot camp. “The clubs always had bodies filling them, tourists from all over the world. There was and is a standard on that scene that one must live up to. And that genre commands a specific musical language; one which I feel can only be learned through speaking (playing) it in a live setting, in front of an audience. So all these people came to see THAT, and you must give it to them. And for me this was with Joanna Connor on an average of 3 hours a night and 4 nights a week for 6 years.”
In 2011 Nicks shift from sideman to frontman was realized through new perspective. A seemingly bad turn of events led to a positive shift in consciousness. An unfortunate visit to the emergency room in February of 2011 led to a diagnosis of Crohns Disease. With a newfound now or never attitude, he gained confidence and satisfied a burning desire to become a band leader. He could now write and arrange the material and take his musical vision in a direction true to his heart.
Twenty years after those initial transcriptions on guitar, and five self-produced CDs later, Nick is not only a frontman for Nick and the Ovorols, but also a producer, songwriter, singer, and guitarist. His music has a strong balance in all areas, not favoring one over the other. “Guitar solos can get old after awhile; there needs to be MORE going on to engage an audience: lyrics, passionate singing, fun or moving songs.” Peraino – once a mono-faceted blues/rock guitar soloist – has adopted a less exclusive approach to music, taking into account all the important aspects for an engaging record or concert. “This does not mean I’ve lost my passion for guitar playing, don’t get me wrong, I love to play guitar, and I’d like to believe that I play with a style I can call my own, but I don’t feel that it’s my one and only strong suit. It’s most important to me that people get into the songs, vocals, lyrics and the groove. I do however allow myself to be more adventurous on guitar in a live setting and feel that the guitar aspect can lend to a more energetic show. There is a tendency for someone in my genre to be pegged as a guitarist and only a guitarist. It’s my goal to catch people off guard. I think fans will find over time that all my records have a different vibe to them. I don’t just go in the studio with the band and record live takes of tunes. The studio is a playground to me and I like to find different timbres and experiment with things during the songwriting process. I find this helps me think outside the box when arranging a song and can really shape the end result in a unique fresh way.”
Nick and the Ovorols kicked off 2013 in style with a new record titled Telegraph Taboo and a Gulf Coast tour with stops in Nashville, TN. They have since made this route a routine. They continue to build their following playing around Chicago and are planning to tour every month or two for the rest of the year. Aside from critical acclaim on their recent indie record release, they continue to gain recognition and are slowly and consistently building their following and industry network. They realize that bringing their music to as many people as they would like requires dedication, hard work and perseverance. But the journey doesn’t have to be an arduous means to an end and the band makes a conscious effort to enjoy the journey thru bringing fiery, energetic, and emotional performances to their audiences.
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