Typically, when an American artist first discovers France, they start in Paris and only explore the rest of the country much later. Zak Perry, however, is not your typical artist, which is why his discovery of France and Europe was made by doing things a little bit differently.
In fact, it was by way of Valenciennes, in the North of France, Zak began to appreciate the French country in 2016. Accompanied on that first acoustic tour by his guitarist, Vern Vennard, Zak quickly found places throughout France and northern Europe to play his music, and highlight his songwriting. Even more importantly, he found an audience that was ready to listen to and applaud him. Like other artists from across the Atlantic, he stresses the cultural differences between the American and European audiences and insists that “here people listen to me when I play”; always stunned and humbled by the triumphant welcome he received.
As of 2019, Zak has launched five tours from the home base in Valenciennes that have traveled to various regions of France (Nord/ Pas de Calais, Alsace, Gard, Cote d’Azur) as well as wowing audiences in Belgium and the Netherlands. His style, which he sagely defines as “a cocktail of rock, country, blues and Gospel”, quickly met an enthusiastic audience. The Texan artist has made many relationships that will allow him to record his first release recorded outside American soil.
It was during one of these tours that struck by the wonderful and various encounters he had, Zak decided to change the name of the band from The Zak Perry Band to Zak Perry & The Beautiful Things!
A veteran of the American independent music scene for over 35 years, Zak lives with a genuine intensity rarely seen. His eyes firmly locked on the future, Zak Perry is ready to expand his European audience.
With his diverse experiences, boundless curiosity and his quest for the continued development of his craft, it is a fully formed musical and human experience that he offers to the Old Continent with The Beautiful Things.
Zak Perry & The Beautiful Things
Zak Perry – vocals, guitar
Vern Vennard – guitar, keyboards, backing vocals
Scott “Stingray” Ray – bass
Jason Charron – drums, percussion
Zak Perry: A well-rounded, elegant songwriter and accomplished musician, Zak is above all a performer since he truly lives his LIVE music! He is a charismatic frontman ready to impress any audience with his warm, soulful voice and expert guitar talent at times both powerful and delicate.
Vern Vennard: While being the exact opposite kind of showman as Zak, Vern is actually the perfect complement to the band’s leader; as is without question after being Zak’s band mate for close to 23 years! A much more introverted artist (a la Jeff Beck), Vern lets his guitar do the talking: coloring the songs with perfectly complimentary parts, a brilliant and finely sculpted tone and beautifully soulful slide passages.
Jason Charron: Whether Zak is delicately floating on an acoustic cloud or starting an electric sonic deluge, Jason effortlessly reinforces the groove with incredible talent in his role of Master of the Drums ! If you’re lucky enough to hear their live cover of “Whole Lotta Love”, you may find yourself thinking that think that the late John Bonham has a second son named Jason !
Scott “Sting” Ray: Imposing in stature, Stingray the Texas giant prefers to play his part with discretion. Finding no use for flamboyantly ostentatious technical flourishes or demonstrative solos, he instead lays down delicate, but powerful bass lines that accompany perfectly the compositions of the band’s leader.
The French “Beautiful Things”
There have been times in the past few years that the American Beautiful Thing rhythm section could not make the tour. As such, when Zak and Vern cross the Atlantic without their Texan rhythm section, they now play with the two newest “Beautiful Things”, elite French musicians Julien Mahieux and Guillaume Maillard. Both hailing from Valenciennes, they compliment Zak & Vern’s inherent musical telepathy with their similar preternatural connection; as they have been playing together since they were teenagers.
Originally seduced by the captivating musical universe of Zak’s songs and the band’s music, they eventually were asked to join the European adventure within the combo. They have proven to be such an addition that now when the Texas rhythm section makes the tours they band grows to encompass every member.
Julien Mahieux: since 2017, Julien has toured France, Belgium and the Netherlands with the band by offering his undeniable, funky, New Orleans style talent as a drummer and at the washboard!
Guillaume Maillard: Affectionately dubbed “Willie” by his Texan band mates, Guillaume has brilliantly performed as a bassist as well as adding while adding his signature “French touch” background vocals.