Long-time guitarist, singer, song-writer, sound man and sailor Scott Perkins took inspiration for “Ships & Giggles,” his fourth CD, from the sea, specifically his freshwater to saltwater travels aboard the 32-foot DownEast sailing vessel Chip Ahoy.
All of the songs are original tunes. Some arrived organically, during travels on the Gulf of Mexico down to Key West. Other songs were “born” some time ago and now arrive fully evolved on “Ships & Giggles.” “Check out when you’re through” was written 30 years ago in a Milwaukee hotel room; recently rediscovered in one of Scott’s blue composition notebooks aboard Chip Ahoy, it became one of his favorites on the CD, thanks to the addition of keyboards by Paul “Fergie” Keranen.
“Humpty Dumpty,” a lullaby with a beat for all ages, is backed by Austin musician AJ Fischer’s dreamy scat vocals. “It was actually written before they were born, but I used to sing this song for my kids when they were babies,” says Scott. “I think the studio mixing/mastering talents of PJ Olsson really shine on this song - he gave it a totally modern, unexpected twist that brought a smile to my face the first time I heard the final version. I can’t thank him enough for the great work he did on my CD.” PJ, a Grammy-nominated sound engineer, is a talented solo artist in his own right, as well as lead singer for the Alan Parsons Project. He also mastered Scott’s second CD, “Palm Trees in Da Keweenaw.”
The “Ships & Giggles” artwork has its own story. The sunset scene on the back of the CD is a shot of Ingram Bayou on Alabama’s Gulf Coast. Chip Ahoy regularly anchors in this tranquil spot where the dolphins play. Speaking of dolphins, the painting reproduced on the CD itself is by “Kamo Who Came By the Sea” Guenette, an intrepid Canadian sailor plying the engineless, tiny “Minot” around the world. Scott met Kamo in Marathon Florida’s Boot Key Harbor and was graciously granted permission to use this picture of the Seven Mile Bridge for CD art.
The CD cover and inside portrait are the work of noted photographer and graphic artist Tom Duchaine. “The cover makes people smile, and that’s what it’s all about,” says Scott. “This is a happy CD. Tom‘s vision really helped to capture that feeling.”
Two songs on the CD, “Boatyard Blues” and “Key West Pump-out” are a been-there-done-that for countless boaters either stuck on blocks in the boatyard while their vessels undergo repairs/ maintenance or sitting on the boat with a full sewage tank. As a harbormaster who has pumped out countless holding tanks himself, Scott is looking forward to sharing this clean-water ode to the hard-working pump-out staffers in Key West, Fort Myers Beach and elsewhere. “I hope John gets a kick out of it in Key West,“ he says.
There are two instrumentals, a tradition on Scott’s CDs that pays homage to his lead guitar roots. “Sand Dollar” and “Sea Salt” feature the hot licks, upbeat energy and virtuoso pacing that Scott’s fans have come to know and love.
“Pine trees to palm trees … here I go again,” became a real-life soundtrack for Scott and wife Cyndi as they again headed south on the rivers into Mobile Bay and the Gulf of Mexico in late 2010. You can follow Scott’s travels on his facebook site.
As he makes his way through Jimmy Buffett country, Scott is quite frequently compared to Buffett. “The comparison is flattering, but when people ask me who I sound like or play like, I have to say that I mostly sound like - myself,” says Scott.