M Ross Perkins
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M Ross Perkins

Dayton, OH | Established. Jan 01, 2004 | INDIE

Dayton, OH | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2004
Solo Rock Psychedelic




"Album Premiere: M Ross Perkins"

M. Ross Perkins, a neo-psychedelic musician from Dayton, gets sunny and a little silly on his self-titled debut. While a line like "Grandma's dead and we're taking all her stuff/Gonna make her stuff our own" isn't necessarily funny on the surface, Perkins' inflection and the swirling music add whimsy to the matter-of-factness. But it's not all cheeky fun; Perkins has a grand plan for his debut in the scope of his broader, forthcoming body of work.

"When I put this record together, I was very conscious of the fact that I was writing a debut release and, more specifically, that it would be seen as a flagship within the larger catalog of work that I intend to produce," Perkins wrote. "So, I tried to think about the album as if it were a formal outline of my stylistic range, with each song being a primary heading to represent a unique style or aesthetic. The idea is that my subsequent records should gradually reveal themselves as the detailed subheadings beneath each individual song — or style — on the debut." - AllMusic.com

"Song Premiere: "Ever Ever Ever""

According to M Ross Perkins...

“The song began as a way to describe this pathetic kid I was imagining. I was picturing a quiet, rotund, sort of cross-eyed, ginger-headed doofus who nobody liked and who sucked at baseball. Just a completely unloved little idiot trying to gain affection. That brought about the chorus: ‘Is he ever ever ever gonna get your love?’

“But then as I got into it, I realized that I was just describing the way that I see myself when I experience self-doubt as a songwriter. Sometimes, after I’ve written a song, it feels like I’m holding up some childish-ass drawing, like, ‘Look what I did.’ And I imagine everybody kind of rolling their eyes, annoyed, unimpressed, like ‘What is it, a lighthouse?’

“So, that chorus ended up saying something much more personal than I had intended; the question of whether or not the kid would ever receive love was really a question of whether or not I would ever earn respect or praise as an artist. My favorite part is that, even after realizing what the song represented, apparently the best I could come up with was a one-line chorus, a one-line bridge, and three super low-brow couplets, none of which actually rhyme.” - The Huffington Post

"Song Premiere: "Humboldt County Green""

Tokers, this Tuesday special is for you. This brand-new track from M Ross Perkins, “Humboldt County Green,” is the kind of good old-fashioned psychedelic-tinged rock & roll that the world could use right now. The inspiration, as told by Mr. Perkins, is equally as enchanting.

“During a period of time when I was broke as hell, my best friend spotted me a bag that he said had just come off the bus from Humboldt County,” recalls Perkins. “I went back to my house, got stoned, and wrote ‘Humboldt County Green’ sort of as a double tribute: partly as an ode to Humboldt County itself and partly as a way of showing gratitude to my buddy for letting me slide on the money I owed him for that bag. I gave him a nod right at the beginning of the first verse: ‘I’ve got a friend and he’s got the money / He’s gone to get a jar of California honey.’

When it was done, I sent him the demo, and he shared it with our friend from Humboldt who had couriered the stuff back to Ohio for us. She wasn’t wild about it. She said it’s annoying when non-Californians talk about the place like they know something about it. I said, ‘I guess we should scrap all those old love songs about Paris, then.'” - High Times

"Psych Collector: February, 2017"

[4 STARS] M Ross Perkins' self-titled album features an array of sensitively recorded, melancholic, and occasionally fun songs, from the pen, hand and voice of this young cosmic American. Although looking more like he’d be at home in an early 70s heavy band, Perkins offers tunes that recall Harry Nilsson, Emitt Rhodes and Jimmy Campbell. A truly great album filled with late 60s and early 70s pop goodness. Don’t miss it! - Record Collector Magazine

"Song Premiere: Amazing Grace (Grandma's Dead)"

Inspired by the vibe of the music songwriting qualities that Harry Nilsson, Emitt Rhodes, Syd Barrett and The Iveys laid down, Dayton, Ohio musician M Ross Perkins has crafted an old-fashioned album filled with psychedelic-tinged rock. The track “Amazing Grace (Grandma’s Dead) – with tongue firmly in cheek – is from Perkins debut self-titled album, out October 14 via SofaBurn Records.

“In 1995, I learned that your grandmother’s possessions are completely worthless until she dies, at which point they inexplicably become valuable. I wrote this song as a way to explore that idea, as well as to express the unique elation that you feel when your grandma’s house becomes a retail liquidation free-for-all,” Perkins explained. - Ghettoblaster Magazine

"Featured Artist: M Ross Perkins"

Former Buffalo Killers roadie goes it alone

Dayton, OH native M Ross Perkins has been taping himself at home for well over a decade. But on his newest self-titled debut effort, he’s truly hit his stride in crafting effortless California psych grooves seasoned with British invasion guitars – and all with an achingly tuneful voice recalling Nilsson & Lennon. Clever lyrics and atmosphere for days.

Perkins has an interesting, if not peculiar past. His childhood home was on Dayton’s legendary Titus Avenue, five houses up from The Snake Pit, the basement studio of Robert Pollard (Guided By Voices). His early material was discovered in 2007 by the band MGMT, who offered a touring support slot at the peak of their breakout success. But Perkins declined the shows due to anxiety. He worked as Buffalo Killers’ roadie for their tours opening for The Black Crowes, and not long after ceremoniously burned an enormous back catalog of his recorded material during an intense LSD binge.

It’s little wonder then that for this release the influences of both psychedelic drugs and psych acts (such as Os Mutantes, Syd Barrett and The Beatles circa Magical Mystery Tour) would play heavily next to the sumptuous ’70s songcraft of the likes of Emitt Rhodes and Harry Nilsson. Perkins’ enigmatic and eccentric personality peers through these 12 organic and often hallucinogenic pop gems: songs that surely would’ve had the A&R reps at Apple Records feverishly scrambling for pen & signing papers back in ’72.

Perkins plays every instrument on this new record with no additional performing personnel, and also mixed and engineered the album himself in his home studio.

M Ross Perkins’ self-titled debut album will be available on Limited Edition vinyl, CDs and digital formats on October 14th via SofaBurn Records. The album is available to pre-order here, and the digital single “Humboldt County Green” is available to purchase now here. - MaximumVolume Music

"Video Premiere: "Ever Ever Ever""

M. Ross Perkins may hail from Dayton, but his sound is distinctly influenced and sounds like it could have been crafted in Southern California in the '60s. Growing up on the same street as The Snake Pit, the basement studio of Robert Pollard (Guided By Voices). His early material was discovered in 2007 by the band MGMT, who offered him a touring support slot when they were on the rise, but Perkins declined the shows due to anxiety. Perkins channels his groovy sound on his new video for "Ever Ever Ever," which is a hazy clip that takes place in several rooms, and is shot in a specific, lo-fi fashion.

"I wanted to begin the video with a shot of the building’s exterior, so that when the door opened, I would be revealed within a rectangular frame," the singer/songwriter explains. "I stole the idea from Hitchcock, who used this type of frame-within-frame composition to represent the finite box of the film screen. I’m interested in how this technique creates an often unsettling sense of displacement for the audience by forcing us to perceive ourselves as tertiary spectators, rather than fully immersed participators in the film's universe. We also included a few shots of me playing guitar as a subtle way of symbolizing that I both own and play a guitar."

M. Ross Perkins' self-titled debut album will be released on October 14 via SofaBurn Records. Pre-order the vinyl and CD. - PureVolume

"Album Review: M Ross Perkins"


In the video for 'Ever Ever Ever' which promotes the release of this album, the camera pans to a 1967 black & white portrait of Harry Nilsson on the wall of Perkins' house as the cosmic, long-haired singer loons about. That's a big clue! Although invited by MGMT to tour with them at their height, the singular songwriter declined, and continued to record, playing all the instruments himself in the comfort of his own home like Emitt Rhodes. M Ross Perkins is like the perfectly percolated distillation of Nilsson and Rhodes, one minute SoCal harmony pop inspired by the Fabs' trippy era ('My Poor Daughter') and often silly, but biographical, like Harry at his best ('Habit-Formin' Drugs').

It's reminiscent of Rockin' Horse or Jimmy Campbell: Beatles-loving, stoned, country-rockin' post-psychedelic pop-rock. A very turned-on album full of memorable songs.

Jon 'Mojo' Mills - Shindig! Magazine

"Album Review: M Ross Perkins"

The first album of Sir M Ross Perkins is this end of the year’s great surprise. Coming from Dayton, Ohio, this odd guy, who has a thing for fur and delicate pop, just released a remarkable record in more than one respect.

It's a soothing disc on which M Ross Perkins, who plays all the instruments and takes care of all the vocal parts, succeeds in capturing the essence of late ’60s/early ‘70s recordings while offering us a truly personal reinterpretation of it. An easy-going album, perfect to chill out after a hard day’s work, ideal for forgetting everyday worries. If "Humboldt County Green" and, even more, "Let A Little Lazy," drift toward Harry Nilsson with great panache, "Project 63 Online," on the other hand, is an excellent track on which we go from a typical Donovan rhythm to Beatle-esque vocal harmonies with the most beautiful effect. After two songs, we’re already charmed, and the rest is in the same vein. "My Poor Daughter" and, above all, "Someone Else," poignant without falling into pathos, are both as charming as the first Emmit Rhodes solo recordings.

The melodic talent of M Ross Perkins is a sure thing. We could praise his vocal skills, but what strikes us most is this ability to transcend his songs by brilliant arrangements which then allow his talent as a singer to express itself. Listening to a song like "Ever Ever Ever" and the way it is constructed is enough to understand that we’re dealing with an expert in the field, a detail maniac who leaves nothing to chance. The use here of a piano, there of a Mellotron, enriching the sonic palette. That’s certainly what allows him to successfully try his hand at other sonorities, like on "Amazing Grace (Grandma’s Dead)" which sounds as if The Beatles had started to play boogie, or furthermore "Habit-Formin’ Drugs," with its country overtones.

In the end, we only have a single regret, being that certain tracks are too short, particularly "Annie Waits In A Dream," which holds many great promises but stops after a frustratingly short one minute. Fortunately, the following track, "Of the Gun," is a perfect closing song and it brilliantly concludes this timeless disc. Old-fashioned, as our Anglo-Saxon friends would say.
With this first album, which we hope calls for others, M Ross Perkins makes a grand entrance into the family of talented songwriters. Splendid.

(Translated from French) - Raw Power Magazine (France)

"Album Review: M Ross Perkins"

[4 STARS] It’s been quite a year for Dayton native M. Ross Perkins: he had a track premiered by the High Times website, an album feature/stream on AllMusic, and recorded both his own solo album and a record with fellow Daytonians Me Time. But the hype is well-deserved—Perkins is not just a talented songwriter but a potent multi-instrumentalist as well, and his self-titled album is a tribute to that fact. Written, recorded, produced and played solely by Perkins himself, M. Ross Perkins is a stunning showcase of tunes that demonstrates his ability to channel the best elements of 60s and 70s rock and pop. - The Fire Note

"Best of 2016: Andy Gabbard of Buffalo Killers"

Ohio musician Andy Gabbard, of Buffalo Killers, and who released a solo record, Fluff, via Alive Naturalsound Records last year recently provided us with a list of his favorite records of 2016. This is what he was digging on.

M Ross Perkins – M Ross Perkins

Me Time – Vol. 2

Tony Molina – Confront The Truth

Teenage Fanclub – Here

Mild High Club – Skiptracing

Heron Oblivion – Heron Oblivion

Aaron Troyer – Swift & True

Emitt Rhodes – Rainbow Ends

Electric Citizen – Higher Time

Ty Segall – Emotional Mugger - Ghettoblaster Magazine

"Top Albums of 2016: Writer Edition"

M. Ross Perkins’ debut takes the one-man-band approach and hits it out of the park. 60s psychedelia and the pop-craft of acts like Harry Nilsson and Emitt Rhodes are the main influences here, but Perkins’ distinctive voice and style come through loud and clear. - The Fire Note

"M Ross Perkins: "Someone Else" Compilation Feature"

One-time Buffalo Killers' roadie M Ross Perkins is a sensitive soul that pens gossamer light tunes inspired by artists that were inspired by The British Invasion: think Emitt Rhodes, Harry Nilsson, and Rockin' Horse -- like-minded writers that looked back five years when everyone else was listening to Led Zeppelin. All who hear his plaintive pop songs fall in love with them. Listening to 'Someone Else,' you can tell. Plaintive, beautiful music. - Shindig! Magazine

"Critics Picks: M Ross Perkins Live at The 5 Spot"

Fairborn, Ohio, native M Ross Perkins does a good job of resuscitating the light rock music of 1971 on his self-titled 2016 debut, and you may want to ponder what these Nilsson-style harmonies and AM-radio-friendly rock tunes signify in the age of Trump. A lot goes into Perkins’ sunshine pop — Burt Bacharach, The Beatles circa “The Fool on the Hill” and British Invasion pop transpire throughout the 12 tracks on M Ross Perkins. “Ever Ever Ever” ably imitates the style of English proto-power-poppers The Searchers, while “Someone Else” amalgamates several mid-’60s British Invasion styles. Best of all is “Local Showcase,” which reminds me of Moby Grape and, rock scholars, long-forgotten English pop-rock group Christie. As with most revivalism of this sort — Perkins was born in 1987 — the homages tend to be less than idiomatic. But Perkins is usually funny enough to pull them off. Perkins also plays at Grimey's at 5 p.m. EDD HURT - Nashville Scene

"Mr. Claus gets a Makeover with M Ross Perkins’ new Holiday hit, “Cool Santa”"

M Ross Perkins gives the big man up north—that’s right, the one and only Santa Claus– the hipster makeover he didn’t even know he needed with a slick new holiday hit, “Cool Santa.” Perkins is releasing the single on the heels of his self-titled debut LP, released on SofaBurn Records in October.

Born, raised and still based in Dayton, OH, the singer/songwriter’s debut is a long time coming; back in 2007, he was offered a touring slot with MGMT, who liked his similarly psychedelic sound, but was held back by severe anxiety. But despite that setback, his desire to perform never diminished, perhaps a trait he picked up growing on Titus Avenue, a few houses down from The Snake Pit, the basement studio of Robert Pollard (Guided By Voices). So a stint as a roadie and at least one serious LSD binge later, he set to work on M Ross Perkins, a psych-rock effort imbued with the sounds of the ’70s. Perkins went fully DIY for the critically lauded release, not only playing every instrument himself, but also mixing and engineering the album himself in his home studio.

With winter drawing near, Perkins had a new goal in mind, and set about getting in the spirit: “For the “Cool Santa” sessions, I ordered a wholesale lot of Precious Moments Christmas figurines and arranged them all around the studio so that no matter where I was standing or what instrument I was cutting, I’d be staring down some prime holiday Presh-Mo. After the recording and mixing, I sent all the figurines away to be melted down.”

The jolly, jangling tune is a throwback to the beachy pop instrumentation of the Beach Boys, with tight, swinging harmonies and a laidback vibe. Perkins’ vintage warble brings a touch of kitsch, but also cheer and a little comedy, as he speculates about Santa’s skateboarding habits and his sleeve of tattoos.

Perkins tell us of the track, “”Cool Santa” is my small contribution to the war on Christmas. I wanted to create a postmodern Santa, one whose principles are born of infinite nothingness and whose year-long desire to party flushes him once annually from his icy estate to throw down with us, to the window and to the wall, with total enthusiasm.”

Order M Ross Perkins from SofaBurn Records and “Cool Santa” via iTunes. Connect with Perkins on Facebook, and head to his website for a list of upcoming tour dates. Give “Cool Santa” a spin below. - Elmore Magazine

"M Ross Perkins’ New X-mas Song, ‘Cool Santa’"

After being won over by M Ross Perkins’ debut album, Shindig! are now happy to debut his brand new Christmas single, ‘Cool Santa.’

M Ross Perkins: “For the ‘Cool Santa’ sessions, I ordered a wholesale lot of Precious Moments Christmas figurines and arranged them all around the studio so that no matter where I was standing or what instrument I was cutting, I’d be staring down some prime holiday Presh-Mo. After the recording and mixing, I sent all the figurines away to be melted down.” - Shindig! Magazine Online

"Funeral for a Satellite"

While the myriad of music that emerged from the 1960s continues to inform and inspire modern practitioners, there are those acolytes that seek to faithfully reinterpret the tones and production values of that bygone era. As one of these acts, the Esther Caulfield Orchestra may look back for its sound, but looks forward to a new era when musicians more closely control the means of production and distribution of their music.

Following the release of his 2005 anti-war screed “Modern Gomorrah,” guitarist/vocalist Michael Perkins founded the Esther Caulfield Orchestra in early 2007 and began performing solo acoustic sets around Dayton to mixed receptions. With an unabashed love for 60s British pop, West Coast psychedelia and Bakersfield twang, Perkins set to work creating the tracks that would become the band’s first full-length, “Good Morning, Whiskey Breakfast.” While much of the album was tracked by Perkins, he enlisted the help of Andy Gabbard and Joseph Sebaali of Buffalo Killers on guitar and drums, respectively, for a few tracks.

“The record was supposed to be this mix of what I was listening to at the time and that stuff tended to be a little bit more intricate than I could do by myself,” explained Perkins. “On the record, I had help from Joey and Andy, who are in the band now. Joey played drums on six out of 10 tracks. Andy played guitar on three tracks. The rest was all me.”

Upon its completion, Perkins presented “Good Morning, Whiskey Breakfast” as a download directly from his website, allowing visitors to name their price for the album. His success demonstrated an artist’s ability to connect with an audience directly by circumventing the traditional means of physical distribution.

“My goal in doing this way with ‘Whiskey Breakfast’ was to get this record into as many hands as possible, maybe make a little bit of money,” Perkins said. “I think it was successful in that it got into thousands of unique visitors’ hands. I made a little money and I established the foundation of what the band is supposed to represent, which is kind of a new ideology, which is ‘if you’re good enough, people will listen to you.’”

By making his music available for free, Perkins allowed Esther Caulfield Orchestra to gain listeners and still generate income to support the band. His willingness to give audiences a chance to sample the music achieved its desired results.

“To say that you can’t hear this until you pay $10 for it is like holding your material hostage – you’re going to pay a ransom and then you can hear it,” explained Perkins. “The way I looked at it was that you make your material available for free because the way that peer-to-peer works and the way the internet works is that your material will be free, whether you like it or not. So, you might as well make your material available for free on your own site so that people that want to listen to you don’t have to go to bunk sites where they’re going to get a virus.”

While the record continued to sell, the Esther Caulfield Orchestra remained a strictly studio venture until late 2010. Perkins enlisted Gabbard and Sebaali, as well as local musician/engineer John Lakes on bass guitar and began to play live. Lakes’ departed shortly thereafter, however, and Perkins sought out the third member of Buffalo Killers, Zach Gabbard, to come in on bass.

“I called Zac and said, ‘I’ve never thought to ask you before, but would you want to play bass?’” Perkins recalled. “So that’s where we’re at right now. The response [for the new line-up] has been really good. Their tone that they’ve worked on for eight to 10 years, it’s really refined and it goes really well with what my songs sound like.”

As the line-up moves forward, work is wrapping up on the Orchestra’s sophomore effort, “Cheerio!” which should see release sometime in 2011. With contributions from all members of the Buffalo Killers, Perkins is extremely pleased with the direction of the album.

“I think it will be the best record to come out of Dayton in a very long time and I don’t mind saying,” boasted Perkins. “It’s very psychedelic. There’re some country songs on it, but it’s not as country-tinged as the last one. It’s more Beatles-y than the last one. I’m trying to write lost Beatles songs.”
Above all, Perkins is an artist looking to the past for inspiration and attempting to create a new model for the future.

“The Orchestra was created with the idea of going back to these older standards that I like more than the standards for modern music,” Perkins concluded. “I just want to make records, that if I found an album in a record store and bought it and it sounded like ‘Whiskey Breakfast,’ that I would like. I try to make records that I would want in my record collection and they would fit with everything I listen to.” - Dayton CityPaper

"Artistic Alliance: Michael Perkins Recruits Buffalo Killers for Esther Caulfield Orchestra Project"

The Esther Caulfield Orchestra appeared out of nowhere in 2008 with the stunning debut, "Good Morning, Whiskey Breakfast."

The songs on the album -- performed and recorded primarily by the project's mastermind, Michael Perkins -- have a laid-back retro, late-1960s/early '70s hippie vibe, alternating between Gram Parsons-style country rock and West Coast psychedelia.

Until recently The Esther Caulfield Orchestra existed as Perkins' home recording alter-ego, but that changed recently when he recruited Joseph Sebaali (drums), Andrew Gabbard (guitar) and Zachary Gab-bard (bass) of the Buffalo Killers and began taking his show to the stage. - Dayton Daily News

"Good Morning, Whiskey Breakfast"

Culling from a veritable smorgasboard of vintage influences (The Kinks, Cream, Barrett-era Floyd, etc...), this disc seems to be sowing similar soil to contemporaries Dr. Dog or Dungen. The diversion, however, comes in TECO's unrepentant infatuation with the countrified rock served up on The Byrd's classic, Sweetheart of the Rodeo. Also, their particular brand of psychedlia doesn't trade in substance for style. - The Buddha Den

"Michael Perkins Project Mixes Country, Hippie Vibe"

"Good Morning, Whiskey Breakfast" is the wonderfully mysterious new concept album from the Esther Caulfield Orchestra, the nom de plum of enigmatic Dayton musician Michael Perkins.

The delightfully anachronistic music is home recorded but don't mistake this for a lo-fi collection of songs banged out quickly in a friend's rumpus room. The music is precise and orchestrated, and it's an impressive feat for a mostly one-man show. The songs have a real retro, late-1960s-early '70s hippie vibe, alternating between Gram Parsons-style country rock and West Coast psychedelia. - Dayton Daily News


M Ross Perkins (Self-Titled)
Sofaburn SBR-018/019
2016 (BMI)



Dayton, OH native M Ross Perkins has been taping himself at home for well over a decade. But on his newest effort, he's truly hit his stride in crafting effortless California psych grooves seasoned with British invasion guitars - and all with an achingly tuneful voice recalling Nilsson & Lennon.

Band Members