The Band Perry On Being Part of History With Glen Campbell

Country trio also at work on new album

February 12, 2012 11:10 AM ET
glen campbell band perry
Glen Campbell and Kimberly Perry of The Band Perry.
Neil H Kitson/Redferns and Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

The Band Perry have never been to the Grammy Awards before, but the Best New Artist nominees' initial appearance on the show will be a memorable one. "This is our first Grammys ever, so to be here as nominees and also performers was huge, that was level one. But to be part of truly a historic moment with Glen Campbell, we didn’t have to think twice," Kimberly Perry told Rolling Stone at Grammy rehearsals.

Kimberly is not overstating it when she calls the band's performance with Campbell historic. The country icon has made public his battle with Alzheimer's disease and has said both his current studio album and tour will be his last. And for the three Perry siblings – Kimberly, Reid and Neil – sharing the Grammy stage with him brings their music full circle in many respects.

"Our dad actually introduced us to Glen’s music. They were our first radio," Kimberly says. The Band Perry's proud parents are in L.A. this week, but they were not on hand when their musical children first rehearsed the medley of their own "Gentle On My Mind" and Campbell's  "Rhinestone Cowboy." "When we rehearsed this week on Tuesday, our parents could not stay in the room because they were bawling. They were crying their eyes out, they were so excited," Kimberly says.

The Perry siblings have felt right at home on stage with Campbell and his band. "It’s sometimes nerve-wracking whenever artists perform with another person’s band, another artists’ band, but it feels so good up there, you can tell they’ve been performing together for years and years," Reid Perry says. "And they’re a family band too, he has three or four of his kids backing him up. And of course we’re a family band too, so it’s kind of like a front porch jam up," Kimberly adds.

The trio are also tremendously excited about seeing Paul McCartney and Bruce Springsteen Sunday night – Kimberly calls McCartney "my favorite songwriter ever, hands down." Unfortunately they were not able to attend the MusiCares tribute to McCartney because they are spending the weekend on tour with Brad Paisley.

To the Perry siblings, that's just life. "Last year we were home about 20 days and the year before that about the same. So we’re busy, but we love it," Reid says. "We're a blue-collar act," Kimberly adds. "And I really feel one reason why we’re here on Sunday is because of all the hard work, and we’ve traveled as a family for the last decade. So it’s good to finally have that road lead here today."

To that end, the group is already hard at work on the follow-up to their self-titled debut. "I would say we’re probably two thirds of the way done," Kimberly says.  They've already given fans a little preview of the new material, including the songs "Jimmy" and "It Burns For You," though most people haven't figured that out.

"We even play some of the new stuff live to kind of get an actual reaction from it. Not just what we think it’s gonna be like, but we can actually see what real people are thinking about it," Reid says. Don't they worry about the new tracks ending up on You Tube? "We kind of sneak it in. We roll from one song to the next without announcing it’s a new song, so so far it’s a clean sweep on You Tube," Kimberly says.

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