B.C.'s beauty inspires Mark Perry's 11th album, Right Here

Even though he's won Junos and Latin Grammys, Alex Cuba doesn't believe he is the most popular musician in his adopted hometown of Smithers, B.C. That honour, Cuba says, belongs to Mark Perry.

'I'd love to one day be as famous as he is in Smithers,' says Juno-winning Alex Cuba of hometown music hero

Mark Perry hosting his annual 'Songwriter's Night' at the Driftwood Schoolhouse in Smithers, B.C. (Mark Perry)

Even though he's won Junos and Latin Grammys, singer-songwriter Alex Cuba doesn't believe he is the most popular musician in his adopted hometown of Smithers, in northwestern B.C.'s Bulkley Valley.

That honour, Cuba says, belongs to Mark Perry.

"Mark is like a local hero," Cuba said while introducing Perry's song Northern Sky to listeners on CBC's My Playlist. "It's very amazing for me to see how much his music means to the people that live in the Bulkley Valley."

"I'd love to one day be as famous as he is in Smithers, B.C."

Perry said he is increasingly inspired by his home in northwestern B.C.'s Bulkley Valley, and drew on it for ins on his 11th album. (Mark Perry)

Born and raised in Smithers, Perry said he reciprocates that love right back, drawing his inspiration for the region's natural landscape for his latest album, Right Here, released March 9.

"You look at that Skeena River and the mountains running into it... and you just go 'Holy mackerel,'" he told CBC Daybreak North host Carolina de Ryk.

"It's to be celebrated and talked about."

Juno-winning and Grammy-nominated musician Alex Cuba onstage at a Mark Perry concert in 2016. (Mark Perry)

Right Here is Perry's 11th album since releasing his debut in 1990, recorded in folk singer Roy Forbes' studio in Vancouver.

For his latest, he traveled to Whitehorse and brought in friends to record at home in Smithers.

"There's a comfort factor," he said. "There's really this kind of close-knit feeling on this record."

He's also drawing on the backdrop of northwestern B.C. more, in songs exploring environmental concerns, local history and cheering for the Moricetown Cubs baseball team.

"I'm appreciating it more," Perry said.

"We have incredible people here, and there's stories all over the place."


To hear the full interview with Perry, download the CBC Daybreak North podcast

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