Singer/songwriter Franky Perez got his musical start when he befriended fellow conga legend and Cuban exile, Lazaro Valdez. Perez initially wanted to kick things off in New York City, but funds were low so a trip to Miami for a cultural reconnection suited him fine. Valdez and Perez immediately connected; Perez soaked up Cuban rituals like voodoo while honing his musical background. He was also waiting tables and barely scraping by when former Van Halen/Black Crowes manager Pete Angelus contacted him. Angelus urged Perez to leave Miami behind for the competitive edge of L.A. Perez did just that, stopped by his native Las Vegas and collected the Highway Saints band. A deal with Atlantic's Lava Records surfaced before 2002 came to an end and the reflective, worldbeat-tinged debut Poor Man's Son appeared the following spring. ~ MacKenzie Wilson
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