How Do Three Happy Kids Play The Blues?

blues kids band
blues kids band

Like kids everywhere, the Perrys - Teya, 9, Kyle, 13 and Ryan, 15 - love to play, as long as it's the blues.

They call themselves The Homemade Jamz, and their band has been wowing blues audiences around the South since Teya first up hopped behind the drums three years ago.

"I just started to play along and then the first time I played, it was scary," she told CBS News correspondent Susan Spencer. "And then the next gig I was like, 'Okay, this is gonna be easy.' And then the first mistake I make is like, 'Uh-oh, I better pay attention.'"

Brother Kyle had made his debut a year before.

"My dad said, 'You wanna try bass?' And I said, 'Sure,'" Kyle said. "So he went out to get me a four-string bass, brought it back and it just went from there."

And why not? After all, older brother Ryan had picked up a guitar at age 7.

"I was amazed at myself," he said. "I was like, 'Man, I could learn this! What else can I do?'"

Quite a bit, it turned out.

When not on the road, their mother, Tricia works at a hospital.

Dad, known simply as Perry, is a deliveryman. But all that comes second to transporting, booking, feeding, managing and advising the Homemade Jamz.

The money they've just started to make is simply plowed back into the band, whose success seems to astonish even them - especially since none of the kids can read a note of music.

"I have no idea how far this can go," Perry said. "Because this has just started and look what's happening already."

The biggest thing to happen so far is last spring's International Blues Challenge in Memphis. Homemade Jamz competed against 157 other bands and won second place.

"When we went there, Memphis, it was nothing but the blues," Ryan said. "Blues memorabilia, blues posters, all of that. And I was like, 'Man, this is really important."

The older and wiser musicians the Jamz beat in Memphis may well have wondered how three kids whose combined age is 37 could even understand the blues. They've never been in love, gotten a divorce or lost a job, but Ryan says, "It's just about what you feel."

"Well, they know a little about pain and suffering," Perry said. "I mean, you ground 'em or take their bicycle away, they get the blues."

Whatever their inspiration, the Jamz are learning all the time - stretching their wings and polishing their act.

"I've always wanted a drum solo, so sometimes I could get some attention," Teya said.

They've come up with a few stagey gimmicks, and Ryan is working on a trademark all his own: He plays a guitar made from a muffler, complete with a harmonica for the bridge, a seat belt for the strap, a license plate for looks and even exhaust pipes.

The kids say they are able to get their remarkable stage presence from a simple source:

"It's from the music," Kyle said.

"Stage presence can be anything from just noddin' your head to when you hit a high note, you know, just squint your eyes and smile," Ryan said.

Talented kids and ambitious parents often come to grief, but the Jamz - at least so far - are all in tune. The kids appreciate their parents' guidance.

"I'm actually glad they're doin' it because we can actually talk to them easier than we could somebody else," Kyle said.

"And without them there wouldn't be us as far as Homemade Jamz Blues Band, you know," Ryan said.

"Cause they're the most important part of the band," Teya said.

"They're our parents, our mom, out dad, our supporters, our agents our managers," Ryan said. "You know, everything is just awesome."