The first time The Band Perry played Savannah was to open for Tim McGraw.
My, how things have changed. On March 7, Kimberly, Neil and Reid Perry will return as the headliners of their own "We Are Pioneers World Tour 2014" - not bad for a homegrown brother/sister act.
One of the hottest acts in country music today with sold-out tours wherever they go, The Band Perry has had No. 1 hits with the singles "If I Die Young," "You Lie" and "All Your Life."
The band has received multiple Academy of Country Music, Country Music Association and Country Music Television Music awards, and been nominated for Grammy, Teen Choice, American Music, American Country and Billboard Music awards.
"For us, going into 16 years in the business, to get the recognition of our peers in the industry is definitely an honor," Neil says. "The CMA, the Grammys, to be noticed by them, just to be nominated for them is definitely an honor."
Currently, The Band Perry is touring in support of its second album, "Pioneer." It includes the song "Better Dig Two," which spent two weeks at No. 1 on the country chart, and "DONE," also a No. 1 hit, which marks Reid and Neil's first No. 1 song as writers.
The Perrys grew up in Jackson, Miss., moving to Mobile, Ala., where they formed their band. Fronting the band is Kimberly, who started her first band at age 15.
At the time, Reid was 10 and Neil was 8.
"When the drummer and bassist would take a water break, they would jump on their instruments," Kimberly says.
Reid and Neil started their own band, traveling with their family in a 36-foot motorhome, playing malls, campgrounds and fairs. Eventually, all three came together to form a family band.
"They had their own miniature rock 'n' roll band and I had a band with my rock 'n' roll buddies," Kimberly says. "We came to the point where I needed a band and Reid and Neil needed a lead singer." For 10 years, the three traveled and performed. In 2009, they signed a recording deal with Universal Republic and hit the big time with "If I Die Young."
The band's sound incorporates family harmonies fused with country and rock 'n' roll influences. The three write many of the songs they record, including "Mother Like Mine," an homage to their mother, Marie Perry, that is on "Pioneer."
"Our parents really gave us a great appreciation for different styles of music," Reid says. "Dad likes rock 'n' roll and mom likes country and Motown. Having good music in the household was one of our biggest influences."
Their parents have always been supportive of their musical careers, Reid says.
"Dad is a pediatrician," he says. "He would do anything to give up his day job and come set up our gear.
"Our mom is our stylist and coach and everything in between," Reid says. "They are the invisible forces behind our success."
Inspiration for the music comes from everywhere.
"On the 'Pioneer' tour, we spend the bulk of the day creating music," Kimberly says. "It's cool to be creative on the go.
"Every new horizon we see and the people we meet inspire us," she says. "In the making of 'Pioneer,' we had to learn to adjust to being creative on the go."
Even though they're all grown up now, the Perrys are still siblings, with all that implies.
"We will have our moments where the fireworks will fly," Reid says. "But it's over insignificant things like the TV control.
"We make a lot of business and creative decisions together," he says. "Even if we don't always walk out agreeing, we never walk out angry."
This season, The Band Perry is mentoring Team Blake on NBC's "The Voice."
"'The Voice' is so mentoring and educational for singers," Kimberly says. "It is actually encouraging them to grow.
"One thing we did as we were learning the business was that we were big questions askers," she says. "We always asked what we should do better.
"That is such a huge part of the foundation," Kimberly says. "Constructive critiques are very helpful."
With such a fast-rising career, the Perrys have had some memorable experiences.
"A couple of years ago, we had the opportunity to play at the White House," Kimberly says. "We had an entire day of rehearsal in the East Room.
"James Taylor came up and said, 'You are wonderful,'" she says. "It was like being in 'The Twilight Zone.'"
The Band Perry is looking forward to returning to Savannah.
"We're so grateful to bring our music to the Southland," Kimberly says. "We're coming to a place where we can get some real sweet tea."