A contemporary folk artist, whose songs are so vivid and image-driven that they have been likened to '3-minute movies'. Singer-songwriter, Terry Penney has the ability to ‘put you there’ in his songs and for the past ten years, he’s done just that. His youthful face belies an old soul who’s always had a penchant for the past. As a testament, his new album, Town That Time Forgot, is a stroll through a place where the strains of doo-wop can still be heard on car radios, little boys dream of helping the Lone Ranger, and World War veterans still walk the streets as young men.
Growing up, Penney’s tastes were always a little different. “I was in to all things old. While my friends were buying the glossy new X-Men comics, I was rooting through dusty second-hand shops looking for a Billy the Kid with 10¢ in the corner. It was funny and sometimes confusing to my friends, but that was me, always more interested in Audie Murphy than Eddie Murphy.”
Not surprising, the first music Penney was drawn to as a child were records from his parents’ collection: Buddy Holly’s Greatest Hits, Elvis, and The American Graffiti Sound Track. These discoveries started a lifelong appreciation for artists from that era. “There’s just something about the rawness and honesty of those early recordings that I’ve always been drawn to and those are elements that I strive for in my own music.”
While Penney loved the oldies, his tastes in music were broad and after picking up the guitar his interest in singer/songwriters began to emerge. “Somewhere in my early teens I was exposed to Chris De Burgh’s first recordings and I really appreciated his ability to spin a yarn and transport you to another time and place.” The folk sensibilities and storyteller approach of this early influence would certainly figure into Penney’s own songwriting years later.
From there he gravitated towards artists like Tom Cochran, John Prine and Steve Earle, and it’s with the latter two that Penney aligns himself with stylistically. “All my favorite artists today are mavericks who don’t neatly fit into one genre of music.
While there are subtle shades of Steve Earle, John Prine and Buddy Holly in his songs, Terry’s sound is unique, an eclectic blend of country, contemporary folk, and rock and roll with a dash of blue grass.