A rustic cover for a rustic feel. The latest album released by Terry Penney, “The Last Guitar,” is an all acoustic disc.
“This disc kind of has its own personality,” Penney said. “It’s a different sounding record than anything else I’ve done.”
The album also offers the listener a picture-perfect recollection of childhood fantasies, scenic countryside churches, vivid snapshots of haunted war veterans and ill-fated highwaymen.
Penney shares his acoustic flair and producing credits throughout the album with multi-instrumentalist Craig Young.
“The album was recorded over a year,” said Penney. “I worked really closely this time with a guy who spent 12 years in Nashville playing with Terri Clarke. He just moved back to Newfoundland a couple of years ago, so part of the record was done at his studio in St. John’s and part was done at Little Known Artists studio in Lewisporte with Dean Stairs.”
Kicking off the album, “Girl From Coal Creek Canyon” is about the Stairs family, close personal friends of Penney. The album also contains a song regarding fun-loving bikers in the “Ballad of the Baymen Riders.”
“There are 10 tunes on the album and they are all new, original songs,” said Penney.
“‘Not Without A Fight,’ an anti-bullying song and a story about facing fears head on, is the first single released to radio and the response has been fantastic.”
The album is lovingly dedicated to Irene Penney, Penney’s mother, who died in 2010.
A track entitled “Shoal Harbour,” Irene’s hometown, revisits Penney’s charmed childhood stomping ground. With the lyrics, Penney proves he is no doubt a storyteller at heart.
“Shells” is another track on the album and the latest installation of Penney’s war-related tunes. The track showcases the talent of Nashville fiddler Jenee Fleenor and is about a damaged young man returning from the First World War.
Penney said the early reaction to the new record has been overwhelmingly positive from radio broadcasters, fans and critics.
“The record has been playing on the radio in Ireland, and the United Kingdom has jumped on the new record and has been playing it heavily for over a month now,” he said.
“It’s just been released on the radio in this province and is currently in rotation island-wide. It’s a great feeling to bring stories of Newfoundland and Lewisporte to international radio and stages.”
Based on the reaction to the new album, Penney has recently been offered an extensive tour of Western Canada, including dates in Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario and the Yukon.
“There have been really good reviews,” said Penney.
The musician is also embarking on a provincewide tour.
The first date is set for Feb. 14 at 8 p.m. in Lewisporte in the Terry Fox Room at the Brittany’s Inns. The show will take place during Lewisporte’s annual winter carnival and is open to the public. However, seating will be limited.
Other tour locations include
St. John’s, Burin, Stephenville and Bay D’Espoir.
“It’s a pretty extensive tour. There’s 17 dates in all,” Penney said.
Penney is excited to be touring the island once again, doing what he enjoys.
“This is my biggest provincial tour to date,” he said. “I’m really looking forward to hitting the road with these new songs.
“These shows will take place in theatres, church halls and community centres.”
A tour of Maine in the United States has been confirmed for October 2012 and a return to Ireland and the U.K. is being negotiated.
“The new album has already begun opening new doors for me,” said Penney. “It’s pretty exciting.”
In the thank you notes on the album, Penney thanks his wife, Angie Wilmott, for working tirelessly on the album, and jokingly admits she “awaits somewhat impatiently the purchase of my last guitar.”
In fact, the album closes with the title track. In the song, Penney takes a humourous spin on his inability to stop purchasing his favourite instrument and recording his stories.