INTERVIEW: Ten Penny Gypsy

How would you classify your music?

A unique blend of Folk, Country, and Americana strongly influenced by the acoustic singer/songwriter sound of the ’70’s.

Who are some of your top 5 musical influences?

Merle Haggard, James Taylor, John Denver, Joni Mitchell, Amy Grant

What do you want fans to take from your music?

For listeners to be able to relate personally to the stories told in a TPG song – that no matter what situations they are experiencing in life, they are not alone. Our latest album release, “Fugitive Heart,” thematically explores the uncertainty of separation (in all forms), with the hope that distances between people will soon be closed. Considering the circumstances created by the worldwide pandemic and domestic political climate in 2020, we believe these songs will indeed be relatable to our listeners.

How’s the music scene in your locale?

Music communities nationwide have been wrecked by the pandemic, and ours in Little Rock is no exception. Yet, we have witnessed amazing feats of creativity and ingenuity that leave no doubt “the show must go on!” As five-time Arkansas CMA nominees, we were gratified that this years’ award show not only successfully transitioned to virtual, but was broadcast statewide on public television for the first time! “Sounds of Unity”, a successful monthly performance showcase hosted and curated by Ten Penny Gypsy, also carried on virtually through the help of our music community. So musical entrepreneurship is still alive and well in the midst of hardship!

What is the best concert you have been to? What do you like most about playing live?

Hands down, Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band, St. Louis, MO, 2008. Three hours and fifteen minutes of The Boss’s traveling revival show! This show ranks high in expert’s circles as one of his best shows ever.

Without question, the most satisfying part of a live Ten Penny Gypsy performance is the heart to heart connections that can be made between us and the audience.

Is there a song on your latest CD release here that stands out as your personal favorite, and why?

It has been gratifying to hear so many different songs from “Fugitive Heart” mentioned as listeners’ favorites!

Justin Patterson: “Making Headway” – the song that kicks off “Fugitive Heart” is an infectious and hopeful song. No matter the headwinds we walk into, we are all “making headway” toward something better! The talent of 2020 Arkansas CMA nominee Buddy Case (Guitarist of the Year) is prominently featured on this song.

Laura Lynn Danley: “Your True You” – the last song on “Fugitive Heart” was an attempt to write a happy and hopeful song for a friend in pain. Through the arrangement of our multi-instrumentalist/producer Anthony Crawford (Neil Young, Steve Winwood, Dwight Yoakam), it became just that.

How have you evolved as an artist over the last year?

The making of “Fugitive Heart” presented us with so many new opportunities for growth. The positive response to our 2017 debut album, coupled with our strong belief in our newest collection of songs, provided us with confidence to target a national audience in 2020. Our original release date for “Fugitive Heart” was April 1,2020. Little did we know that we would have to cancel shows, delay release until July, and learn to maneuver through a completely unknown landscape due to the pandemic!

That’s a lot of evolution for any artist!

If you could meet, play a gig, co-write a song, have dinner, have a drink with any band or artist (dead or alive) who would it be? 

Justin Patterson: I would love to sit down and have a long discussion with John Hiatt. I believe he is the most interesting songwriter I have ever come across. He is such a clever and intelligent lyricist, able to cover all genres and any subject matter. I love everything he’s ever done.

Laura Lynn Danley: I am such a social creature. I want to throw a lavish dinner party and invite Sir Elton John, Joni Mitchell, Carole King, Amy Grant, Emmylou Harris, and Jackson Browne.

What’s next for you?

We are banking on a return to normalcy, with live shows and hugs all around! In the meantime, knocking on every door (fully-masked, I presume) to pass out copies of this album we are so proud of, “Fugitive Heart!” That’s pretty old-school, huh? After that, who knows?

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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