Nashville (PRWEB) July 31, 2008
Acclaimed singer/songwriter/producer Dan Penn will release Junkyard Junky on his own Dandy Records label July 29. Junkyard Junky continues an intimate "behind-the-scenes" portrait of this master songwriter that began in 2001 with Blue Nite Lounge, the first offering in Penn's "demo series". The album features 14 songs written or co-written by Penn, many of which have never been recorded, and will be exclusively available on his Web site at DanPenn.com.
"It's hard to get a budget," Penn says, from his home in Nashville. "I saw that years ago when I made Blue Nite Lounge in a cabin in Louisiana. I like the sound of those recordings, although some of them were recorded on cassette tape. Fully recorded records with the kitchen sink still have their place and the truth is, I wouldn't mind doing another one; but until the right budget comes along, and the right interest, the demo series will be just fine. I hope people like the feel. I don't know how many records I'll put in this series, but I hope at least one more, who knows."
The semi-autobiographical title track, "Junkyard Junky", had been a work in progress for many years. Penn says, "I started the song 'Junkyard Junky' around 25 years ago, and played with it off and on until I was ready to make another new record, and I said, 'I really need to include that song because it's so much me and it's gettin' late in the game', and so I sat down and finished it." As for the rest of the collection, "I'd already had quite a few demos that Carson Whitsett and Jonnie Barnett and I had come up with that I liked, so that left a place for some more new songs. Bobby Emmons and I wrote a new song called 'Way Back'; Bucky Lindsey, Bert Colwell and I wrote a tune called 'Back to the Beach' right before we cut, and I recorded both of those with Bucky on Bass, Bert on Guitar, Bobby on Keyboards and Jack Bruno on drums. We cut a total of four new tracks and I had some good tracks on demo;, including 'You Must Know', written with Arthur Sloatman and recorded with a full band, and the last song on the album, 'Forever Changed', written with Carson and Bucky." Junkyard Junky also features a writers version of Penn's first hit song, "Is a Bluebird Blue", originally recorded by Conway Twitty.
As the co-writer of such global classics as "Do Right Woman," "I'm Your Puppet," "Cry Like a Baby," "A Woman Left Lonely," "Dark End of the Street," and "Sweet Inspiration", Penn is often asked about his "other" demos---those that he recorded back in the heyday of soul, which have long been sought after by fans and collectors around the World. Penn says, "People ask me all the time about those old Muscle Shoals demos. I called for a copy of all of them from EMI a few years back. They sent them, I heard them, and I just didn't think they were good enough to release. They were good for one thing--and that was, to impress the artist they were pitched to. This they did very well. I guess they would be interesting to somebody, I don't know, but I do know that these new demos are what I'm writing now, and I live on that, not on what I did 40 years ago."
These days Penn performs with long-time friend and writing partner from his Memphis days, keyboardist Bobby Emmons. "I'm really enjoying playing live gigs with Bobby Emmons. He is so clever and smooth. We have a history, we wrote 'Nobody's Fool' together many years ago, and other songs that I still like. Both of us being in Nashville makes it easy to get together and write now, and with Carson Whitsett gone, I was needing a keyboard friend. Bobby stepped right in."
Penn plans to tour select dates in support of this release.
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