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PENNY GRENNAN – NO RELATION (2023) (Penny Grennan Music/ Bandcamp)

This is English singer songwriter, guitar, ukelele and banjo player Penny Greenman’s first album. The style ranges from folk to bluegrass to blues. She is accompanied by several musicians on guitar, synth, fiddle, trumpet, guitar, mandolin, double bass, tuba and drums/ percussion.

First impressions are great, a marvellous song about Rosa Parks in true BOB DYLAN spirit on which Penny plays tenor guitar, the best on the album in my opinion. However, there is strong competition: ‘Four Hands’ is just Penny singing to Dean Parker’s synthesiser and wall banging!; ‘My Mother Was a Mermaid’ (definitely deserves some airplay as well) is most enjoyable, just Penny singing an intriguing lyric to a tenor ukulele and Jordan Jackson’s excellent orchestrations; ‘It’s a Humid Sort of Day’ is a luxurious slice of Dixieland swing with Paul Susans on tuba and Ferg Kilsby on trumpet, more typical of the happy-go-lucky approach on most of the album; ‘Why Not’ is another highlight, very catchy with a countrified guitar break. I note, from Bandcamp, that Penny talks about her academic interests finding their way into her music, and this would be a good developmental route to take, I think.

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