TY Penshorn doesn’t find songwriting difficult.
Across three decades in the Newcastle music scene the Little Hornet and The Humm frontman has proven more than capable of penning pop-rock ditties like the 1996 track C’mon Mrs Jones.
But when Penshorn finally began writing his debut solo album, the process was much harder. It’s taken more than four years and 100 songs for the Novocastrian to complete his debut album, Carry The Blues, which will be released on January 27.
“I was waiting until I had 12 [songs] I could live with,” Penshorn said. “I always wanted to release something on vinyl and I guess I always wanted to compose every song. And it took me a while.”
Asked would he consider himself a perfectionist, Penshorn said laughing: “Probably. There’s a couple of tunes on here I’d like to redo, but sooner or later you’ve gotta say, ‘that’ll do’ and move on.”
Carry The Blues features a who’s who of the Newcastle music scene. Natalie Austin, Dane Baldwin, Dave Carter, Kimme Ewart, Pamela Gully, Mark Hoppe, Ric McCann, Nick Raschke, Marissa Saroca, Jason Tyler and Holly Wilson all appear on the album and Lee Rolfe and Mark Tinson helped with the recording.
Penshorn describes it as being like The Beatles’ White Album in it’s diversity, with everything from blues, high-energy rock, pop, funk and acoustic and piano ballads.
“The records I’ve done with Little Hornet and The Humm, they’re rowdy guitar and high-energy, with less polish,” Penshorn said.
“Whereas on this I’ve taken more time and it’s structured and layered and I’ve had the time to get it right.”
Back in the late ’90s retro-rockers Little Hornet recorded five albums and began to attract interest outside of Newcastle through their songs C’mon Mrs Jones and Mr Lazy. They even made their live TV debut on The Midday Show hosted by Kerri-Anne Kennerley.
The original members of Little Hornet will join Penshorn briefly on stage for his album launch at Lizotte’s in their first performance since 2000. There’s even rumours it could lead to a full reunion show later in the year.
The future of the live music scene in Newcastle has been a hot topic over the past year due to the city’s residential apartment boom and its threat to venues.
Penshorn regularly performs in pubs across the Hunter and understands the problems the industry faces. He said noise complaints were a concern, as were current music trends which prefer DJs over live bands.
“I’ve got a feeling it’ll go in a cycle,” he said. “I just think the current taste in music will change as well. People have been into crap for a while in far as what’s popular. When I say that, I mean disposal rubbish.”
Ty Penshorn launches Carry The Blues at Lizotte’s on January 27.