Cam Penner doesn’t so much sing songs as summon them up like a medium calling up spirits. His gentle growl can become a Delta howl, as if he is the conduit, a mere medium articulating the blues of a whole continent, emanating from a bottomless well of shared everyman experience. His remarkably sympathetic foil and musical cohort, electric guitar and lap steel sound sculptor Jon Wood, conjures up sound and colour, building spaces where ghosts dwell and shadows beckon. The distinctive flow, the masterful musical bonding and the overall atmosphere they create is both endearing and humbling. They make you want to listen closely to every word and each hand-crafted note. Their unrivaled attention-demanding presence marks this duo apart from other acts.
Cam Penner & Jon Wood have been moving audiences for the last thirteen years. They have toured their traveling show extensively through Canada and Europe. The symphony of sound and lyricism showcase the inevitable evolution of this duo. The live show is as fragile as it is grand. Like watching a tight rope walker or a trapeze artist at work. It’s folk. It’s rock n’ roll. It’s Cam Penner and Jon Wood breathing fire into every note and lyric.
Cam Penner’s new album, At War With Reason is fearless. There’s mystery and menace, love and humility, savage blues and tender romances, sounds one can imagine primitive man heard, allied with tribal ritual and chain gang hollers, delta moans and sylvan murmurs. The songs aptly demonstrate the beautiful contradictions and collisions as Penner crafts a new music, a wave of minimalist repetitive chaos spiraling in and settling to something strange and beautiful. Consistently delivering an exciting collision of electrified sound and colour. The vocals on most of the tracks are delivered in a spoken word style that almost veers into a gentle form just shy of hip-hop. But Penner manages this deftly so the tracks still feel earthy and hypnotic, throughout, creating a call of the wild feel. The captivating come together of these two artists is a marvel to listen to. Yet again they have carved out something unique and the results are immense.
Canadian Cam Penner is an international touring singer/song-writer. His music has been featured on NPR’s, All Music Considered, BBC’s 2016 mini-series Stonemouth, and has charted on the Folk Billboard Chart’s Top Twenty.