Friday, 6 May 2016

Friday Double: Penny for the Workhouse - Charlie Haley

Penny for the Workhouse - Smoker At The Window.

Background promo - Formed in 2012, the band's unique ‘Folk ‘n’ Roll’ style marries the energy of Indie rock with the captivating storytelling of Folk. With catchy lyrics and toe tapping drum beats, Penny For The Workhouse are bursting with personality, always making their audience feel part of their performance. 

Their self-released debut EP “Coins and Cards” (2012) was met with 5 star reviews on iTunes and also by Paul Weller, the Modfather himself!
In 2014, the band’s follow up EP “Jack The Gun Slinger and Other Tales” was recorded at The Animal Farm in London. Along with a sold out successful launch night at The Camden Enterprise, tracks from the EP were picked up for radio play and the band also donated the title track “Jack The Gun Slinger, Country Singer” to feature alongside the likes of Noel Gallagher on The Pete Quaife Foundation Charity CD, “Legends; Shoulder to Shoulder”. Later in 2014, the band were lucky enough to support folk legends Slim Chance at Dingwalls, Camden, celebrating the release of Ronnie Lane’s Greatest Hits Album. As well as this, the band was asked to support P.P. Arnold who was playing for the Christmas Mod Ball at The 100 club in London.

The Band have caused quite a stir on YouTube with their Punk cover of “Pick a Pocket” from the musical Oliver, by amassing nearly 10,000 views of the music video in just a couple of months thus collecting many new fans from across the globe.

2015 saw the band push forward with new material and have recorded their 3rd EP Live at SoundLab Studios, Essex and continued to gig throughout the UK showcasing their unique “Folk’n’Roll” style. Summer 2015 saw them perform at their first festival, Livestock Longdon in Gloucestershire alongside the likes of The Feeling, Scouting For Girls and The Hoosiers. The band continues to pick up new fans at every stop along the way, getting the world ready to start the Workhouse revolution!

Live Dates:

24th June - EP Launch, The Good Ship, Kilburn, London

There's something quite fun and mischievous about Penny For The Workhouse. Featured song 'Smoker At The Window' gives a good example of the energy that abounds in their music, which can be really hard to pin down into any one style. Upbeat and different a little bit punk and folk and country and rock'n'roll, the band deserves to be noticed.


Charlie Haley - Today.

Background bio - Charlie Haley spent most of his young life playing live music, bouncing his clarion voice off the walls of college campuses, churches, coffee houses and even prisons around Illinois, long before he thought about recording his material for posterity. It is this old fashioned sense of craft that makes Haley’s sound appropriate for the times and also timeless.

Keeping his head down and focusing on his developing talent didn’t negate the opportunities that seemed to seek him out. His live performances drew invitations to play the Boone County Fair as well as the ICM awards in Nashville and after years of honing his chops on the road, Haley was ready to work his way into tracking his music. Reflecting on the steep learning curve the recording environment presented, Charlie asserts “the studio process is definitely an art form unto itself and I spent a long time capturing the emotional nuances I wanted in my vocal takes.”

His debut LP Soul Searching was released in 2013, which resulted in a groundswell of support from local fans and musicians, and Haley was soon backed by a dedicated rhythm section who began supporting him for an unmarked string of shows that stretched into the new year. In June of 2015 the whole band had a near death experience when their tour van’s cruise control shaft got stuck and the brakes froze. They flew through a construction zone going 90 miles per hour and almost crashed before Charlie flung it into neutral and pulled the key out.

After the smoke cleared from the accident, Charlie felt it was time to get off the road and back in the studio. The close call seemed to influence the new material, recorded in St. Charles at Skyblynde Studios with producer Gregory Hyde, and the resulting LP was titled Today - a call to not let life pass you by. “People are capable of so much more than we realize and we are often meant for infinitely more than we accomplish” says the songwriter.

While Haley is admittedly a bit of an introvert, he readily recognizes the strength music gives him to communicate. “I’m not the greatest orator but a switch goes on when I play music that allows me to express myself more fluidly” he notes. “I feel music is the perfect form of communication... If done right.” Today EP Release date: May 27, 2016.

Title track and one of six songs on the new EP 'Today' lets you in on Charlie Haley's music which centres around a mixture of rock and power pop. Ironically considering the road accident mentioned above, I would describe the EP as great driving music, probably because of the pace and energy. It's straight down the line sound works well, making for a fine collection of songs.


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