pnsfeature

Six Crucial Questions For…
Musicians Penny & Sparrow

Intensely human duo, Penny & Sparrow, has just released their most recent long-player, Let A Lover Drown You, and are coming off successful SXSW showcases. Andy Baxter (above, left) and Kyle Jahnke (above, right) are equal parts of the Austin, Texas-bred Penny & Sparrow puzzle. Andy’s voice and lyrics wrap themselves around Kyle’s spare, yet lush, compositions like distant thunder in summer humidity.

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Penny & Sparrow are currently touring all over the U.S. (this reporter is going to hit the April 6th show at the Cedar Cultural Center in Minneapolis, MN), and I had the opportunity to ask Andy Baxter some pressing questions…

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Chad Werner: What is your earliest musical memory?

Andy Baxter: My mama drove a sea foam green Ford Taurus, and I learned harmony from the radio and tape deck in that car.  I remember listening to her sing a third above Vince Gill and Boys2Men, and I was hooked. I wanted to sing like mama.  So, I memorized her and sponged up how she made it sound pretty. I reckon she’s better than I’ll ever be.

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CW: What has been your most embarrassing musical moment?

AB: I played Santa Claus in the elementary school production of “The North Pole Goes Rock N’ Roll”… Midway through the second act, my portly young self got sweaty, and the snowy beard and mustache came unglued from my pre-pubescent face. In a hurry, I pulled the mustache on top of my nose so that I could sing. Needless to say, biologically, hair doesn’t grow there. I didn’t think it through.

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CW: What do you like or dislike about touring?

AB: Like – Meeting different humans, enjoying local food, bourbon hunting, and visits to local comic book stores! Dislikes – Sleeping in van and wondering if I’m doing permanent (irreparable) damage to my spine as I do so!

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CW: What is your favorite record store, anywhere in the world?

AB: The winner is Pegasus Records in Florence, AL, and honorable mention is Waterloo Records in Austin, TX.

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CW: Other than your own music, what is your favorite song or album of all-time? Why?

AB: Favorite song is “Cosmic American” by Anaïs Mitchell, and favorite album is Hadestown by Anaïs Mitchell. I am moved by words. When I hear amazing sentences it makes me want to create gorgeous sentences. There is no one in music, more than Anaïs, who makes me more jealous and more inspired than her. She is responsible for so many songs I wish I’d written. I’ve never met her, but she’s made me better.

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CW: You wake up in a seedy Berlin hotel room with no recollection of the past 96 hours. Who is your first call?

AB: I would call either Kyle Claude Jahnke OR Eric Lyle Klein. They are the wisest of my groomsmen. They would either go to bat for me (if I’ve been framed for something) OR they would help me Ocean’s 14 my way out of danger.

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PS-LYLDY-HI-RES-COVER
COVER IMAGE: Let A Lover Drown You, Penny & Sparrow

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Let A Lover Drown You is available on their site, iTunes, Amazon, GooglePlay, and wherever else better music is sold, streamed, downloaded, or performed on tour.

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Lead-In Image Courtesy of All Eyes Media and Penny & Sparrow; Photograph Courtesy of Jamie Clayton 

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NewsWhistle music contributor Chad Werner is “ahead of the curve, behind the times.” You can contact this rock n’ roll sphinx at chad@newswhistle.com (e-mail) or @scooternotmoped (Twitter).