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Wednesday, 15 May 2013 16:17

No place like home for musician Cam Penner

Written by  Matthew Liebenberg
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It was a natural progression for folk musician Cam Penner, when he started playing the guitar at the age of 11.


From there, he discovered a love of songwriting, and just wanted to play more often.
“I started looking for venues so that I could keep playing,” he explained. “When I started, I was working with the homeless, so I just started playing at shelters on stage, while people were being served.”
While Penner enjoys playing anywhere, he especially loves playing new venues — anywhere. He noted he likes being on the road just as much as he likes being at home, and experiencing what new locations have to offer.
He will return to Swift Current on May 18, for a Blenders concert at the Lyric Theatre.
“Learning about geography, languages, politics, architecture — I love being on the road for that,” Penner said. “Whether I’m at my house or I’m on the road, I’m naturally inclined to make art most nights of the week. I’m always trying to go to that well and see what I can get from it, and what I can put back.”
Since he recorded his first EP, which can be classified as a roots kind of country music, he feels his music has been changing. More recently, Penner is leaning towards and indie-folk kind of sound, honest and immediate.
“I really think that’s just what comes out of me,” he admitted. “The music I listen to is not at all what I play — I actually listen to a lot of soul music, reggae, ska, underground hip-hop, and old blues. I rarely play the stuff that I listen to, but I want to be influenced by a wide variety of things.”
Penner doesn’t see his music as just making sounds that can be identified as a particular genre, or family of genres. Instead, his music is about art, which he wouldn’t want confined to one way of thinking. For Penner, music is progression, and he is always striving for change.
“On my last album, I played bass, drums, ukulele,” he said. “I think people could listen to my music and say it sounds like a certain style, but it’s really just art to me.”
One of the best parts about creating art for Penner is having the chance to get up onstage, honest and uninhibited, and share it with an appreciative audience. While he doesn’t put on a ‘smile and wave’ kind of act, he aims to entertain his crowd with something that he says ‘comes pretty deep.’
“I get into a place where I can really be honest with who I am and what I’m trying to portray,” explained Penner. “Some people go to church on Sundays, but this is my temple — when I get to play live music. I only get an hour and a half every night to make that art, so it’s really important to me. I want people to musically enjoy it, and set their mood by it in some way. My aim is to make people feel something, but what that is, I don’t know.”
Cam Penner will perform at the Lyric Theatre on May 18, with music beginning at 9 p.m.
Tickets are $25, and can be purchased at Pharmasave or by phoning 306-778-2686 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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