Susan, Neel, and Terry
Susan, Neel, and Terry

Terry Penney: Three Chords and the Truth

With over three decades in the music industry, Newfoundland turned BC-based artist Terry Penney is well known for his incredible storytelling and has often been compared to some of the best writers of all time, including Steve Earle and John Prine. The MusicNL Songwriter of the Year has earned multiple nominations from both the Music Industry Association of Newfoundland Awards and the East Coast Music Awards. After a lengthy hiatus, the singer-songwriter has just released his ninth studio album this summer, titled “The People I Am” which has been celebrated throughout Canada as a powerfully-written, and sonically diverse project. Terry’s latest single, “Letting Go”, is a Country-Folk ballad about putting a dream to rest and moving on.

Susan Cattaneo filled in for Phil in the co-host spot – thanks Susan! We talked about:

  • The Song Talk Radio Songwriting Challenge
  • Factor Artist Development Program
  • Terry’s experience in the music industry leading to a hiatus and writing songs he never would have otherwise
  • mosaic rhymes
  • how “three chords and the truth” lets the story shine though, and the balance between complex music and rich lyrics
  • use of changing pronouns to develop your story, level of intimacy, and separate sections of your song
  • being both specific and universal in your lyric

Download the lyrics to Letting Go to follow along.

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