A contemporary troubadour, Cam Penner explores new textures and bolder sounds on his newly released album To Build a Fire. An album about departures and new beginnings, To Build a Fire is as full of hope as it is full of love. It’s also electrifying and provoking, and speaks of things the human heart longs for on the road of life.
Roads are something Penner knows about. At eighteen, Penner left small town life to wander the highways and back roads of North America. Eventually he found himself in Chicago serving mystery soup and stale bread to two hundred and fifty homeless men a day. Next, a women & children’s shelter, then youth shelters and detox centers. For thirteen years he immersed himself in this subculture of the disenfranchised, absorbing as much raw humanity as he could. When a shift was over he would spend endless cathartic hours writing and playing his guitar, exorcising heartache through music, a practice that ultimately lead to a full time career as a touring and recording artist.
To Build a Fire is Cam’s seventh recorded album and there are moments on the disc that will surprise and amaze even the most devoted Cam Penner fan. The symphony of sound and lyricism showcase the inevitable evolution of a growing artist; this album is a new start. The lush beauty of the opening brass track lures you in but leaves you wondering what is to come…then it begins. Ukuleles, guitars, banjos strummed. Floorboards stomped. Kick drums kicked. Feet stumbled. Thighs, knees, hands slapped and clapped. Voices strained and bent. Fingers gripped, grabbed and picked. Arms and hands flung. Body and sound thrown against wood and metal. It’s folk. It’s rock n’ roll. It’s Cam Penner, breathing fire into every note and lyric, carving his own path with music born from the soil and sin of this world. Catch him along with an electrifying 2013 line-up at the 21st Annual Salmon Arm Roots & Blues Festival.