Cam Penner doesn’t so much sing songs as summon them up like a medium calling up spirits. His gentle growl can become a Delta howl, as if he is the conduit, a mere medium articulating the blues of a whole continent, emanating from a bottomless well of shared everyman experience. His remarkably sympathetic foil and musical cohort, electric guitar and lap steel sound sculptor Jon Wood, conjures up sound and colour, building spaces where ghosts dwell and shadows beckon. The distinctive flow, the masterful musical bonding and the overall atmosphere they create is both endearing and humbling. They make you want to listen closely to every word and each hand-crafted note. Their unrivaled attention-demanding presence marks this duo apart from other acts.
Cam Penner’s new album, Sex & Politics, is fearless. It swaggers playfully with confidence and bravado, tumbling along with a mighty roar. The singer-songwriter, and his hugely-inventive musical cohort, tucked themselves away for a solid ten days in Cam’s homemade recording machine tucked in the woods behind his remote British Columbia home. There are moments it draws you in close, seducing, building spaces where ghosts dwell and shadows beckon, and then the pulse quickens, releasing a symphony of sound and colour. It is bold and extraordinarily subtle in places as percussive elements combine with layered guitar and effect techniques to bolster the muscular texture. Sex & Politics is further testament to Penner & Wood’s musical migration into new territory.