Reviewed by Harry Kaplan
I do love a feel good story. Well, that is the story of Ten Penny Gypsy. Justin Patterson and Laura Lynn Danley make up this dynamic duo. Look at that cover. I don’t usually mention an album cover in my reviews, but this cover art says so much. They are in love and doing what they love. Who could ask for anything more? Well, a little more cash wouldn’t hurt. But besides that, how many people can say that they are happy at work and love their job? Ten Penny Gypsy can.
There is more to the story. Not only are their lives entwined, their voices are perfectly suited for each other. They both have great individual voices, but together, they create something spectacular. I could listen to those harmonies for the next year and not get tired or bored. They also hail from Arkansas. This may not be a state you would think of as a hotbed of music, but it is. There is a lot of great music coming out of “The Natural State”.
Queen Of The Mississippi (Track 11) is a wonderful representation of how well suited Patterson’s and Danely’s voices are together. This is a bittersweet tale about a riverboat named Queen Of The Mississippi. Her glory days my be behind her, but “she still shines”, so the song goes. They do a great job of comparing the riverboat to a woman. When you listen to the lyrics, it will make a lot more sense. This is a great song to end the album with. It leaves me wanting more, so I naturally hit repeat.
If you have a hankering for a beautiful cowboy ballad, look no further than This Wasteland (Track 9). The pedal steel parts on this song take me right to a honky tonk where I am drinking an ice cold beer. It is captivating and completely consuming. Ten Penny Gypsy discovered a creative way to describe a broken heart by comparing it to a wasteland. Very powerful songwriting.
There is bad news and sadness all around us. It seems more so than ever. I am making a conscious effort to focus on the positive and put the negative on the back burner. Just for a little while. Ten Penny Gypsy is a great, heartwarming story that I am going to rally around.