3-time Juno Award winning singer-songwriter Fred Penner will release his new star-studded album, Hear The Music, on April 21 via Linus Entertainment. Fred also announces his CD release party will be part of Canadian Music Week, on April 23 at Lula Lounge with tickets onsale now here.
“This album is dedicated to all you ‘Fred Heads,’ young and old who have travelled with me on this musical journey,” Fred says. “Considering I’ve been on the road for 45 years, there are now three generations of families who continue to inspire me to make music.”
Fred Heads are a growing phenomenon – Generation Y and millennial hipsters whose early childhood was spent listening to Fred are now showing up as adoring 18 – 35 year old fans at Fred Penner concerts at clubs, colleges and universities. They include many popular new recording artists, a number of which jumped at the chance to work with Fred on Hear The Music.
Hear The Music features a roll call of marquee Canadian talent including Ron Sexsmith, Alex Cuba, Basia Bulat, The Good Lovelies, Terra Lightfoot, Afie Jurvanen (a.k.a Bahamas) plus backup vocals from Fred’s own family, all tethered to the sterling production of long-time collaborator Ken Whiteley.
Fred Penner could be forgiven for wanting to hang up his guitar and just relax.
As Canada’s foremost family entertainer, the genial singer/songwriter really has nothing left to prove. Witness his 12 previous albums with their 10 JUNO Award nominations and three wins. See also Fred’s 12 seasons (and nearly 950 episodes!) hosting the hit CBC TV show, Fred Penner’s Place.
There’s also his performances alongside luminaries including (but not limited to) Gordon Lightfoot, Burton Cummings, Randy Bachman, Raffi, Sharon Lois & Bram and Buffy Sainte-Marie; his status as the first kid’s performer to headline the Los Angeles Amphitheater; his honourary doctorates and his prestigious Member of the Order of Canada and Member of the Order of Manitoba.
Oh, and let’s not forget his winning turn as emcee of the cutting-edge 2015 Polaris Music Prize or his altruistic, globe-trotting work as an Ambassador for World Vision.
All fabulous and notable. But at the end of the day, Fred loves making music and connecting with audiences of all ages. And so, despite a resume as long as it is glittery, Fred Penner is set to return with lucky album number 13, Hear The Music.
Says Fred: “Hear The Music brings me together again with my dear friend, producer Ken Whiteley, who so lovingly guided me through the process of making this album. I am honoured to have worked with him and the wealth of passionate, talented musicians who provided their creativity and support on this exciting project!”
With 14 songs played by an acclaimed roster of musicians (jazz bassist George Koller, saxophonist Mike Murley) and with Fred himself on guitar, ukulele, harmonica, flute and jawharp, Hear The Music truly has something for everyone.
“I’ve known Fred for over 35 years, including making four albums together,” says producer Ken Whiteley who added guitar, banjo, mandolin and piano to the new album. “I’ve watched generations embrace Fred’s music and it’s been wonderful to see not just kids and families but lots of young adults excited by his work.
“Fred came into this project with a batch of great songs. It was fantastic to see his growth as an artist – musically, lyrically and philosophically. The focused, clear voice and the positive twinkle in his eyes were still there but deepened and enriched with maturation.”
No doubt about it: Hear The Music is a wonderful achievement in a career chock-full of them and a terrific reason for Fred Penner to hit the road for a series of highly anticipated shows throughout 2017.
Really, why retire when the ears of the whole world are waiting?
Hear The Music track listing
I Hear The Music (feat. Terra Lightfoot)
Bienvenue (feat. Rosalyn Denett, Damien Penner, Hayley Gene Penner, Danica Penner, Kendra Penner)
This Is My World (feat. Ron Sexsmith)
Working Together (feat. Afie Jurvanen aka Bahamas)
Humility (feat. Terra Lightfoot and The Good Lovelies)
La Vida (feat. Alex Cuba and Basia Bulat)
Hold Your Head Up (feat. Jaron Freeman-Fox)
Children’s Garden (feat. Rosalyn Dennett)
Angels In The Snow (ft. Damien Penner, Hayley Gene Penner, Danica Penner, Kendra Penner, Dan Wiebe)
Courage (feat. Jackie Richardson)
Catcher Of The Dreams (feat. Basia Bulat)
Stumble (feat. Damien Penner)
The River Will Bend (feat. Ron Sexsmith and Afie Jurvanen)
UPCOMING TOUR DATES
March 28 – Churchill, MB – Aurora Winterfest- Town of Churchill Complex Gym
April 19 – Brampton, ON – Rose Theatre
April 22 – Ottawa, ON – Shenkman Arts Center
April 23- Toronto, ON – Lula Lounge – Buy Tickets