Little Rock, Arkansas’ Justin Patterson and Laura Lynn Danley both had solo music careers prior to discovering each other 10 years ago at a songwriting festival. That musical connection led them to collaborative efforts in songwriting, and eventually forming the duo, Ten Penny Gypsy, in 2017.
Justin told me, “We were working on songs for what we wanted to be our first album and we happened to get a demo in the hands of Anthony Crawford of Sugarcane Jane. He said, ‘the songs are great, how would you like to come to my house and make an album?’ That’s how our self titled debut album came to be.”
That very first album was nominated for the album of the year with the Arkansas Country Music Awards. “We were pretty excited and grateful to have that attention,” Lynn commented.
Prior to coming together, both Justin and Lynn had their own styles and influences that have made up the unique rootsy, Americana sound that comes through on Ten Penny Gypsy’s music. “Mine comes from getting started on country music as a young kid,” Justin said. “And I was very influenced by the 70s singer/songwriter sound of James Taylor. One of the very first songbooks I ever had were those of John Denver. He was a tremendous songwriter, and I have to give him credit, because it obviously helped in my style.”
Lynn grew up singing in a gospel quartet with her brothers. “As an adult songwriter, I’ve come to love storytelling,” Lynn said. “The sound that we’ve created with Ten Penny Gypsy, I think is absolutely the best of both of us.”
In addition to the album of the year award, Ten Penny Gypsy earned Arkansas CMA nominations for Americana Artist of the Year, and Vocal Group of the Year, in both 2018 and 2019.
Their latest release and second full-length album is Fugitive Heart. It is once again produced by Anthony Crawford. Justin penned seven of the original songs of the album’s eclectic, upbeat combination of Americana and Country/Blues sounds, and says, “I don’t think it is coincidence that these songs came together at this time to form such a poignant collection. There’s no doubt they belong in 2020.”