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Welch & Penn Early Bird Gangsters

slide.001Welch & Penn on their new EP, Early Bird Gangsters, blends acoustic indie-folk and performance poetry, creating an unusual new sound that I’ve never heard before.  This could be the beginning of something fresh and new indie music lovers! Indie artists, Welch & Penn, “believe in the concept of bringing performance poetry and music together, particularly the intimate performance aesthetics of both acoustic folk and spoken word. I do know there will be many more shows,” says singer-songwriter Freddie Wilson, AKA Penn.

The duo met each other in the performing arts scene and, above any other aspect of what they do, they place the “highest value on live performance.”  Welch & Penn share dreams of  “touring the planet playing tiny coffee houses and pubs, we very much romanticize the idea of ‘being on the road.”


“As exciting as it is doing something different, creating (one of?) the first singer-songwriter/poet duos, we don’t have the luxury other bands do of looking to others in our genre for guidance on the next steps to take. We aren’t really sure how far we can take Welch & Penn but we’d like it to reach it’s maximum potential, however far out it may be.” ~Freddie Wilson (Penn)

Half acoustic-indie-folk, half spoken-word-poetry, Welch & Penn is a unique creature and a “dares to deviate from the status quo” kind of duo. Acoustic driven guitar work and ambient electric fills lay content under a mix of an energetic monologue intertwined with sung vocal melodies. This pair of performers aims to bring a fresh perspective to the modern concept of performance poetry.

Donnie Welch and Freddie Wilson (AKA Fountain Penn) ran into each other often. They both performed regularly around the Charlotte, NC music scene during their high school years. They were eventually introduced by a mutual friend who had invited both the singer-songwriter(Penn) and performance poet (Welch) to share they talents at a charity event.

Welch & PennIn the Summer of 2012, after playing numerous shows together in the local area, the two decided to go on a small tour called The Mountain to Sea Tour. During this time they both performed apart.  While on the road, they realized that they shared a similar love for performing and almost identical ambitions in terms of careers.

While planning their 2013 Green Sundresses Tour, the two decided to collaborate on an EP  Green Sundresses, bringing together Donnie’s poetry with Freddie’s guitar and vocal work. That first EP was recorded and written in Freddie’s garage apartment and produced by a friend with a minimal amount of equipment. The writing and recording took only a few hours to complete. While the EP was originally conceived as only a tool to promote the tour, the reception of the EP was so positive that both Donnie and Freddie decided to make Welch & Penn an established project and a force of it’s own.

After their two week coffeehouse tour in the Summer of 2013, the duo was invited by indie artist Andrew De Torres (The Scene Aesthetic, Danger Radio) to record at his studio in Nashville on Music Row. They recorded their second EP, Early Bird Gangsters, it was released August 2013.”  STREAM and LISTEN to the whole EP on BandCamp

Donnie Welch AKA “Welch”, Performance Poetry, currently living in BOSTON, MA

Freddie Wilson AKA “Penn”, Acoustic Guitar and Vocals, currently living in Charlotte, NC

Official Site  Facebook  Reverbnation

Album Info:

“This album was recorded at Destiny Nashville in Nashville, TN on August 15, 2013.

Produced by Brandon Metcalf

Mixed and Mastered by Brandon Metcalf

Vocal tracks edited by Andrew De Torres

All electric guitars and bass guitars were tracked by Gabe Borquez

All songs written and performed by Donnie Welch and Freddie Wilson

Copyright 2013″

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Category: Indie It Music

About the Author: Leisa Greene’s passions include writing about music, theater, film, food, art, family and friends -- all of which are supported by the community of Missoula and an IV line of dark-roasted iced coffee. She is the English Department’s Administrative Associate of Graduate Admissions at her alma mater, University of Montana; the editor-in-chief of Indie It Press; and the author of a memoir manuscript currently titled EARLY OUT. Her other writing consists of short essays (Brother Townsend and A Jamboree Family), playwriting (The Beckett Syndrome) and screenwriting. “The only regret you will ever have is if you never write it. So, go write it Mom. “ – Dustin Nelson, my son

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