Amanda Penecale
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Amanda Penecale

Nashville, TN | SELF

Nashville, TN | SELF
Band Americana Singer/Songwriter


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"Amanda Penecale: The First Date"

“Although I didn’t buy vinyl specifically as I was growing up, I did have a fondness for the independent record store in the town nearest to my home. Still one of the best places around to look for new music, Siren Records is in Doylestown, PA.

Growing up I listened to music mainly on CD. My dad was always playing Country music, and my mom enjoyed the Top 40s. I can’t say that I minded any of the music surrounding me, but in high school I began to discover my own preferences. My first CD was a birthday gift of the newly released Jagged Little Pill by Alanis Morissette—1995-ish.

At the time my mom wouldn’t let me listen to it and she kept it hidden. I of course learned all of the words from my friend’s copies, and after a few months of pleading, my mom gave in and allowed me to have the album. This was about the time that I discovered many of the other songwriters who inspired me to go into songwriting.

My early influences were Sarah McLachlan, Jewel, James Taylor, Dar Williams, and Catie Curtis. I loved how these artists told their stories and had such rich qualities about their voices and use of music to color their ideas. I had always been a painter, and I decided that I would simply have to begin to write songs as well. I had been playing classical music on the piano since the age of 4, so the transition to my own material was very natural.

I wasn’t much of a guitarist at the time, so I enlisted the help of my cousin Nicole. We started a folk/pop band and called it Wisteria. We recorded ourselves on a little 8 track in our friend’s bedroom and would play coffee house shows and in backyards. Siren Records was super cool and allowed us to sell our first little homemade album through them.

I can’t say that our album was earth shattering by any means, but we were proud of it and made an even greater effort to hang out in the store and reference them whenever we would play in town. There was a magical quality about Siren. They had several sets of headphones, and you could listen to your selected music before purchasing while admiring a wall loaded with glamorous show posters. The album art from that very first Wisteria project even had my cousin and I hanging out in the store.

I must admit that it took me until a few years ago to purchase my own record player. The first records that I purchased were Swan Lake (at a garage sale) followed by The Trumpet Child by Over the Rhine. I have since collected many classics at various flea markets, yard sales, and record stores as well as bought some from my favorite indie artists.

Siren Records is still kickin it in Doylestown. They are now in their third location since I have been around, but the store seems to be doing well.

As you can imagine, they are now carrying my latest release, Time and Tide in their store. I always make sure to keep them in the loop, and they are always willing to hang a show poster for me. I believe that it is the connections with those around us that make a difference, and that is why I truly appreciate stores like Siren who support artists like myself.” - The Vinyl District

"Amanda Penecale Full Length LP TIME AND TIDE"

Philadelphia, PA’s Amanda Penecale will release her third album July 7th. Time and Tide will follow two successful EP’s. For this album, Penecale has teamed up with producer and musician Erik Hischmann to add depth and perspective throughout all phases of the album’s conception. Her first full length release comes on the heels of Amanda securing a finalist spot at the recent Philadelphia Songwriters Project contest with her song “Hand to Hold”.

Time and Tide reveals Penecale’s ranging musical moods, all of which seem to naturally connect in an earthy, atmospheric and dreamy way. Penecale set out to challenge herself musically on this album, drawing from deep within her psyche to make an album that embodied all of her facets.

Lyrically, Time and Tide paints picture-perfect tales, finely flowing and effortlessly linked, yet it’s the music she uses to great effect to set the mood. Penecale admits that her background in illustration strongly influences her music (She holds a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design); she wants her songs to express the dynamic detail of the world as experienced through her senses. Time and Tide shares the feelings that come from distinct places and things familiar to Penecale’s life, as she puts it: “When creating music, I aim to give just enough punch to intrigue while always holding a little back for that pop—similar to a dash of crimson in a painting. My intention is to be in control of how the music I create effects the sense of time and place for a listener, causing them to stop and wonder along with my word and sound.”

Penecale is quick to cite the connection between illustration and music in the simple way that her visualizations turn into songs. “Bizarre mini music videos are always running through my head; they are often the impetus behind a new song. It’s nothing I plan on, it just happens… Often I find myself reliving similar visualizations as I perform.” - The Rogers Revue

"Amanda Penecale With Her Full-Length LP, Time and Tide"

Who loves to hear and tell stories about remembrances past? I love to hear such stories, as they take me to a far-off place and I can daydream my own scenario. I believe these stories keep hope alive. There are few people who can tell stories in song, yet newcomer Amanda Penecale is one of them. Her words and music echo a sweet and sad sentiment of memories, emotions and reflections.

On “Weigh My Heart,” she expresses a feeling I think many of us, big and small, experience; we want our character to reflect our heart, but we are human and don’t always succeed. Yet, we still want to reach the promised land. A similar sentiment is found in “Secrets Are Buried,” regarding our hopes, dreams and desires, and how they relate to us as an individual. Her storytelling ability is reflective of her background in illustration, as she carries a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design.

Penecale claims “she wants her songs to express the dynamic detail of the world as experienced through her senses.” It’s easy to experience these songs through her senses, as she seems to cover them all. To be able to do such things, takes an immensity of talent, and Amanda has it. Releasing her full-length LP, Time and Tide, on July 7th, which was recorded at The Great North Sound Society in Parsonsfield, Maine, it is filled with eleven songs of pensive lyrics and distinct musical sounds. - Guitar Girl Magazine

"Chalkboard is nice lyrical ride"

Amanda Penecale's second EP, Chalkboard is nice lyrical ride. Amanda's soulful voice is reminiscent of Natalie Merchant and in much the same way it seems she can tell just about any type of story. We're not sure what she plans for the future but the lack of pretentiousness in her voice has us looking forward to her first full album. - Origivation Magazine review by Jason Sendaula

"Amanda Penecale- blurb"

"Amanda Penecale uses her knowledge of self in her lyrics, emotional expression in her voice, and rhythm, timing, and complementary harmonics in her music. She has a unique quality to her voice with out trying to sound quirky or experimental. This pianist turned guitarist has an artistic soul that acknowledges the greats of the past with out falling too deeply in their shadows. Music is about connecting with your own voice, sound, and style—in this she succeeds."

- David W. Wannop Journalist and Promoter

"Semi Finalist in the Philadelphia Songwriting Competition"


Thursday June 5, Ardmore, PA

The Philadelphia Songwriters Project Announces the Semi-FInalists for their 2008 Songwriting Contest. The Grand Prize Winners of the "Rising Stars In Bethlehem" contest will get a performance opportunity at the Prestigious 2008 Bethlehem Muisik Fest.

Winners will be chosen at the Finals Showcase on June 22, 2008 at MilkBoy Coffee, Ardmore, Pa.

Similar to American Idol, the audience and 3 guest judges ( including Tommy Joyner, Record Producer & Owner MilkBoy Coffee & Stu Shames, Songwriter, co-founder Philadelphia Songwriters Project) will decide the winners in an exciting and fun packed showcase.

The contest attracted songwriters from Canada to Nashville to Miami and hundreds of submissions were reviewed before choosing the 12 Semi-finalists.

"We wanted to showcase new and upcoming talent in this contest, and have been delighted at the caliber of the submissions. It was a very competitive race" says Dena Marchiony, Executive Director of The Philadelphia Songwriters Project "MilkBoy Coffee is a great all- ages location, the sound and eats are awesome, and we're looking forward to a great show".

The Philadelphia Songwriters Project
2008 Contest Final Showcase
MilkBoy Coffee
2 E. Lancaster Ave
Ardmore, Pa 19003

Sunday June 22



Semi-Finalist List:

Dawn Iulg, Phila
Forest Glen, Phila
Aly Cat, Phila
Eric Paul, IL.
Richard Jarboe, NJ
Susan Greenbaum, VA
Karen & Amy Jones, Phila
JD Malone, Phila
Tim Laborie, Phila
Amanda Penecale, Phila
Dan Rendine, Phila.
Mark Kuchner, Md. -

"Amanda Penecale holds Cd Release party at Puck"

By: David W. Wannop - Correspondent

I first met Amanda Penecale at a Catherine Tuttle concert a couple of years ago. The interesting aspect about this is that Penecale learned her craft in a meticulous manner, transposing songs to a new instrument, the guitar, improving her lyrics, creating many demos so she could find the strengths and weaknesses in her music, and integrating her music into her other art endeavors. A recent graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, she has approached music with determination, but with out the brash rashness of some of her developing-in-public contemporaries, many of whom became good after they had already burned the clubs with empty seats and subpar performances. Penecale is offering quality straight out of the box, ready to go, batteries included. She muses, "Art has been a part of my life since my first winning contest entry in preschool. Through grade school I placed five years in a row in the Archdiocesan Art Contest. I began to play piano at the age of 5 and began to study it seriously by the age of 9. I continued with the piano up through high school, but I became interested in the ability to play out with friends. "I found that most places we were playing did not have a piano. I wanted to be more than just a vocalist and some of my friends played guitar. My Aunt Sally picked up an old classical guitar from a yard sale and I began to teach myself. I found that it was easier for me to tell my stories with a guitar, and it also allowed me to move in a different direction than my classical roots. I formed a folk group with my cousin and some friends in high school and took my guitar with me to college."

Penecale is also a visual artist and photographer. "Art all comes from the same core. Some thoughts translate better as a visual piece while others become a piece of music."
About the essence of creativity, she relates, "For me there is no one place that I can be creative. It's sort of like the rain; it begins suddenly and then it ends. Ideas often ruminate for a while and then come into existence at the least likely moment. Often I come to a conclusion or realize the direction of a piece while driving or going for a swim."
Penecale is happy to be having her release party near home, where she tried out a new Martin guitar last winter. Percussionist Erik Hischmann has been added on various hand drums. She has also been featured at the prestigious Tin Angel in Philadelphia. Trained in theater and dance, she appears confident in a way that escapes other songwriters in the area. Penecale spent some time after college landscaping and busking in Nantucket, teaching art to children in Maine, and recording the EP in Bucks County.
She said, "I found the studio through MySpace and contacted a few artists who had done recording there. After some research I decided upon Cambridge Sound Studios in Newtown. Pa., and working with Jim Salamone was awesome. It was a fairly straightforward operation. We came in, played some songs, lit some candles and some lava lamps. The studio and staff were great and super helpful in taking our project to the next level. I hope that this first EP will allow me to share my music with those around me and find its way to people who haven't heard me before. "The world of Internet and digital sharing is so huge right now, it will be a great way for me to get my music to a larger audience. The process of making the EP was also a learning process, which I believe will help me when I am able to put together my first full-length album."

Penecale's style has elements of folk and rock with a contemplative, but not self-absorbed lyrical quality. Indeed, her lyrics are not quite purely reflective, but they are not quite topical story verbiage either. Her voice has a richness that is lacking among many of the current waifs of whining who have recently afflicted local stages. Statuesque and polite, Penecale has the wherewithal to make a serious and thoughtful effort in show biz.

Amanda Penecale,
With the Underhills &
Godinez Brothers,
will perform
at Puck Live,
Printers Alley,
Doylestown, PA 18901,
Saturday, Sept. 6, 8:30 p.m.
Tickets: $8.
Info: 215-348-9000 or or

©Montgomery Newspapers 2009

- Montgomery Newspapers

"WXPN 88.5 Pick of the Day 11.11.08"

"Hailing from the Bucks County area this fantastic singer-songwriter is no stranger to the local scene. Often playing at favorite local venues like the Tin Angel, Chaplin's Music Cafe, and Milkboy Coffee, she has earned herself a reputation for a pure sound, interesting arrangements and insightful lyrics. Among her many accomplishments Penecale was recently a semi-finalist in this year's Philadelphia Songwriters Project. Catch her live Novemeber 29th at Creekside Cultural Center in Lenhartsville, PA along with other Philly Local favorite Hezekiah Jones and Kyle Swartzwelder!" - Philly Local

"Warminster Singer Born with Artistic Soul"

There was no defining moment.
No deliberate striving toward a goal, or an incident that pushed her forward toward a certain fate.
For Amanda Penecale, the impulse to create has always been such an intrinsic one that the path to her career as both a visual artist and a singer-songwriter seems impossible to delineate.
Even the process of making music and painting or taking photographs is seamlessly entwined.
"I don't separate what I do," says the Warminster native. "I write songs. I make art. I make art about my songs. I make songs about my art, and, really, all that is about my life - so it's all one big fluid thing."
Earlier this year, Penecale released her second EP, "Chalkboard," which she recorded at Cambridge Sound Studios in Newtown. She also is in her first year of teaching art at William Tennent High School and in December will receive her master's degree in education from Arcadia University (she received her bachelor's in illustration from Rhode Island School of Design).
When she isn't immersed in the world of teaching or writing and performing her songs, she can often be found taking photographs and making collages of the images she takes.
"I've been a musician and an artist since I was little," says Penecale, who performs tonight at the Tin Angel in Philadelphia. "I always sang in the backyard on the swing set. I felt it was the most important thing you could do - make paintings and sing on the swing set."
She wouldn't say she comes from an artistic family - an uncle is a graphic artist, an aunt a painter - but feels fortunate to have been surrounded by individuals eager to nurture her gifts. And from a young age, it was obvious that those were copious. Penecale won her first art contest at age 4. She had several poems published in national anthologies while still in grade school, and was lead cantor in the school choir, starting in sixth grade. By seventh grade, the longtime classical piano and ballet student was writing her own songs. And though she admits that the exercise was mostly confined to her bedroom, with no one hearing her songs until much later, by high school, she had formed the folk band Wisteria with a cousin and a few friends. The group released two CDs, for which she contributed most of the melodies, and performed frequently throughout the area.
"I feel like I found the right outlets at the right time," says the 25-year-old Mount Saint Joseph Academy alum. "I've been really lucky to have people - my family, teachers, other individuals - who ignited the spark and kept it going instead of shutting it down."
Through such encouragement, she gained an early appreciation for teaching.
"I really think it's important," says Penecale, who taught art at various summer camps growing up, and at a community art school in Nantucket and a private school in Maine, after graduating from RISD and before moving back to Warminster. "If I ever become a full-time artist, I would still be a teacher on the side. I just think it's important to reach out to people who are younger and might not have that direction because that's what helped me discover and do what it is I love."
In college, she began sharing her original songs in public, performing at the occasional open mic, with a classical guitar given to her by her aunt during her senior year of high school.

"I used music as an escape from my art, so I became really close with the guitar," says Penecale, who is mostly self-taught on the instrument. "I'm one of those people - I really like to be busy and I find with my music, it's one of the places where I can slow down."
But whether doing music or art, she is drawn to the idea of giving shape to the intangible.
"Being able to have a unique idea and present it to the world - whatever form that may be - I get really excited about that, having a vision that you can share," she says.
While she used to write songs by setting her poems to music, they now arise from a feeling, and are inspired as much by her own experiences and life observations as they are by the lives of her friends and even characters from books that she reads. Many also come to her awash in certain colors or moods. "Chalkboard," which follows last year's four-song EP "Middle Ground," draws on her admiration of the works of Andrew Wyeth.
"I wanted to make something that sounded like yellow ochre," says Penecale, who incorporated cello and strings, pedal steel and mandolin and several other instruments on the disc, fleshing out the spare sound created with percussionist and upright bassist Erik Hischmann - with whom she's been playing for the last year and a half - on her first studio effort. "The instruments I choose are kind of like colors. I like that they sound really deep and really rich, like mahogany and chocolate +."
The five-song EP presents Penecale, who two years ago was a semifinalist in the Philadelphia Songwriters Project Songwriters Competition, as an engaging lyricist who extracts insight, solace and even bittersweet humor from moments both small and shattering. Whether she's learning resilience in the midst of heartbreak or embracing difficult emotions that would be easier to run from, she conveys an emotional maturity made more compelling by her vocals, which glimmer from the disc's pastoral, loping rhythms and wistful melodies with a fetching purity.
She acknowledges somewhat begrudgingly that her sound fits best into the folk/Americana category - and is even branded country on iTunes. Her influences - which more recently have leaned toward Patty Griffin, Gillian Welch, Ingrid Michaelson and Brandi Carlile, after an earlier immersion in the songs of Dar Williams - may affirm that direction.
But, says Penecale, "for me, my music is music and I feel people from different backgrounds can appreciate it because I listen to a lot of different music.
"Being a visual artist and being a musician - both have the same process but being an indie singer-songwriter now is so hip that people think there's this whole scene to it, which I'm really not about. I like writing songs and playing music," she says. "I think it's good to find something that makes you happy and continue to do it and basically enjoy the journey."

Amanda Penecale appears tonight at the Tin Angel, 20 S. Second St., Philadelphia, with Dawn Iulg and Aaron Brown. Show time: 10 p.m. Tickets: $8. Information: 215-928-0978;
November 27, 2009 03:23 AM
- Bucks County Courier Times


Time and Tide (2012)
Great North Sound Society, produced by Erik Hischmann

Chalkboard (2009)
-Cambridge Sound Studios, produced by Jim Salamone

demo Ep, Middle Ground (2008)
-Cambridge Sound Studios, produced by Jim Salamone

All songs written by Amanda Penecale (Amanda Penecale ASCAP)



Taking inspiration from a life of classical music, Birkenstocks, and cowboy boots, Amanda Penecale is a singer songwriter who sings about past loves, life experiences, and the tiny moments in-between. Raised studying classical piano from the age of 4, and transitioning to guitar as her main instrument as an adult, Amanda’s music splits the difference between indie/pop and folksy Americana.

In 2012, Penecale released her most recent album, Time and Tide. Recorded in rural Maine at The Great North Sound Society, the album captures the breath of the doors and windows. The instrumentation is playful and mainly acoustic, and has a calm folky sentiment similar to Dar Williams or The Civil Wars. In the summer of 2012 Amanda was selected as a finalist in the Philadelphia Songwriters Project, and was asked to perform at the Bethlehem Musikfest on the Martin Guitar stage. Amanda is currently performing solo, and has had the opportunity to share the stage with some songwriters she greatly admires including Catie Curtis, Justin Townse Earle, and The Good Lovelies.

Amanda’s music career began in the suburbs of Philadelphia, where she went from playing for her dog to playing at some of the finer listening rooms in the city within a month. Her song “Say It Out Loud” was selected by Philadelphia Independent radio station, 88.5 WXPN, as a Philly Local Pick of the Day, and she was a finalist in the Philadelphia Songwriters Project in 2008. With a degree from the Rhode Island School of Design, Amanda continued to play music, formed a band, but began working as a high school art teacher to be able to continue to support her musical plans. While she still teaches, she makes time to perform as often as possible. Pieces of the places she has lived find their way into her songs. Amanda has called Nantucket, Maine, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, and now currently, New York. her home. She appreciates a vintage aesthetic, photography, painting, and a good striped sweater.

"We have played a few shows together and she (Amanda) just keeps getting better. Really great music" -Catie Curtis

"Amanda Penecale has a thoughtful delivery with her music that hasn’t the shrill markings of retro, nor the current fashionable flow. This is why her audience is a mix of people that keeps growing."
-David W. Wannop Ticket Magazine/Montgomery Media, Booking Agent

"Penecale has proven she shows her brightest side through her music, she sings her original songs in a crystal clear voice that lacks the shyness that is often found in a lot of singer/songwriters. This is enjoyable music no matter what your preferred genre.” -The indie Music Review

"[Time and Tide] is kind of in the brand of Natalie Merchant with darker, more brooding overtones, a la Sarah McLaughlin".

"There are few people who can tell stories in song, yet newcomer Amanda Penecale is one of them. Her words and music echo a sweet and sad sentiment of memories, emotions and reflections." -Lindsey Borders, Guitar Girl Magazine

Band Members