Penny Ney EP Review: The Hardest Truth

Penny Ney joined the Austin, Texas music scene in her late teens during the Armadillo World Headquarters heyday. With almost an immediate welcome, she found herself performing at the Headquarters and Paramount Theater and opening for folks like Delbert Mclinton and Bobby Bridger.

She established herself as not only a great performer but also as a recording backing vocalist, singing on several releases of none other than one of the Kings of Texas Music, Jerry Jeff Walker, as well as others like The Lost Gonzo Band. Ney put her music on the back burner when she married in her twenties and raised a family out in the Texas Hill Country.  A twist of fate would bring her back to her passion.  She  was in a near fatal car accident in 2009 and found herself divorced and on a new quest for healing in life. Music was the answer.

After testing the waters with the release of a couple of singles,  Ney decided to really jump back in with an EP, The Hardest Truth. The result is five stellar originals of pure Cosmic Cowgirl and Texas Hill Country sound emanating from an emotional and integral vocalist.   “Lonely Street” is a journey of a heart looking for love in a jaunty Tex-Mex tune reminiscent of the Sir Douglas Quintet. “Empty Arms Win” brings to mind couples swaying along on dancehall floors as Ney’s voice fills the air with sweet country pain.

“Love Is The Diamond” is my favorite track on the EP:

His back aches from that job that doesn’t pay

To risk his life each and every day

Her memory will keep him in this place

His love is the diamond pressed from that coal

Polished like silver

True grit making a pearl

Round and round they go

In a working day world...

Houston In Your Rearview Mirror”  leaves a lover behind in another great dancehall sweeper and “Saturday Night” pumps it up and rocks and swings, Ney’s vocals consistantly delightful.

The nuances and emotion in Ney’s voice convey a kaleidoscope of challenges, victories, pain, redemption and joy.  The Hardest Truth is a beautiful truth.

Penny Ney EP Track Listing:

1. Lonely Street

2. Empty Arms Win

3. Love Is the Diamond

4. Houston In Your Review Mirror

5. Saturday Night


By Cassandra Olson


I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a bitch.  You’ve got to go out and kick ass.” ~  Maya Angelou    

“Woman is the Wonder of the World.”  ~ Billy Joe Shaver