An Interview with JP Pennington of the Award-Winning Band, EXILE By Holly Dye

Holly Dye

Holly: It is great to have an opportunity to talk with you about the reunion of Exile and the upcoming opportunity for you to return to Lexington to play for a great cause.

Many people may not realize the historical significance this event has for you and the band. Your start as Exile began in the heart of the bluegrass and the collective decision to once again begin performing as Exile was made in Lexington just over one year ago. What does it mean to you to have the opportunity to come home again?

(photo courtesy of JP Pennington)

JP Pennington:

 

You know, its odd that Kentucky is one of the places we play the least. In fact, I live only about 15 minutes from the Singletary Center. Crazy, but its always great to come back and play here. It gives a chance to see old friends as well as showing the hometown folks that weve hopefully gained a step or two since they saw us last.

Holly: You have mentioned in past interviews that issues related to childrens issues and substance abuse are ones close to your heart. Do you mind sharing a bit about the National Drug Endangered Children Training and Advocacy Center and what about this organization’s mission spoke to you?

JP Pennington:

I had a chance to meet some of the people from NDEC-TAC this past December and was moved by some of the stories they shared with me regarding these children and the way their lives have been torn apart as a result of being involved as innocent victims in drug abusive families. I was impressed by the way NDEC-TAC takes a hands-on approach in training various professional agencies on how to better deal with the children when theyve been exposed to these heartbreaking circumstances.

Holly: You are a very accomplished songwriter and you seem to be able to find words and music that translates a message. What inspiration has this issue given you and how does this issue have meaning, if at all, based on all that you have seen in your years on the road.

JP Pennington:

I dont always write songs with a particular message, other than the message that it is a great thing that a man and a woman or families can show deep love for one another.

My association with the folks at NDEC-TAC has showed me that there are other topics to write about as well. Ive written two songs with Charlie Crowe about the children and Ill admit it was a pretty heart-wrenching experience. Charlie was at the initial NDEC-TAC meeting with me and we were moved to pour our hearts out on this issue. As many Kentuckians may know, Charlie is a native Lexingtonian who went on to be Brooks and Dunnes lead guitarist and has had much success as a songwriter.

Charlie and I both have heard a lot of stories and have been a part of many moments from our years of being on the road that we felt could be inspiring to any songwriter. Someone once said, People are more interesting than anybody!

Holly: I have been struck by how grounded you are and also by the fact that after years on the road, all you wanted to do was be with your family. How did you manage to remember your roots and pass the wisdom of experience and the value of being a grounded person to your children who are musicians in their own right?

JP Pennington:

I consider my wife, Suzie, to be the rock of our family. She was at home raising Jessie Rose and James for many years while I was on a tour bus and living out of a suitcase. They couldnt have turned out better. I laugh sometimes when I say this, but a lot of my advice to my kids, especially regarding the music business, is to tell them more what not to do than to do! Theyre both very talented and were so very proud of them.

Holly: Many people may not be aware that Exile has a new album and it seems, perhaps, an opportunity for a second chance at Billboard success. You wrote in your bio, “There’s nothing like a common cause to show you your real center, where you really belong”. How do you feel your being true to this is leading to a future for Exile?

JP Pennington:

Our common cause is our band and the music we play together. Since we reunited, our mission to have Exile to continue to succeed and grow. I think the folks in our audience at the Singletary Center will see and feel the strong commitment we have to each other.

Holly: We hope you will join JP Pennington and Exile as they play for a good cause. Concert attendees will also get to hear the songs written by Pennington and co-writer Charlie Crowe.

Join us for a night of great music and great fun-

Date: April 2, 2011
Time: Showtime 7:30, Doors open 7pm
Tickets: www.singletarytickets.com

For more information about the National Drug Endangered Children Training and Advocacy Center, Inc. and to access links for special hotel rates, please visit: www.ndec-tac.org

For more information about the latest news and information about the band visit www.exile.biz

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