Mitchell Creek Rock 'N' Blues Fest

Ali Penney & The Money Makers

“This girl plays piano like an 80-year-old black guy – she’s gotta lotta soul,” said Freddy King’s right-hand-man, guitarist Andrew ‘Junior Boy’ Jones.

RAWNESS and emotion are what strikes you when you hear what Ali Penney and The Money Makers play for you. Penney’s husky, soulful voice is matched perfectly by the smooth sounds of the Money Makers’ blues.

She may consider herself a pianist first and this shows in her skills on the keys, but the honest vulnerability in Ali Penney’s vocals has won her an award for her singing.

“This girl plays piano like an 80-year-old black guy – she’s gotta lotta soul,” said Freddy King’s right-hand-man, guitarist Andrew ‘Junior Boy’ Jones.

She has played for and supported some of the best; Lynwood Slim, Johnnie Johnson, Chris Cain, Lucinda Williams, Cephas and Wiggins, The Tailgaitors and Chris Wilson plus she was invited to sit in and play with Walter Washington and the Palm Court Orchestra in New Orleans. She has also played with Australian legends The Hippos, Supro, Fiona Boyes, Little Fi and many more.

More than anything else, Penney is a band leader and as lead singer of The Money Makers, she knows how to put on a show – a funny and entertaining show – and play songs which get the audience toe-tapping and dancing.

Completing The Money Makers are Chicago blues-style lead guitarist Dave Blanken, who has a guitar for every occasion (‘the right tool for the job’), strong and silent funk-man Mike ‘Duck’ Rix on either bass guitar or double bass and ‘shuffle king’ drummer Ross ‘Rosscoe’ Clark.

A member of one of Australia’s longest running blues bands, the Foreday Riders, drummer Clark is an extraordinary talent who has been playing since in his teens. Bassist Rix brings a wealth of musical knowledge to this band. Bursting out of the Canberra music scene, guitarist Blanken infuses his sound with the old blues feel of the likes of BB King and Buddy Guy.

Most of Penney’s songs are upbeat, but wicked, all delivered live with a witty tale, which gets the audience laughing and ready to have fun.

Nominated for several awards at the 2012 Australian Blues Awards at Goulburn Blues Festival, Penney took out the best female vocalist, following up The Money Maker’s best band win in 2010.

In her career, she has toured throughout the eastern states and played at most of the Australian blues and jazz festivals, including Gympie Muster, Broadbeach, Thredbo, Bridgetown, Wangaratta and Noosa. Together with The Money Makers they have played festivals in Goulburn, Broadbeach, Thredbo and Sydney, plus represented Sydney in the International Blues Challenge in Memphis. They just love sharing their soulful blues with a touch of funk and boogie.

www.alipenney.com/