americana with a playful edginess
Lost Penny originally formed as a duo with Erin Dahlby on mandolin and Nadine on guitar. They first met at a local bluegrass jam in Estes Park, Colorado. Nadine had been performing solo as a singer-songwriter, and Erin had been performing in a 3-piece bluegrass band. When by chance of circumstances they were playing the same venue, Nadine spontaneously invited Erin to sit in with her. They quickly discovered they had a compatible drive and passion to make music, and that the timbre of their voices blended well. Today, Lost Penny includes Joey Purmont on banjo, Derek Ray Kirkman on bass, and Caitlin Anderson on fiddle, making up a fun and energetic 5-piece band.
Their original songs are clever and sometimes poignant, and their arrangements of covers are fresh. Their music is harmony-focused americana, bluegrass and country, but if you ask them what kind of music they play, there will be a long pause, because they don't like to be boxed in. They are free-range and prone to sing about dogs and Elvis.
Nadine grew up in Indiana, close to Chicago. Music was a first, powerful memory, influenced by songs she heard her older siblings and mom play, such as The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin and Dean Martin. Her grandmother, Emma, from Tennessee, was also a big influence. Emma loved Dolly and "old timey" music as Grandmother called it. She would sing songs in her high-pitched, passed down way--gospel, traditional, Carter Family, and Loretta Lynn songs. She has been performing since she was about 8 years old. Her brother, Mike (now a professional opera singer) taught her and her brother, Dave, how to sing a Capella harmony. They would often prank call people, before caller id, and sing barber shop quartet or 50s a Capella songs to an unsuspecting recipient. They would also perform in person at events such as the Orville Redenbacher Pop Corn Festival. Nadine's first instrument was the organ when she was 4 years old. In 6th grade, her school instrument of choice was the violin, which she played in the orchestra through middle school and high school. During college, while coaching gymnastics and taking art classes, she joined Billie Duncan, a poet, songwriter and singer, in duo performances in Houston, Texas. Kelly Lancaster, an award-winning bluegrass mandolinist, was her first introduction to bluegrass. Kelly even gave Nadine a couple guitar lessons. The music scene, particularly at The Boat Yard, was extremely influential in creating the draw to be immersed in the music community that seems to make the world closer and warmer. Later, in Estes Park, Colorado, she would join a rock band, where she sang lead, sometimes sang harmony, played a little keyboard, and a little fiddle. Later she would teach herself guitar so that she could accompany herself singing solo. She then discovered that she loved writing her own songs, and has become prolific in songwriting, which she brings to Lost Penny. Since 2017, she has produced SnowyGrass Music Festival in Estes Park, Colorado.
Erin plays mandolin