PENNYLAND (peighinn in Scottish Gaelic) is the anglicization of an antiquated crofter's land measurement. Peighinn (pronounced 'pain') was the amount of land a Scottish tenant farmer could rent for one penny a month. The band's name, in part a tribute to the ancestral tenant farmers of Scotland, recalls the workaday lives of crofters who dreamt of better opportunities, uprooted their families and crossed the Atlantic to settle in a new world. Formerly known as Annie's Romance, the band has been performing traditional Scottish, Cape Breton, and Irish folk music since 2012. Their music is at once both fresh and nostalgic. Their inventive and highly listenable arrangements of English and Gaelic songs, as well as dance tunes, pays tribute to the great Scottish and Irish folk bands of the 1970's such as Ossian, Planxty, Boys of the Lough, and The Cheiftains. Pennyland is a regular performer at various festivals along the Wasatch front and have been heard on local radio stations KRCL and BYU Radio. They have performed at festivals alongside the Wicked Tinkers, Skipper's Alley, and The Young Irelanders, as well as many great local bands.
Robert Macdonald (bagpipes, wooden flute, tinwhistle, and tenor banjo) is the band's founder and has been playing Scottish folk music for sixteen years. He holds an M.S. in folklore from Utah State University where he studied folk music, and Cape Breton and Scottish tune composition. (http://propiper.weebly.com/)
Liz Macdonald (fiddle, vocals) started playing violin at age five and, at thirteen, took her first fiddle workshop with late, master Cape Breton fiddler Jerry Holland. She joined the band as fiddler, but quickly took up lead singing duties. Her unique ear for discerning and reproducing the nuances of Scottish vocal stylings brings an air of authenticity, not often found this far west of the Atlantic, to both the band's Gaelic and English songs.
Marvin Payne (guitar, mandolin, banjo, vocals) has been playing guitar and singing songs for over half a century, with sixteen albums of original material and a whole lot of writing for other widely-published projects to show for it. (Check out marvinpayne.com)
Michelle Adams (silver flute, vocals) was a member of the folk band the Flying Nancies before joining Pennyland. A classically trained flutist from the age of eight with a natural ear for harmony and arrangement, she contributes much of the atmosphere and texture to the band's arrangements.
Daniel Macdonald (bodhran, other percussion) is a talented, self-taught ethnic/folk drummer. His rhythmic interests are broad and his drum collection is a short trip around the globe including the south Indian kanjira and the west African talking drum. In addition to Pennyland, Daniel is also a member of the Salt Lake City based band Ghost of Earnest Pitch.
Averi Crockett (harp) began classical training on piano at the age of six. When she started translating those skills to Celtic harp in 2014, she quickly became the newest member of Pennyland.