There is a cyclical nature to the work of NewTown. When one project ends, another begins — right away. So Kati Penn couldn’t help but laugh when asked about when work began on their just-released album, “Harlan Road.”
“The day after the last one was released,” she said. “I’m already, right now, contacting writers and looking for songs. I don’t even know the songs on this record yet, but I’m already looking for new ones. It’s pretty much a nonstop search.”
What fiddler and vocalist Penn and her husband, banjoist and vocalist Junior Williams, devised for “Harlan Road,” though, was more than just a batch of the best songs they could find. The Lexington-based couple of a multi-city band wanted to take NewTown up a level.
They weren’t thinking just in terms of popularity. All bands strive for that. The two also wanted the stylistic reach of their music to grow with its already mounting audience appeal.
“You work on the material and hope you find songs that we can better ourselves with for the next project, as well as someone from around here who is a great songwriter who just has an amazing viewpoint when it comes to writing songs,” Penn said. “Building on this material, we knew, by default, this record was going to be awesome.”