Paul J Penton is a craft-based singer songwriter with 45 years of strumming and singing under his belt. Anything from a Gibson acoustic to a 12 string or Classical guitar has been mastered, along with resonators and ukulele.

More recently, he’s started to embrace an even wider musical family. His latest songs, while remaining lyric-driven, have  strong melodic structures and orchestration.

Not surprising considering Paul is a trained sound engineer. More than 35 years industry experience including orchestral recording has given him an artist’s ear and feel for music.

Seminars with hit songwriters Jason Blume (“Dear Diary” - Britney Spears), Steve Seskin (“Grown Men Don’t Cry”- Tim McGraw) as well as Grammy award winning producer Stephen Webber have offered an insight into the writing and production techniques that work for some of the best in the music business.

Paul continues to study through Berklee Music College learning lyric construction with Pat Pattison and Andrea Stolpe – exploring mechanics of meter and construction of song sections. Paul has also studied audio production and arrangement with Jeff Baust and Jimmy Kachulis.

This formal training has built on Paul’s idea that all good writing must come from a central understanding of form and subject. And it helps if you’re writing about something that matters to you.

His CD “In the Name of” and  EP “South of the River” feature songs of love, mood, place and spiritual understanding.

Over the years Paul’s writing has been recognised by organisations including the Tamworth Songwriters Association and the Australian Songwriters Association where he was nominated for the Rudy Brandsma award (2018).

ASC 7X5-1
ASC 2009
TSA _award_2014
TSA 2014
ASA 2016

Singer songwriter

Paul’s music embraces themes of spirituality, our place in the world as well as explorations of intimacy, love and relationships, Stories are told through a range of influences; from basic folk to classic jazz, country rock and ambient pop.

Paul’s musical influences go back to mid-seventies folk heroes like Cat Stevens, Carole King, James Taylor as well as the Eagles and Beach Boys. Of recent times the casual insouciance of Brad Paisley, the edginess of Lily Allen, and the meditative works of Mary Chapin-Carpenter have been influential on Paul’s writing.

Musical disciplines began early for Paul with a father who played trumpet, violin and piano as well as the occasional cameo in the Navy brass band. With brothers and sisters playing instruments in local ensembles, music was in the blood.

Paul’s first band experience in country Victoria was as a part-time member of  the Scorpions,  long before the heavy metal band of the same name. Along with Fitzy, Prouty, Weavo and Swayney they practised in a milking shed for gigs at weddings, tennis club fundraisers and other local events.

This was the time when Queen were hitting the top ten with Bohemian Rhapsody, Countdown ruled Australian TV and the Little River Band was touring to sold-out stadiums in the United States. Meanwhile, back in Melbourne, Paul had moved from the Scorpions to the Monumental Masons, singing about nuclear disarmament, alienation, young love, trying to get gigs in local pubs and meet girls.

In the early eighties Paul played solo for a few years at venues like the Green Lantern, Fat Bob’s Café and the legendary Green Man, where The Seekers got their start 20 years earlier.

Paul’s songwriting continued with occasional, loose collaborations with talented friends culminating in the release of his first album “In the Name of” in 2001.

Titles include “Better World, a little ahead of its time, it’s a stinging critique of casual consumerism and a media frenzy where the medium is definitely more important than the message. Then there’s the slow burn acoustic numberI Need You”, about addiction in all its forms.The EP “South of the River” shows the results of a new phase in Paul’s practice and a serious commitment to the discipline of songwriting.

He’s currently collaborating with old friend and music consultant, Wes Bell on a series of new songs and a range of musical ideas (some from the back catalogue). This coming collection is shaped by his growing interest in orchestral arrangement but as usual, lyrics will be the raison d’etre.

Find Paul’s music on Spotify (a musical collaboration) and Reverbnation.

Video production

As Paul’s career in radio evolved so did technology, leading to an interest in video production for radio. After dabbling for a few years Paul spent a year studying video production and film-making techniques through Berklee Music College with award-winning film producer Mehdi Hassine , Paul also studied video production techniques with Den Lennie from the Film Makers Academy.


Since 2012 Paul has produced videos for Various ABC radio programs featuring major artists such as Missy Higgins, Lior and The Waifs.

And in his spare time, Paul has produced music videos for a range of talented, independent local groups including the good time band The Prairie Oysters, the blues group  - Rhythm X Revival and the silver smooth Deserters (featuring Elly-May Barnes)

Listen to 'Songs from South of the river'

E.P. 2011

Music video 'Mr Perfect'

Listen to 'In the name of'

Album 2001