(Person) X: What’s your name?
X: PF: Penelope
X: Like Penelope Cruz?
PF: Yeah, like Penelope Cruz.
X: I detect an accent. Where are you from?
X: So why do you sound French?
PF: I’m French Canadian.
X: Oh… So what brings you to L.A.?
PF: It’s a long story…
X: I like long stories.
PF: Hmm… Then to make a long story short…
Montreal native and "Jack of all trades" Penelope Fortier spent half of her life traveling around the world, sometimes as a model, an actress, a photographer, a student or as a simple observer, and has been living abroad ever since.
Classically trained in voice and guitar at an early age, Penelope decided to take music to the next level upon her arrival in L.A. where she met bass player and producer Sheldon Gomberg (whose recent collaborations include: Rickie Lee Jones, Ben Harper and The Living Sisters), and with whom she recorded two full-length albums and a Single, at his studio "The Carriage House", in Silver Lake.
"When I first heard Penelope's music, I knew I had to work with her. She melted me. she was sitting there right in front of me, playing her classical guitar and singing these beautiful songs with that beautiful voice! I had no defenses." -Sheldon Gomberg
In her debut album Sunday At Noon, Penelope weaves seamlessly in and out of different acoustic musical genres, leading the way with her unique fingerpicking style and angelic voice, enhanced by the elegant string arrangements composed by Neel Hammond and Miguel Atwood-Ferguson and complimented by the generous participation of over twenty world-renowned artists such as: Jeff Young, Deron Johnson, Pete Thomas,The Sonus (string) Quartet, Dean Parks, Stewart Cole, Chris Joyner and Danny Franke.“The whole experience was surreal…I couldn’t stop smiling.”-PF.
Penelope's decision to record a version of My Favorite Things (from the movie The Sound Of Music) came after she was featured singing this song in a popular Nationwide MasterCard
television ad campaign. Accompanying her on this jazz single are: guitarist Danny B. Harvey, bass player Sheldon Gomberg and drummer Kendall Kay.
About Penelope's upcoming album (title and release date TBD), here's what her friend and writer Jane McCarthy had to say: –“Traveling gal with her guitar, Penelope Fortier has been on my radar for some time. The songstress' latest record feels like it was composed under many summer moons. A little bit country and a little bit French café, Fortier's gorgeous, breathy vocals lend a romance to tracks that revel in the pleasures of taking it slow. Fortier's Montreal roots are on display here as she slips from English to French and back again- one of the album's great charms, of which there are many.” This project was almost entirely recorded “live” at Sheldon’s studio with the participation of the very talented: Abby Posner on mandolin, electric and acoustic guitar, Vanessa Freebairn-Smith (of the The Sonus (string) Quartet) on the cello, Nick Rosen on acoustic and upright bass, William Gramling (of Coyol) on the piano, wurlitzer and accordion, and Mike Lindsey on drums.
Since the release of Sunday At Noon, Penelope Fortier has recorded with musical artists: Eleni Mandell, Unloved, Danny B. Harvey, Primal Scream, The Rentals. Les Deux Love Orchestra, Haroula Rose, Mark Eitzel, Soul Kid #1 and Rickie Lee Jones, and has been delighting live audiences with her soothing melodies and gentle spirit, in L.A., Montreal and France, opening for such artists as: The Living Sisters, Joseph Arthur, Émilie Simon, Olafur Arnalds, Emma Louise, Nightmare & The Cat, Tristan Prettyman, Eliza Rickman, The Good Listeners, Henry Wolfe and Mia Doi Todd.