Premiere: Newtown tell the Appalachian murder ballad of “Naomi Wise”

By Matt Wickstrom


LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 25, 2018) – Newtown, the Lexington-based bluegrass foursome led by husband and wife Jr Williams and Kati Penn, have released new tune “Naomi Wise” via Mountain Home Music Company. Penn says the song follows a storyline of forbidden love, similar to other songs the band has performed in the past.

“Naomi Wise is the classic story of A boy and a girl from two different classes falling into forbidden love,” said Penn. “It follows the same storyline as ‘Pretty Polly,’ ‘Knoxville Girl’ and other Appalachian murder ballads. Donna Hughes wrote the song and actually sent it to me just a few weeks before we were scheduled to start recording. I had recorded and performed songs written by Donna before, so I was excited when she said she had one for me to hear!”

In addition to Williams on guitar/banjo and Penn on fiddle, Newtown is comprised of Travis Anderson on bass and Mitchell Cannon on mandolin.

Listen to Newtown perform “Naomi Wise” below.

Newtown 2018 Tour Dates

  • June 2 — WOBO Bluegrass Bash — Owensville, Oh.
  • June 8 — Dollywood Barbecue & Bluegrass — Sevierville, Tn.
  • June 15 — Natural Tunnel State Park Amphitheater — Duffield, Va.
  • June 29-30 — Flat Rock Music Jamboree — Marion, Wi.
  • July 14 — Uncle Dave Macon Days — Murfreesboro, Tn.
  • July 21 — Hickory Nut Gap Farm — Fairview, NC
  • Aug. 11 — Bluegrass at Burdoc — Crofton, Ky.
  • Aug. 18 — The Station Inn — Nashville, Tn.
  • Aug. 31 — SamJam — Piketon, Oh.
  • Sept. 1 — Burnsville Town Center — Burnsville, NC
  • Oct. 27 — Honey Creek Resort — Moravia, Ia.
  • Nov. 3 — Lincoln Theatre — Marion, Va.

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