Like a rolling stone

Songwriter Troy Petty rolls into Taffy’s of Eaton

By Tim Anderl

Chicago native and Columbus, Ohio, transplant Troy Petty is the kind of song writer whose natural inclinations and intuitions result in stirring indie rock singer/songwriter fare that has connected with both audiences in his adopted home city and abroad. Taking cues from songwriting greats like Chris Cornell, Low and Jeff Buckley, Petty released the Departure EP, a triumphant collection recorded at John Schwab Recording, where a wide-range of world-renowned acts like Kiss, Peter Frampton and Gavin DeGraw have cut some of their finest efforts. With Colin Coffey (Slash, Big & Rich) behind the boards, Departure is a breakthrough moment for Petty, who is poised to make major waves with his forthcoming EP and tour dates.

Dayton City Paper caught up with Petty to discuss his recent trip to Austin, his influences and his anticipation of a forthcoming trip to Taffy’s in Eaton.

You recently did a tour to Austin for South-By-Southwest. How was that?

Troy Petty: It was a 10-day tour ending in Austin, Texas. The particular showcase was part of Red Gorilla Music Fest sponsored by Tinderbox Music and held at Touche’ on 6th Street. This was my fourth year appearance and by far the best as the venue was packed and a bulk of the audience was Columbus locals. I really felt a good energy between myself and the audience. This was also the debut of my new line up, consisting of Austin local bassist Adam Prado and one of Columbus’ own, Groove U drummer Barrett Hoffman.

You are originally from Chicago. How did you come to find yourself in Columbus and how has that scene nurtured your growth as an artist?

TP: [I moved] to Columbus, Ohio, in late 2013. I was going through major changes in all areas of my life, so a change in geography seemed appropriate. My girlfriend, who I met while still in Chicago, influenced my decision [to move to Columbus] over Austin, Texas. Since moving, I’ve been touring regularly and have found Columbus a supportive and growing music and arts scene. Regardless of unwritten laws dictating claiming myself as an official “local” or not, I feel honored to be a part of this local community of great songwriters and artists.

What was it like working with Colin Coffey on the Departure EP?  

TP: Colin Coffey and I clicked at our first preproduction meeting, which was a critical advantage when recording on unfamiliar ground. Colin’s honest sense of where I wanted to take this EP kept my usual overthinking-it behavior at bay. The daunting task of laying down all vocals, guitars and bass in five days had me on edge, but his technical wisdom and perspective allowed me the confidence to see it through on time and on budget. Colin was very coherent of my vision, transforming Departure into a record I am proud of. I cannot say that for many others I’ve worked with.

You recently released the video for “Motor Mind” right? 

TP: Yes! “Motor Mind” was just released on Friday, March 18. The video idea came to me in early December and I quickly consulted my professional videographer buddy from Chicago label Victory Records, Brian Raida. We had worked on a music video with past Chicago project The Last Dark Show a few years back, and I thought he was the perfect person for this job. The preproduction, budget and location were arranged within a few weeks and by the new year we had a shoot date confirmed. Brian packed up his gear on that first Friday of 2016, after a full work day at Victory Records, drove six hours to my place, slept for a few, then shot all day Saturday. He was off and back to Chicago Sunday morning having three hours of footage to edit!

Have you begun preproduction on the LP follow up to the EP?  

TP: Yes, I’ve been cutting the first demos of the new LP in my home studio and will continue through June before seeking out a studio. I haven’t discussed the needs of the new LP with Colin Coffey, but it’s first on my list.

Have you been road testing this material?  

TP: Yes, I’ve been pulling out the new material live every chance I get, in both solo acoustic and full-band formats. The overall feedback has been wonderful and it’s helping me to hone in on which songs will make the final album cut.

What can Taffy’s patrons expect from your performance there?

TP: Taffy’s patrons have been very receptive in the past and may notice a little more energy from myself and the new material. The undivided attention I get from Taffy’s goers challenges me to really let go and invite them further into my art.

Troy Petty performs at 8 p.m. on Friday, April 15 at Taffy’s of Eaton, 123 East Main St. in Eaton. Admission is free and the performance is open to all ages. For more information, visit

Tim Anderl is the web editor and a contributing writer at Ghettoblaster Magazine and maintains his own music blog at Reach DCP freelance writer Tim Anderl at

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