Music Monday - Lee Penn Sky

It was a cold January day on a remote highway in Idaho. A young man stopped to help other travelers who were trapped in an overturned truck. As the man was working to rescue them, another car skidded off the road and struck him at highway speed. That man was Lee Penn Sky.

On that grey day, Lee almost lost his life and nearly lost his leg; what he did lose was his fear. Until this day, Lee had been a prolific songwriter but never stepped from behind the shelter of a band into the spotlight himself. The risk of stepping into the spotlight seemed to pale in comparison to nearly losing his life.

I’m always skeptical when I read stuff like this. It feels too much like someone is trying to sell me something useless. I wonder about the parts of the story untold. I think, “Yeah, right, but what about the rest of us?” We all have our hurdles; our accidents on the road to Damascus.

Yet, since I was going to listen to his submission to the Orient Lodge Music Review via Sonicbids, I figured I should try to give him a fair hearing. It didn’t take me long to change my opinion. His music is really about all of us.

It’s been about two months since I first listened to his music. I put it near the top of my list, but there have been some other really good musicians fighting for recognition as well, so it is only today that I am getting around to this review.

Perhaps it is all timing and now is the time to write the review. Over the last week or so, one of my mother’s best friends died. A cousin died. Our dog died. Yeah, it’s been one of those weeks. At the memorial for my mother’s friend, some of us talked about all that is going on in the world. The BP oil slick, global warming, and conservative activists judges on the Supreme Court more interested in rewriting over a century of jurisprudence to protect large corporations, shield them from accountability and give them greater say in our electoral process.

Yeah, people were in a kind of down mood at the memorial. I tried to be upbeat, to recognize the power of individuals, reaching out in compassion to those around them, sending out ripples of hope. I spoke of nature’s power to heal and my recollection of run down parts of cities where nature has retaken the land.

Maybe it’s just a little bit like some guy getting hit by a car on a cold snowy Day in January as he tries to help out some people, and instead of getting bitter, stepping into the spotlight to sing his bitter sweet songs of hope in downtrodden situations.

It’s been a rough week, for me, for people on the Gulf Coast, for the widow of one of the men who died at the Kleen Energy explosion in Connecticut as she testified at a hearing calling for more protection for workers. In spite of it, I cling to the sort of hope that you hear in Lee Penn Sky’s music.

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