It’s rare to hear that a racehorse-trainer in his 50’s decides to shift focus and concentrate on music full force but that is exactly what Peter Kleinhans has done. Teaming up with NY Blues Hall of Famer Tony Conniff to produce a debut album ‘Something’s Not Right‘ goes to show that Kleinhans is all in. The album is expected to be released in January of 2018. Today we at Fr.U.N.T. Music are honored to premiere the song “Sky Blue” from the forthcoming album (Featured Below).
A recent posting from Peter Kleinhans’ social media gives a background story behind the song “Sky Blue”:
“I originally was naming the album Sky Blue, but it ended up seeming too boring (and too similar to Wilco’s Sky Blue Sky). In the Steely Dan song Deacon Blue, Dan Fagen says “I cried when I wrote this song.” I cried on this one. It pains me to think of how little attention is paid to the inner struggles that old people go through. The character in this song – 82 years old, infirm and alone, his wife no longer alive, in an unfamiliar place which could be a hospital or a nursing home- is taking on a psychological challenge that few of us can imagine. What could be more intense?
Our culture has what I consider to be a very skewed approach to death and aging. Science is endlessly at work to stamp out diseases and increase lifespan, but what good is an extra five years if those are depressing, unhappy years? We have all sorts of ways of diminishing the significance of what old people goes through- we act as if they are ‘cute’, when (just like children) they don’t find themselves cute in the least, and hate being characterized that way.
The protagonist in this song is in quite the predicament, and his way of dealing with it makes total sense- he disappears into his imagination. His past, memories of his wife- these are truly all he has; meanwhile, one can imagine a physical therapist nagging him to do some pointless and agonizing exercises that are ultimately doomed to fail. Wallace Stevens, one of my favorite poets, saw life as a battle between reality and the imagination. In this case, the character’s reality is so much worse than his imagination- who can blame him for wanting to live there? Ultimately, though he is dying, I see this character as triumphant, in that the song ends with him inhabiting that imaginary piece of pure sky blue- pure freedom- rather than the doomed grey halls of his physical environment.” –Peter Kleinhans