Penn Johnson’s music is folk medicine for the soul. Inspired by the fingerpicking expressions of generations past, conscious hip hop, and ancient songs passed down through alternative medicine – each song tells a story that encourages the listener to transmute their pain into blissful awareness. In what could be referred to as Shadow-Work Storytelling, every line of every lyric is carefully crafted to evoke deep emotional releases from the trauma and triggers associated with a human existence. Penn is often told by listeners that he puts to words the emotions they’ve been feeling, but are unable to portray or explain.
In his 10 years living the traveling life, Penn has performed alongside artists of nearly every genre including: Trevor Hall, Mike Love, Lizzy Jeff, Desert Dwellers, Feral The Earthworm, Yaima, The Elovaters, Bumpin’ Uglies, Daniel Waples, Sessions Americana, Justin Biltonen (3 Doors Down), and Christina Holmes, among hundreds of others.
Penn’s upcoming single release Keep Keepin On (featuring and produced by multi-instrumentalist Flint Blade) is a shockingly personal spoken word soliloquy inspired in part by the questions gifted by alternative medicine. At its core it’s a mantra for the younger generation to keep pushing themselves forward despite the continuous setbacks of the human experience. The song displays depth and vulnerability in every lyric, acting as a paradigm-shifting manifestation by shedding light on issues such as the growing housing crisis, environmental disaster, social anxiety, phone addiction, and the alienation often associated with the spiritual struggle. Through deliberately debilitating depictions of self doubt and questioning, Penn explains that despite everything always being in ‘divine alignment’, life is still pretty tough for mostly all of us. The silver lining of the song is that rather than “drowning in the prose,” and believing that “despite my best to do my best I must’ve just miscalculated,” Penn suggests we place our hope in our words and prayers being “sung and recognized around the multiverse” and in the meantime, we just keep keeping on.
Penn Johnson’s tracks