Fresh from the Pampanga countryside, young Ian Penn is an old soul evoking the wisdom of classic, timeless folk legends like Bob Dylan, and Pete Seeger. But the one album that kick-started this Angeles City-born artist was Neil Young’s Out on the Weekend. His dad taught the home-schooled youngster to play the guitar, starting with John Denver’s Leaving On A Jet Plane. On Sunday mornings, young Ian would wake to the sound of Sam Cooke’s voice blasting on the stereo.
Growing up surrounded by music lovers and musicians, Penn naturally formed bands in high school. He played bass in a band doing Beatles covers for fun, but guitar and harmonica were his weapons of choice, and covers of Johnny Cash, Buddy Holly and Sam Cooke his preference. Unable to relate to pop or metal, he instead went back to his roots – the Sunday mornings of his life – and started writing his own material at age 16. Everyday life inspires his songs: his countryside surroundings of trees, sky, mountains and rivers. “The songs that I write, they are my reflections and observations. It’s all poetry in motion, you see.”