I know this sounds extreme, but as I sit here listening to the music of the late Justin Veatch, a 17-year-old Yorktown boy who died of an accidental drug overdose last year, I absolutely am covered with goosebumps and am fighting back the tears.
As you could imagine, a lot of CDs grace my desk here at LoHud. And most of them are very good — the caliber of local musicians here in the Lower Hudson Valley really is astounding.
But there is something about Justin’s music that really strikes a chord.
Before his death, Justin had recorded six original songs under the name of his band, The Ivoryton Piano Factory. He planned to release his first album, “Permagrin,” but passed away before he could see it through.
His father, however, started the Justin Veatch Fund and committed to finish his son’s dream CD.
The result — “Permagrin: The Music of Justin Veatch by The Ivoryton Piano Factory and Friends” — is now available, with all proceeds going to support music scholarships for college-bound students pursuing a music education. The fund awarded its first scholarship in June.
There is undoubtedly a certain melancholy to Justin’s songs, which were salvaged from his home studio. The lyrics are powerful and mature: “Hey mom and dad, come look at this photograph. Even though it’s black and white there was so much color in our eyes.” (How could a parent hear that and not just melt inside?)
In addition to Justin’s own recordings, numerous other artists have contributed to the CD by covering his songs. There are 14 tracks in all on the disk.
Personally, I enjoy the originals best. Justin felt a strong connection to his music, and that comes across quite clearly in each of the songs. May he rest in peace…
Listen to some of the tracks on MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/theivorytonpianofactory