Cindy Slee ‘Happy As A Jaybird’ with her growing musical careerWritten by Amanda Tindall | | firstname.lastname@example.org
After going through nursing school and practicing for 15 years, Cindy Slee was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
The autoimmune disease took what had been her life, her whole career, and made it completely impossible to maintain.
But Slee said music had been a part of her life no matter what she was doing, so when nursing was no longer an option, she was able to return to that love. The switch led her to write “Happy As A Jaybird,” which she donated to the American Red Cross “Red, White & You, Too!” CD.
Even before nursing school, Slee said she fell in love with the guitar. By her late teens, she was performing in groups. In nursing school, she met Theresa Konwinski and the two wrote and played music together.
After nursing school, Konwinski moved, but they continued to write songs via email. When Konwinski moved back to the Toledo area, she suggested the two get back together. The band they formed was called Stat Band, because they were both nurses, Slee said.
“Happy As A Jaybird” was conceived when Slee heard her mother say that exact phrase.
“Any songwriter will tell you that it’s so great when a song just falls into place,” Slee said.
“I was out West, visiting my parents in Las Vegas, and I keep a guitar there. My mom said something about being ‘happy as a jaybird,’ and I said, ‘You know, that’d make a great line.’ So probably by the time I left there, I had written the lyrics.”
Slee said her inspiration, what drives her to play music, is that no matter what mood you might be in music has the ability to take you to a different place.
“She has demonstrated a lot of courage over the years,” Konwinski said. “She’s had some really dark days. When she first got [diagnosed], it progressed so quickly that we were afraid she’d never get out of the wheel chair. She’s so determined and not self-pitying. And her fearlessness is what gave her the ability to do music on her own. That’s not easy to just get your guitar and yourself and play in front of people.”