I’ve been making music as a profession for two months shy of sixty years. Wow. During all those years of traveling, I have made and lost many friends. While some were just familiar acquaintances, mostly involved in our engagements, others became very close to my heart and soul. There is also a group of people who I considered folks I knew but had never actually met. This is a story about one of them.
In years of performing at coffeehouses and folk clubs, there were “friends” I had never met except to see their pictures on the dressing room walls. The only things I had in common with them were first, they were musicians, and second, we were performing at the same clubs. Back east there were a series of such clubs and we would see this person or that on the walls of different dressing rooms every night. So while I hadn’t met some of them I still felt like I knew them.
A few years back, Brewer and Shipley received the “Spirit Of Folk Award” at the International Folk Alliance convention. At the several-day event, I was able to connect with some old friends. I hadn’t seen Josh White Jr. in years. There was Merideth Sisco who performed the music for the film “Winter’s Bone,” and I had the opportunity to give Graham Nash some lighthearted grief for the time he and David Crosby bumped Michael and me from the studio in San Francisco as we were finishing up our “Tarkio” album. He joked and told me we had been outranked. At the time I didn’t see the humor.
It was at the Folk Alliance convention I finally met one of those dressing room promotional photos in the flesh. It was Buddy Mondlock. For those who are unfamiliar with Buddy, he is a singer/songwriter who lives in Nashville. His mentor was Guy Clark who he met at the Kerrville Folk Festival. He sang harmony on Art Garfunkle’s solo album and toured with him for a while. But Buddy’s own performances and songwriting are what sets him apart.
I remember telling Buddy if he was ever looking for a place to stay we were just about 10 or 12 miles south of Interstate 44. And that he should consider our place somewhere he could stay when he was traveling across the country. And one night a couple of years ago he called to take me up on my offer. That was an incredible evening. We ended up writing a couple of songs and recorded them in my studio in the middle of the night. I had a song I had been working on for years and with Buddy’s help, it turned into a completed song in short order. He did such a sweet recording of it I turned it into a music video which I will re-post here. It is a song for refugees from rough places.
For some years now Buddy has hosted a tour of Ireland and this year included a visit to Scotland as well. Shortly before the trip Buddy finally met the woman of his dreams and married her. This summer’s trip to Scotland was their honeymoon. Of course, I was anxious to meet Buddy’s new bride and that took place last weekend.
Buddy was doing an Octoberfest “house concert” at a friend’s place on the North Fork of the White River. Jan and I were invited and anxious to see Buddy and meet his new bride, Polly. What a delight she turned out to be. We shared the guest house with her, Buddy, and his friend and bass player Mike Lindauer. They had met in the principal’s office in grade school and have been friends ever since. And Mike is a wonderful bass player. Mike sat in with Brewer and Shipley once at a concert in Houston. Did I tell you Mike drives a Tesla? I think that’s why he’s smiling.
To say everybody had a great time would be an understatement. It was a wonderful get-together, albeit possibly with too much wine, beer, and bratwurst. And, while it was not yet legal in Missouri, I did take the opportunity to sneak off for a toke or two…or three…I don’t actually remember. But it was a really good time.
As Buddy was setting up in front of the fireplace, I said a word of thanks that it wasn’t me up there. It’s nice to be able to just enjoy someone else’s music for a change. And enjoy it we did. I enjoyed it so much I didn’t even take any pictures of that. Just listened to the music.
Jan and Polly really hit it off. We invited them to come up to our place the first chance they had and they agreed it would be fun. Buddy said he would like to get together and do some more writing. Of course, that will be fun and I’m up for it as long as he brings Polly with him.
In closing, I would like to thank my readers and fans for sticking around while I did battle with Centurylink. I went nearly a month without any reliable internet which is required to put out these stories. This was a particular grievance as I had just purchased the fastest computer I have ever had, a Mac Studio. Blazing speed means very little if you can’t get online. But I’m back and hope to be more regular in my storytelling.
And finally a shout out to all of you who voted yes on Amendment 3. Nearly 60 years after my first toke I am finally legal. So I’m free to tell some stories about that part of my life as the future rolls on.
One last thought or another thing I would have written about if I had had an internet connection. Those readers who remember a story I wrote called “Hopi to Hollywood” will know of my old friend and actress Grace Dove. She is now appearing opposite Hillary Swank as Roz in the ABC hit show Alaska Daily. Check it out. Grace is amazing.