Monday, May 13, 2019 - Excitement of Summer 

Just a brief note today as I rush headlong into the summer season.  I’m busy writing out music and rehearsing and recording demos for bandmates.  It’s fun to be fully engaged and moving expectantly toward the busy season.  I always find this to be an exciting time of anticipation and energy.  I hope you are feeling it too.  Sure, there’s a ton of work ahead, but it’s invigorating and fun! 

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What have I been up to? 

Cuchara Chapel last Sunday was a wonderful celebration of Mother’s Day.  I sang my mother’s favorite song - “Always” -  for chapel, and it was such a warm way to reflect on motherhood.  Rev Eileen gave a wonderful message as well that included “The Four Agreements” which is one of my favorite books - especially the introduction.  I highly recommend it. 

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What am I up to this week? 

Sunday I’m playing for a children’s dance recital for a good friend at the Sangre de Cristo Arts and Conference Center.  I’ve known Katie and her husband Jake since well before their wedding several years ago, and Katie is now a dance instructor at the Arts Center.  It’s a pleasure to get to help out with these youngsters as they learn about body movement and stage presence.  Between learning music, rehearsals, and performance this will take up much of my week.  I’m looking forward to it! 

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That’s it for this week.  There’s so much coming up, and my summer schedule is still coming together.  Check my calendar at http://tommunch.com/calendar to see when I’ll be in your neighborhood.  There are some overlapping events you might find there as I am still moving around some of my nursing facilities to accommodate my summer gigs. 

Best always, 

Tom

Monday, May 6, 2019 - Summertime Is Coming 

We worked on getting our drip system and sprinklers up all day today (Sunday) before taking a shower and getting ready for my online concert. (I’ll reflect on the concert below after I finish.) We have a lot of drip system running all around our property to trees and shrubs, and then a decent-size front and back yard with an old sprinkler system that usually has leaks to be fixed every spring when we turn it on. It’s always a lot of work getting everything set up and then trimming trees and suckers and planting grass. In addition, all summer there are early mornings after walking Beau when I’ll chop weeds and fix road after we have big rains. And there are other things to be busying our time with getting ready for summer. I’m learning and rehearsing songs and practicing guitar to be ready for my summer duo gigs at the Royal Gorge Bridge with my friend Dennis Mills, who’ll be playing bass and singing with me Mondays and some Tuesdays and other days on the big stage on the south side. Plus there are many other gigs and things to get ready for. This is always an exciting time of year! And it seems like the years roll around more quickly as they go by. I don’t mind. It’s all part of the experience in this life. And finally this Sunday I’ll be thinking of my mom and all moms. The relationships we have with our parents are so precious, and the memories grow sweeter as time goes by even after they pass. Enjoy this beautiful time as the season ramps up to the frenetic summer.  

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What have I been up to? 

Last Friday was a very nice time at Bistoro. So many folks came out to join in. So fine! 

Sunday was my first-Sunday online show. I somehow messed up so that it charged folks and kicked some off. One day I’ll figure it out. We had fun though with an interesting mix of songs.  

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What am I up to this week? 

Sunday 10-11 I’m playing for Cuchara Chapel services and Mother’s Day. I always enjoy these mornings in this beautiful and rustic chapel, and I’d love to have you if you’re up for a special morning in the mountains. The Timbers in Cuchara should be open for a yummy lunch/brunch afterwards.  

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That’s it for this week. Have a wonderful Mother’s Day, and enjoy this last breath of Spring before the summer starts.  

Best always, 

Tom 

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Details this week: 

Who:  Tom Munch 
What:  playing and singing for chapel service 
Where:  Cuchara Chapel, 16400 CO Hwy 12, Cuchara, CO 
When:  Sunday, May 12, 10:00 am

Monday, April 29, 2019 - Music and Aliens 

One of my favorite podcasts is a sound show called “Twenty Thousand Hertz.” It features all kinds of topics around sound - from music to hearing to ad jingles to nature. The show topic for this last show was the golden records that were sent on the Voyager spaceships. These records had all kinds of info that was intended to hopefully introduce us to other life forms someday who would come upon the ships and these golden records. There was human speech included as well as pictures and sounds of nature, but the thing that fascinated me most was the inclusion of music in many varieties from all over the world - some with integral mathematical complexity and some with folksy simplicity.  You see, we don’t have any idea what kind of alien life forms will find this information, and we don’t know what they’ll understand about us. Maybe they won’t have the visual or auditory systems that we do, so maybe they won’t have eyes to see the pictures or ears to hear the melodies we sent. Maybe they will only understand the mathematics of the music in the way the notes interact with pitch and timing and not the melodic beauty of the sound. Maybe they will communicate through ESP, and so our physical way of communicating and sending info will be lost on them. It’s amazing to think about, and really makes me wonder how we perceive life on our world. I have a feeling that we would be able to communicate with them on some fundamental level, but that goes to my thoughts that we are all a part of the universe on a quantum level - a topic I’ve talked about before and will again. Do you have any thoughts about this?  I wish I was a fly on the wall when the scientists were deciding what to include on these golden records.  

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What have I been up to? 

I’ve had a couple weeks off from weekend and public gigs, but I’ve been busy still.  

Two weeks ago on Saturday I did my concert with Ken Saydak at the La Veta Mercantile. It was such a good time! We had a great group of folks come out and enjoy an evening of 1960's tunes and new originals. I will remember this night for a long time.  

The following Sunday I played a new song I wrote at the Cuchara Chapel. It was very well-received, and then they asked me to play for Easter, and I wrote another song and played for that too with my good friend, Peggy Hoobler. I love playing for these folks immensely! 

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What am I up to this week? 

Friday night 6-9 is our monthly first-Friday at Bistoro, and I’m looking forward to it. It’s become a busy place on my Fridays, so make a reservation if you plan to come - 719-696-9672.  

Sunday 7-8ish MDT is my First-Sunday Online Living Room Concert. I haven’t picked out a theme for this show yet, but trust that it will be something entertaining and enlightening. I love playing these for you. Please tune in if you can - concertwindow.com/tommunch.  

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That’s it for this week. I had a birthday last week, and we made a trip to Taos Saturday to celebrate and spend a little time in the mountains. It was grand! Be good to each other, and hopefully I’ll see you soon.  

Best always, 

Tom 

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Details this week: 

Who:  Tom Munch  
What:  playing and singing 
Where:  Bistoro, 109 Central Plaza, Pueblo. 719-696-9672 
When:  Friday, May 3, 6-9 pm 

Who:  Tom Munch 
What:  playing and singing a concert from my living room 
Where:  online at https://concertwindow.com/tommunch 
When:  Sunday, May 5 7-8:15 MDT

Monday, April 8, 2019 - Groggy 

I’m writing today in a fog.  Our sweet dog Beau has taken to getting us up (principally me) at least once a night and sometimes more to go outside.  We know there’s nothing wrong with him, but he keeps on doing it.  I love him with all my heart, but meanwhile I’m living with dark circles under my eyes and a sleepless stupor that puts me in a weird zone thought-wise and emotionally.  I have been to many conferences and reunions over the years where I’ve had little to no sleep because of the excitement and the late hours talking or playing music combined with early mornings for meetings or sunrise walks with friends.  During these events I’ve noticed the same thing in my thoughts and emotions.  I am in a state of grogginess that is almost dreamlike in its hazy drifting in and out of dull brain-numbness combined with deep insights and waves of emotion.  It’s really fun on one hand and scary on the other as I question what I’m doing and where I am in my thoughts and in the progression of the day.  Have you ever experienced this? 

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What have I been up to? 

Last Friday was a really fun night at Bistoro.  There were so many fine friends and such a buzz all night that kept us going.  Marvelous! 

Sunday was my First-Sunday Online Living Room Concert, and there more folks tuned in than ever before.  I did songs from the ’60’s combined with a new original song and a few requests from different genres.  It was very special, and it was so good to see there were folks from all over the country who I haven’t seen in years.  Technology is truly a wonderful thing sometimes. 

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What am I up to this week? 

Saturday at 7:00 is my latest “Crunch and Munch” concert with Ken Saydak at the La Veta Mercantile.  Ken and I have been working on some fun ’60’s songs for the show (which is why I did some at my online concert.) These songs have great harmonies and bring up some sweet memories of days gone by.  We’ll also do a couple original songs.  Hopefully we’ll have lots of folks come out to enjoy the vibe we’re putting down.  We’re having a blast!  Tickets are $18 in advance and $20 at the door. 

Sunday 10-11 I’m playing for Cuchara Chapel morning service for Palm Sunday.  In addition to Palm Sunday Reverend Eileen’s theme is choosing love over fear to gain peace of mind.  This is right in line with so much I’ve blogged about over the past few years, and I’m writing a new song about this idea to perform at the service.  Come on up if you’re in the mood for a beautiful mountain valley and some genuine inspiration. 

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That’s it for this week.  I didn’t do too bad considering my grogginess.  Be good to each other, and spread the love from knowing we’re all in this together. 

Best always, 

Tom 

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Details this week: 

Who:  Tom Munch and Ken Saydak 
What:  playing and singing a “Crunch and Munch” concert 
Where:  La Veta Mercantile (The Merc), 300 South Main Street, La Veta 719-742-3387 
When:  Saturday, April 13, 7-9 pm 

Who:  Tom Munch 
What:  playing and singing for chapel service 
Where:  Cuchara Chapel, 16400 CO Hwy 12, Cuchara, CO 
When:  Sunday, April 14, 10:00 am

Monday, April 1, 2019 - Recordings 

I’m wondering what you prefer in recordings. Do you like them to be intimate and simple, full and produced, or live and energetic? I’ve liked a lot of different types of recordings over the years. I like very intimate recordings like the recordings of the Nat King Cole Trio from the late 1930’s and early 1940’s where you can hear every note of each instrument and Nat’s voice. The sparseness of some recordings seems magical - especially solo guitar or piano. But then I also like the fully layered and produced recordings of Dan Fogelberg from the 1970’s where there were sometimes multiple guitars, keyboards, strings, and vocals along with bass and drums. I’ve not been very fond of live recordings because the quality is sometimes not very good and the instruments and vocals are not very clear, but I have friends who adore live recordings for their energy and even mistakes, and I do admit I have some favorite recordings that are live. I’m asking out of curiosity, but also because I’d like to know what you prefer in my recordings. I’m planning to do one or two recordings this year - one live and one in the studio. Thank you in advance for your response.  

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What have I been up to? 

Last Friday I played at Walter’s Brewery for a nice group of friends. I’ve been into 1960’s tunes lately as I’m working up an evening of those songs for my show with Ken Saydak on the 13th of April at the La Veta Mercantile. I played several 60’s tunes. It was fun!  We had a really close lightning strike at one point, so I unplugged and did several songs acoustically to avoid getting a shock if the lightning struck closer. That was pretty cool - the music, not the lightning.  

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What am I up to this week? 

Friday night 6-9 I’m back at Bistoro in Pueblo. I love playing for these folks in this lovely venue. I’d like to see you there, and if you come make sure you call for a reservation as it has been packed the last few times. 719-696-9672 

Sunday night 7-8:15 is my First-Sunday Online Living Room Concert at concertwindow.com/tommunch. I enjoy doing these concerts so much, and hearing from folks all around the country is such a joy. Please tune in if you can.  

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That’s it for this week. Let me know what you think about recordings. To me the most important thing I can do with my music is to move you. Knowing your preference really helps.  

Best, 

Tom 

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Details this week: 

Who:  Tom Munch  
What:  playing and singing 
Where:  Bistoro, 109 Central Plaza, Pueblo. 719-696-9672 
When:  Friday, April 5, 6-9 pm 

Who:  Tom Munch 
What:  playing and singing a concert from my living room 
Where:  online at https://concertwindow.com/tommunch 
When:  Sunday, April 7, 7-8:15 MST

Monday, March 25, 2019 - Narcissism - Tooting My Own Horn 

Gigs this week:  (Details in blog post below - "Narcissism - Tooting My Own Horn")  

I have something that bothers me that I still don’t know how to deal with after all these years - narcissism or tooting my own horn.  Part of my job is self-promotion.  I’m doing it right now in writing to you although I really do want to reach out as a friend as well.  We all do it to some extent if we’re involved in social media.  We all can see that it’s unattractive when someone pushes too hard or when their motivation seems to be arrogance and pride.  I never want to be perceived in that way, and so I err on the side of not enough promotion.  In fact, I’m uncomfortable doing it at all.  It’s not because I don’t believe in myself.  I have reached a point in my life where I know I have a purpose and that my purpose has value.  I believe that giving of ourselves is how we better the universe, and that we become a bigger conduit of love and spirit when we give freely.  That’s really what I want tooting my own horn to be about - giving an experience and a flow in my words, music, and presence that others can soak in and spread in turn.  In that way we all unite and give off even more love and spirit.  A friend once called it a supernova at a conference where we really felt this.  So I hope you get this from me when I self-promote.  I really do want to spread some love, joy and unity - kind of as the young hippie I still am inside to some extent. 

— 

What have I been up to? 

My S t. Patrick’s Day concert at the Bell Tower Cultural Center in Florence after the Celtic step-dancers a week ago Saturday was a blast!  I LOVE playing Irish tunes, and this night did not disappoint.  Thanks to everyone who came out and celebrated their inner-Irish. 

The private party I played the following Sunday in Denver was also great fun!  I even got to see my sister there.  Happy Birthday, Jane! 

— 

What am I up to this week? 

Friday night 7-10 I’m back at Walter’s Brewery Tasting Room in Pueblo for another fun night of beer and friendship.  We’ve had some great nights there so far, and I’m sure this one will be just as enjoyable.  Come on out if you’d like some great beer, music, and camaraderie! 

— 

That’s it for this week.  I’m busy booking several things this summer, so stay tuned.  Send me your thoughts on narcissism and self promotion too if I’ve inspired a pondering in you. 

Best, 

Tom 

— 

Details this week: 

Who:  Tom Munch 
What:  playing and singing 
Where:  Walter’s Brewery Taproom, 126 Oneida Street, Pueblo. 719-542-0766 
When:  Friday, March 29, 7-10 pm

Monday, March 11, 2019 - Feeling My Irish Blood 

I often tell the story of how I’ve long had a passion for Irish music even though I didn’t know our family had Irish blood. My mother was a genealogist and loved researching our family’s history. She had just found out a month before she passed in August of 2015 about an ancestor, William Bell, who came directly from Ireland. She corresponded with a woman who was researching common branches of our family tree and had  found details of his life from Ireland and a picture of his headstone in Potton, Quebec, Canada, dated 1739-1816. I helped my mom process the picture so we could read the dates (the headstone was mossy and indistinct after 200 years.) My mother and I were so excited to find out we had Irish roots on my her side of the family in addition to our Welsh and German roots. We hope to do more research on him and others in our tree to follow in her footsteps. So when you see me reveling in an Irish ballad or pub song and proudly walking in the morning with my blackthorn shillelagh walking stick you’ll know I’m celebrating my heritage and feeling the Irish blood in my veins. It burns with passion! 

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What have I been up to? 

Last Saturday I played a 100th birthday party that was an absolute blast! The birthday girl was full of spunk and fire, and the feeling was infectious. Happy Birthday, Elnola! 

Sunday was Cuchara Chapel and all the wonderful folks of the beautiful valley up there. I couldn’t find a song to fit the message, so I wrote another expressing unity called “Part of All.” Here is the Chorus to get a sense of it: 

And if I am part of all, I understand 
I forgive myself, and let go demands 
I am here to love, I am here to live 

I even got a little choked up when I sang it. I’m a bit of a softy as I grow older, but the song expresses some very personal truths for me as well. Big surprise, huh? 

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What am I up to this week? 

Saturday 7-9 I’m playing a concert in Florence at the Bell Tower Cultural Center. This is a St. Patrick's Day event featuring Celtic dancers for the first hour and me doing Irish music for the second hour. The dancers are fantastic young folks who really stomp the rhythm out, and for my part I do a mix of well-known and obscure tunes you can sing along to or tap your toes. It’s a wonderful show I’ve gotten to participate in for several years now. I’d love to have you if you want to come out and celebrate your inner Irish! 

Sunday I’m heading up to Denver to play for a birthday party for a good friend I haven’t seen in several years. It promises to be a fun time, and my sister will even be there! 

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That’s it for this week. I’m busily trying to finish my taxes and getting ready for my show with Ken Saydak in April and my shows with Dennis Mills at the Royal Gorge Bridge this summer. Be good to each other, and as the Irish say, “Slainte!” (To your health!) 

Best, 

Tom 

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Details this week: 

Who: Tom Munch 
What: playing for St. Patrick’s Day in Florence, CO 
Where: Bell Tower Cultural Center, 201 East Second Street, 719-784-2038 
When: Saturday, March 16, 7-9 pm

Monday, March 4, 2019 - Addled 

We spent a lot of time organizing again yesterday in the basement after we had a mini flood last weekend and decided to put everything on the floor in or on plastic containers to get them off the floor. That meant going through equipment boxes I’ve saved in case things needed to be shipped for repair or sold. This is similar to when I wrote about cleaning out my closet, but with the equipment I had other quandaries that kind of addled my brain. Before I get rid of a box I have to decide if I need it to sell the equipment and if the equipment is better off being donated or recycled. This starts a consideration with some pieces because they are all interrelated. If I get rid of a tape deck do I need to make sure I don’t have tapes that need to be digitized? If I get rid of an old laptop do I need to wipe or destroy the hard drive? If I get rid of a mixer do I have other equipment that goes with it like mounts and accessories? I did this with a bunch of boxes, and I have to tell you that my brain doesn’t jump through the contortions this takes like it used to. You wouldn’t think that what I do for a living would be so complicated, but I think I made it this way because I used to enjoy the complexity. I guess the lesson is to either not make things so complex, or clear everything out every so often so there’s no residue and confusion. And I don’t want to leave things behind that at some point should just be bulldozed into the earth. Maybe that’s the metaphor for what I need to do with all the complexity - bulldoze it into the earth! But a deep breath and an awareness of why I’m here and what I’m doing is all it takes to center me and get me back on track.  

What have I been up to? 

Friday night at Bistoro was a another stellar evening with good friends and a great time. I so enjoy these folks and this venue! 

Sunday's Online Concert was full of New Orleans and Irish music for Mardi Gras and St. Patrick’s Day. It was so much fun! 

What am I up to this week? 

Saturday I’m playing a private party for a 100th birthday that should be a blast! I’m looking forward to it.  

Sunday I’m back at Cuchara Chapel for another morning of mountain views and a little spirituality. So enjoyable and rewarding. Come out if you like! 

That’s it for this week. Be good to each other and have a great Mardi Gras! 

Best always, 

Tom 

Who:  Tom Munch 
What:  playing and singing for chapel service 
Where:  Cuchara Chapel, 16400 CO Hwy 12, Cuchara, CO 
When:  Sunday, March 10, 10:00 am

Monday, February 25, 2019 - Grief 

Gigs this week:  (Details in blog post below - "Grief")  

Fri - Bistoro 6-9, Pueblo, CO 
Sun - First-Sunday Online Living Room Concert 7-8:15 MST 

Hello, 

This morning’s Cuchara Chapel was about letting go. I even wrote a song for it that I would like to share sometime. The gist of it was that we are more than our thoughts and feelings, and that if we learn to view our feelings as something we can experience and let pass we will be deeper and more peaceful people. The example Reverend Eileen used was the sudden passing of her beloved cat Toby recently and how she dealt with the shock of his illness and the quick decision she had to make to put him down. And that led to several thoughts about grief after the service that I’m still thinking about. I find grief a curious thing that I’ve never learned to deal with in a way that I feel right about. As a performer I have usually not been able to take time to grieve. I’ve always had to put on a show soon afterwards where I needed to smile and be present for the audience. I’ve never felt worried about those I lost, so I have been okay with the loss, but I still feel that I should have had more grieving. Maybe the floodgates will open one day, and I’ll be inconsolable. That would be okay with me. I don’t have guilt, but I just feel that I want to cry more. If I don’t that’s okay with me too. I often say that my spiritual path has led me to feel that everything will be okay, and maybe that’s what makes me feel that the lack of grieving is okay too. So if you see me someday with  tears streaming down my face you’ll know why. But if you see me with a peaceful smile you’ll know why too.  

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What have I been up to? 

I already told you about playing for Cuchara Chapel last Sunday. It was a wonderful service that was followed by a lovely get-together afterwards with several of the folks from the chapel. Oh, my song is simply called “Letting Go,” and the chorus goes: 

Letting go, letting go, let the feelings ebb and flow 
I am not my thoughts and feelings, I’m letting go 

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What am I up to this week? 

Friday 6-9 I’m back at Bistoro in Pueblo for my regular first-Friday gig. It’s such a wonderful place with so much love for friends, food, and music. I feel very fortunate to have it in my life. Please come if you can. Better make reservations if you come. We had to turn away a lot of folks last month. 719-696-9672 

Sunday 7-8:15 MST is my first-Sunday online living room concert. I have enjoyed doing these for the past year. This time out I already have some special songs planned, and I’m sure I’ll do some Irish songs for St. Patrick’s Day and also some Mardi Gras songs since it’s just two days later on the 5th. Please join me if you can. I’ll make sure it’s a free concert this month. concertwindow.com/tommunch  

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That’s it for this month. Thank you for your friendship! 

Best always, 

Tom 

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Details this week: 

Who:  Tom Munch  
What:  playing and singing 
Where:  Bistoro, 109 Central Plaza, Pueblo. 719-696-9672 
When:  Friday, March 1, 6-9 pm 

Who:  Tom Munch 
What:  playing and singing a concert from my living room 
Where:  online at https://concertwindow.com/tommunch 
When:  Sunday, March 3, 7-8:15 MST

Monday, February 18, 2019 - Judging 

I’m struggling with something today that I often confront - judging others and their situations. It’s such an easy thing to do, and it’s so ugly. In my heart I believe we really are all equal and intertwined to the deepest levels of science and spirit. In that light I have understanding for all people and situations, and I know that judgement is unjustified. We all are just making our way with the level of awareness of our situation we have attained so far in our lives. But in the moment my first inclination is to think bad thoughts and say unkind things about those who think, say, and act differently than me, not to mention those who look different than me. When I find myself with these thoughts of judging others I try to rise above the moment and up into my belief that we will all one day understand how intertwined we all are down to minutest bits of science and spirit. It doesn’t have to be this way. I just have to remember my beliefs.  

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What have I been up to? 

Last Saturday night at Walter's Brewery was loads of fun! When I arrived there were only about 3 people in the place, and I was worried it would be a slow night, but friends soon flocked in and made it great. Thank you, friends! I’ll be back March 29th.  

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What’s up this week? 

Sunday I’m back at Cuchara Chapel at 10:00 am to hear Eileen's great message and play some tunes. It is a real pleasure to get to participate in these services with the people of the Cuchara Valley. If you’re up for a drive come on out to see the valley in the snow and get a little spiritual recharge.  

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That’s it for this week. I’ve been back in writing mode a bit of late. I know that many of you have said I should be writing songs in the vein of what I write in these mailers. I’m trying to do just that! More on that as I move along. From today's thoughts, how about a song called “Science and Spirit” or something to that effect? 

Best, 

Tom 

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Details this week: 

Who:  Tom Munch 
What:  playing and singing for chapel service 
Where:  Cuchara Chapel, 16400 CO Hwy 12, Cuchara, CO 
When:  Sunday, February 24, 10:00 am

More entries at my Blogger page - http://tommunch.blogspot.com/