Monday, July 2, 2018 - Dealing with Angst 

Once again we have great angst and worry in our lives.  This time it’s again caused by fires - an all-too-common theme in the summertime West.  There’s just an abundance of dry fuel combined with hot and windy days, and one spark is all it takes.  I’ve seen all kinds of emotions in the mountain towns affected - fear, anger, empathy, love, confusion, peacefulness, vigilance.  I can relate to all of these.  The power of the unknown and the uncertainty of the future is something we live with everyday, but it isn’t quite as present as when a giant monster cloud of smoke and ash is bearing down on us.  I know everything will be okay even if it doesn’t resemble what I know now.  People will rebuild and the mountains will recover in their own beautiful ways.  That is what always drives me.  I believe that there is always more love to be shared and a better future to be found - it’s just how we choose to look at it.  We can be fearful and doubting or we can be loving and supportive of ourselves and each other.  All things will pass.  All of these forces are part of us, and that is again part of the magic and mystery of the universe and our time here. 

What have I been up to? 

Monday and Tuesday last week at the Royal Gorge Bridge were great!  Monday was one of the most beautiful days I can remember there - perfect weather and beautiful views.  Tuesday I got to interact with so many people on the visitor deck, and that was even cooler! 

Thursday was an impromptu fundraiser for the firefighters at the Yellow Pine as the fire was just getting going and no one knew that Cuchara and the Yellow Pine would be evacuated the very next day.  We couldn’t get meat from the barbecue people in Alamosa with La Veta Pass being closed temporarily and then permanently, so Lee and the staff arranged for a free sandwiches and appetizers meal with all moneys contributed going to the La Veta Fire Protection folks.  Unfortunately we didn’t get a lot of folks to come out - once again there was too much angst in the air with the approaching fire. 

Saturday was a wonderful party for my niece Laura and her fiancee Josh that was really fun.  Really looking forward to your wedding, you two! 

Sunday was a fundraiser for VFW Post 4051 arranged my RV friends Galen and Sue Steele.  I immensely enjoyed talking to these folks and sharing an afternoon with them.  We didn’t raise quite as much money as we had hoped, but it was all good. 

Sunday was also my First-Sunday Online Living Room Concert.  I definitely was more contemplative with the fire on my mind, and I picked a number of songs that fit the mood.  Many said it was just what they needed. 

What am I up to this week? 

Monday and Tuesday 12:30-4:30 I’m back at the Royal Gorge Bridge.  I’m on the south side by the bridge both days this week.  If you have family in town or are traveling through please stop by and enjoy some music. 

Monday night I’m playing a private tribute to local women veterans and active service members that should be rewarding.  I love doing these kinds of events. 

Thursday I won’t be at the Yellow Pine for the barbecue.  Please send good thoughts and energy to all those fighting the fires and displaced and affected by this ongoing situation.  The Yellow Pine is the headquarters for the firefighting operations in Cuchara with their big pastures for structural and firefighting operations and even a helipad and the pond for water supply. 

Saturday I also won’t be at Art in the Park in La Veta.  They’ve had to cancel all their Independence Day weekend celebrations this year with the fire.   Again send them good energy. 

Saturday I will be doing a special concert at Philmont Scout Ranch for the staff and the folks who are down to dedicate a new building for the staff association.  I love playing for the folks at Philmont, and with no campers there until the middle of July this will be a special chance to do a show with lots of energy and camaraderie amongst the staff.  I’m really looking forward to it! 

That’s it for this week.  Remember that angst is just a reminder that we are here a short time and should enjoy it to the fullest. 

Best always, 

Tom 

Details this week: 

Who: Tom Munch  
What: playing and singing  
Where: South side of the Royal Gorge Bridge on the stage just east of the bridge 
When: Monday and Tuesday, July 2 and 3, 12:30 pm-4:30 pm

Monday, June 25, 2018 - Beauty of Dance 

I played for a dance with my good friend Don Richmond in the afternoon last Saturday in the mountains, and then I sat and watched the dancers continue as Don and the Rifters played into the evening. I was mesmerized, and it made me remember all over again one of the beauties of our experience here on earth. The energy we pass back and forth and the togetherness that syncing in rhythm with another and others is a marvelous part of our physicality. Cultures as far back as history reaches have had dance as a major fixture. It is a joyous expression of movement and breath and grace and gravity. As I played I drove the dance, and as they danced the dancers drove me. It builds a fire of spirit and oneness that is beyond amazing.  

What have I been up to? 

The Royal Gorge last Monday and Tuesday was a lot fun. I had perfect weather and very sweet folks to play to and interact with. It’s just about perfect up there some days.  

The Yellow Pine on Thursday was great too. I got to see so many good friends, and the folks of La Veta and Cuchara are so genuine and friendly. I love it! 

The river dance on Saturday topped it off with some real magic. It was great to pick with Don, and I even got to catch up with some Philmont friends there. Wonderful! 

What’s up this week? 

Monday and Tuesday  12:30-4:30 I’m at the Royal Gorge Bridge again.  Tuesday I’m on the north Visitor Deck which was really fun last time.  If you’re in the area come on in and say “Hi!” 

Thursday 6:30-8:30  I’m back at the Yellow Pine for the barbecue.  Is SO enjoy these evenings in the old barn.  As always if you’d like to come please make a reservation by Tuesday so they can plan enough food - 719-742-3528. 

Saturday I’m playing a party for my niece Laura and her fiancee Josh.  I’m looking forward to that as well! 

Sunday 1:00 and 2:30 I’m playing two 45-minute sets for a fundraiser for VFW Post 4051 in Colorado Springs. It is an honor to help raise money for the veterans in Colorado Springs, and a couple of my RV friends from Good Sam’s are helping to put this on.  Come on out and help support veterans! 

Sunday evening 7-8:15ish I’m playing my First-Sunday Online Living Room concert at concertwindow.com/tommunch.  This is my way to connect with all of you over the miles wherever you are in the world.  I love doing these concerts, and I love interacting with you.  If you join in by logging in you make comments on the broadcast.  If you don’t want to login you can still comment by messaging me on FaceBook Messenger or texting or emailing me.  I try to keep up with all the comments.  It’s fun! 

That’s it for this week.  You’d think I could cram in a couple more gigs somewhere, huh?  Well I am playing 8 nursing and retirement facilities as well.  Not to brag, but I love to play, and as long as my body holds up I’ll keep on keepin’ on! 

Best, 

Tom 

Details this week: 

Who: Tom Munch  
What: playing and singing  
Where: South side of the Royal Gorge at the Royal Gorge Bridge on the stage just off the bridge and at the north side Visitor Deck 
When: Monday and Tuesday, June 25 and 26, 12:30 pm-4:30 pm  

Who:  Tom Munch  
What:  playing & singing at the Barbeque  
Where:  Yellow Pine Guest Ranch, Cuchara.  719-742-3528  
When:  Thursday, June 28, 6:30-8:30 pm 

Who:  Tom Munch 
What:  playing and singing for the VFW fundraiser 
Where:  VFW Post 4051, 430 E Pikes Peak Ave, Colorado Springs. 
When:  Sunday, July 1, 1:00-1:45 and 2:30-3:15 pm 

Who:  Tom Munch 
What:  playing and singing 
Where:  online at https://concertwindow.com/tommunch 
When:  Sunday, July 1, 7-8:15ish pm MDT

Monday, June 18, 2018 - Traveling and Meeting Folks 

I had gigs out of state last weekend, and staying in new places and meeting new folks is always a wonderful experience. For all the uneasiness I often feel about details and interactions, I always end up having a great time and going with the flow. And I guess that’s my lesson for myself once again this morning - when I relax and let things happen naturally it all works out fine. I even see this when I play - especially in the studio. When I tense up and concentrate too hard on a certain passage I freeze up or stumble over words and notes. When I ease up and even stop paying attention for a moment it all flows out in a musical and organic way. It’s so weird how that happens. And this lesson extends into my life in so many ways - from connecting with people to finding my way. There is just an innate flow to life and the universe when I relax and enjoy it. Do you find this too? 

What have I been up to? 

Monday and Tuesday the Gorge was great fun.  I got to play on the visitor deck on the north side Tuesday and really got to interact more with the folks. 

Tuesday night’s party in Navajo Ranch was really special.  Happy Birthday again, Marlene! 

Thursday at Yellow Pine was another fun night with old and new friends.  I love these folks so much. 

Friday and Saturday night at Red River Brewing Company were crazy fun.  The energy is like a white water ride in there, and it’s so cool to ride it and help it along. I even had folks come all the way from Pueblo to hear me. 

Saturday at the ski area in Red River was also a blast.  We had to be indoors with rain, but the atmosphere was fine, and Geneva and her staff made everyone welcome with great food.  Big thanks to my friend Tim Collver for setting up this and the RRBC gigs for me.  He sat in at RRBC, and was doing some cool hands-on ranger talks with Barbara as I played. 

What am I up to this week? 

Monday and Tuesday 12:30-4:30 I’m back at the Royal Gorge Bridge.  This is such a great place to play with sweeping vistas and nice people all around.  Come on up if you’re in the area! 

Thursday I’m back at the Yellow Pine 6:30-8:30  for the barbecue.  This is such a nice environment that I’d love to have you see and be a part of.  They have to order food by Tuesday, so if you want to come you have to make a reservation by noon or so Tuesday.  Call 719-742-3528. 

Saturday I’m playing one of the coolest places yet at the Cimarron River Dance.  This is a neat property below the Eagle Nest Dam by Eagle Nest, New Mexico,  
near where I spent many of my summers growing up.  It’s close to where the fire occurred on Philmont Scout Ranch just a few weeks ago.  I have wanted to see this area ever since I had some family friends get married there many years ago.  Since it was below the dam, they called it their “dam” wedding in the “dam” meadow.  I don’t know if it’s sold out yet, but I’m playing in the afternoon 3-6 with my good friend Don Richmond sitting in (he set this up for me,) and then his band The Rifters play 7-10.  It’s kind of a partial BYO thing and there are details here - http://thesolitaryangler.com/annual-cimarron-river-dance/.  I can’t wait and would love to have you there! 

I guess that’s it for this week.  There’s so much more to tell you, but that’s always how the summer is.  Drink it in and enjoy it my friends, and hey, go with the flow! 

Best always, 

Tom 

Details this week: 

Who: Tom Munch  
What: playing and singing  
Where: South side of the Royal Gorge at the Royal Gorge Bridge on the stage just off the bridge 
When: Monday and Tuesday, June 18 and 19, 12:30 pm-4:30 pm  

Who:  Tom Munch  
What:  playing & singing at the Barbeque  
Where:  Yellow Pine Guest Ranch, Cuchara.  719-742-3528  
When:  Thursday, June 21, 6:30-8:30 pm 

Who:  Tom Munch with Don Richmond sittin’ in 
What:  playing and singing at the Cimarron River Dance 
Where:  Cimarron Canyon, NM 
When:  Saturday, June 23, 3-6 pm

Monday, June 11, 2018 - Getting to Know New People 

As you know I am endlessly fascinated by so many things in life, and this week I want to write about the interaction that happens with new people.  Jen and I got to spend time with our niece and her boyfriend this weekend, and talking with her and her boyfriend, whom we had never met before, was very cool.  There is such a give and take and even a dance that happens as you Q and A with someone you're just meeting.  It's a privilege and even a challenge to find out more about a person and how they think.  I'm reminded of the song from "The King and I,” which I was in a production of in high school, called “Getting to Know You."  What are the words?  "Getting to know you, getting to know all about you.  Getting to like you, getting to hope you like me.  Getting to know you, putting it my way, but nicely.  You are precisely my cup of tea.  Getting to know you, getting to feel free and easy.  When I am with you, getting to know what to say.  Haven't you noticed, suddenly I'm bright and breezy?  Because of all the beautiful and new things I'm learning about you day by day."  I think deep down we understand how we are all related, and getting to know what someone else is experiencing in this life helps us feel not only our kinship but also our rudder's position on our journey.  This life is such an adventure and a playground of emotion and experience, and getting to know people is such a worthwhile part of it.  Don't you think? 

What have I been up to? 

I have to admit that the first week of my summer season knocked me on my butt.  I hit the ground running and instantly started trying to catch up with myself.  I'm coming alongside myself now, but I'll be taking deep breaths and pacing myself as I go along. I'm going to have to replace my car because it's not keeping up with the schedule, and I'm going to need a little TLC to my feet and hands, but it'll all come toegether. 

Monday and Tuesday were a blast at the Royal Gorge Bridge.  I was instantly reminded of why I've always loved playing up there.  It's such a beautiful and inspiring thing to play on the edge of such a splendid canyon for such wonderful folks as those who stop by. 

Wednesday I picked up a concert playing with my friend Ken Bausano at the State Fair grounds in Pueblo.  He was there for an RV convention and put together a group of wonderful folks to play for. 

Thursday was old home week right off the bat with the regulars at the Yellow Pine.  I love playing for these folks so much, and it was easy to fall right in with them and have a good time. 

What's up this week? 

Monday and Tuesday 12:30-4:30 I'm back at the Royal Gorge Bridge, and Tuesday I'll be on the north side on the Visitor Deck.  I can't wait! 

Tuesday night I have a prvate birthday party at Navajo Ranch near La Veta that should be fun. 

Thursday I'm back at the Yellow Pine 6:30-8:30 for the barbecue.  We could have handled more people last week, but not everybody called by Tuesday to make reservations so we could order enough food.  If you want to come please call by Tuesday.  I'd love to have you there at the rustic barn for some great barbecue, music, and camaraderie. 

Friday night and Saturday night 7-10 I'm at the Red River Brewing Company in Red River, New Mexico.  My friend Tim Collver set these gigs up for me, and he'll be sitting in both nights with me.  It should be great fun! 

Saturday over lunch 11-1 I'll be at the top of the ski resort in Red River for their "Concerts on Top" concert series.  I did one of these a few years back, and I really enjoyed it.  It's a beautiful location with good food and great folks. 

Anything new? 

I just picked up a gig playing in Cimarron Canyon just below Eagle Nest Lake Dam for the Cimarron River Dance and BBQ.  This is sometimes now as the Dam party in the Dam meadow.  I've wanted to see this place ever since some friends got married many years ago here, and I'm thrilled to have my good freind Don Richmond sitting in for this gig.  (He's the one who got me the gig!)  If you're interested visit thesolitaryangler.com for tickets and information.  It should be a heck of a party. 

My Boy Scout gigs may change with the altered schedule at Philmont Scout Ranch with the fire that raged down there.  Stay tuned. 

I guess that's all that's new for now.  Check my full schedule at tommunch.com/calendar. 

I'll sign off for this week.  Take care of yourself, and enjoy each other - especially new folks and new faces. 

Best always, 

Tom 

Details this week: 

Who: Tom Munch  
What: playing and singing  
Where: South side of the Royal Gorge at the Royal Gorge Bridge on the stage just off the bridge and at the north side Visitor Deck 
When: Monday and Tuesday, June 11 and 12, 12:30 pm-4:30 pm  

Who:  Tom Munch  
What:  playing & singing at the Barbeque  
Where:  Yellow Pine Guest Ranch, Cuchara.  719-742-3528  
When:  Thursday, June 14, 6:30-8:30 pm 

Who:  Tom Munch 
What:  playing and singing with Tim Collver 
Where:  Red River Brewing Company, Red River, New Mexico 575-754-4422 
When:  Friday, June 15 and Saturday, June 16, 7-10 pm 

Who:  Tom Munch 
What:  playing and singing 
Where:  Concerts on Top at Red River Ski Area 
When:  Saturday, June 16, 11 am - 1 pm

Monday June 4, 2018 - The Desire to Help 

As you may have heard there is a big fire going on in my old stomping grounds in northern New Mexico that started in Ute Park and spread into Philmont Scout Ranch and toward Cimarron. I immediately wanted to know as much as I could about it from all sources on the web, on Twitter, and on Facebook, and to use that information to help ease others fears. I’ve always felt the desire to help when I could, particularly with fire and other natural disasters. I don’t know exactly where that desire comes from, but I know it’s a good thing. There is a natural kinship that we all share - almost a knowing that we need each other and are ultimately one with each other. This comes out in times of trouble. We tend to think that people are selfish and look out for themselves, but I believe just the opposite - we are unknowingly but intimately intertwined down to the smallest elements of spirit and being, and this compels us to help each other. When all pretense is stripped away we gain an awareness of shared purpose. I think it’s grand, and I cherish this. Sometimes it takes a natural disaster to draw this out of people.  

What have I been up to? 

My online concert on Sunday was a blast. I did a bunch of songs in tribute to Philmont where the fires have been this last week. I so enjoy doing these although sometimes I get a little flustered watching messages come in and choosing songs to play. I just don’t multi-task like I used to! 

What am I up to this week? 

This is the first busy week of the season.  

Monday and Tuesday 12:30-4:30 I’m at the Royal Gorge Bridge playing on the south side stage by the bridge. I’ve always loved playing for the folks who come to the bridge while enjoying being out in the fresh air and next to that awesome chasm. Come see me if you happen to be at the bridge.  

Thursday 6:30-8:30ish I start the barbecues at the Yellow Pine Guest Ranch. This has been such a wonderful place to play and enjoy the friendship of the folks of the Cuchara Valley for so many years. If you’ve never been, it’s Texas-style barbecue held in an old rustic barn with all the fixin's. I do lots of old favorites, and folks even get up to dance on the old barn floor as the evening progresses. It is SO much fun. If you’d like to be part of it, call 719-742-3528 by Tuesday for reservations.  

That’s it for this first week of summer. I hope you are enjoying your summer already, and I hope you feel the joy of helping that I spoke of above.  

Best always, 

Tom 

Details this week: 

Who: Tom Munch 
What: playing and singing 
Where: South side of the Royal Gorge at the Royal Gorge Bridge on the stage just off the bridge 
When: Monday and Tuesday, June 4 and 5, 12:30 pm-4:30 pm 

Who:  Tom Munch 
What:  playing & singing at the Barbeque 
Where:  Yellow Pine Guest Ranch, Cuchara.  719-742-3528 
When:  Thursday, June 7, 6:30-8:30 pm

Monday, May 28, 2018 - Value of Hard Work 

I just came in from trimming more trees. I have done this at the house and at the cabins for many days this season. It’s hard and tiring work, but there is a satisfaction from doing physical labor that is hard to describe. Part of it is a pride in accomplishment. This is short-lived since yard and tree work is a constant necessity. Part of it is thankfulness for having the physical stamina and able body to do the work. As I age this becomes more and more relevant.  Part of it is a feeling of stewardship of the natural world that recognizes the need for guiding and shaping and cohabiting with other living things. I cherish this. This life is interesting in that it requires constant maintaining of so many things from physical well-being and mental sharpness to relationships and even houses and cars. I’ve said before that part of me longs for things to be done. That will come someday, but for now I know that much of the joy in this life comes from the doing and the journey. That circles back to the value of hard work. It reminds me that I know I’m alive when I’m fully engaging in this physical existence - feeling every muscle and breath. Take a deep breath and feel your existence, my friends. It’s grand to be alive! 

What have I been up to? 

I’ve had my regular slate of nursing and Alzheimer’s facilities as well as a couple private parties since I last wrote. I even spent some time in the mountains preparing for my nephew's wedding.  

What am I up to this week? 

Saturday I have a private birthday party for an elderly friend. I love doing these.  

Sunday 7-8ish I’m doing my first-Sunday online living room concert at concertwindow.com/tommunch. I haven’t thought about what I’m going to play. I have a long list of favorites that I haven’t gotten to yet that I will draw from if I don’t pick a theme. This time of year my mind always turns toward the mountains as I contemplate spending time in them again, so mountain songs are always fair game. We'll just see where it goes.  I like the spontaneity. Please tune in if you can.  

I guess that’s it for now. Next week starts the busy season for me, so you’ll be hearing from me more often.  

Best, 

Tom 

Details this week: 

Who:  Tom Munch 
What:  playing and singing 
Where:  online at https://concertwindow.com/tommunch 
When:  Sunday, June 3, 7-8ish pm MDT

Monday, May 14, 2018 - Gearing Up and Taking Stock / Rundown of Summer Gigs 

I’m getting ready for my busy season of the year and taking a deep breath while assessing myself. I’m feeling pretty good for the most part. I’m tuning up my diet and my body to face a busy summer. All my musical equipment is well-worn but working fine. Let me tell you what I’ve been up to and then tell you about some of the exciting gigs I have this summer. There will be more than I have listed, but this will give you a start if you’d like to plan to come hear me.  

What have I been up to? 

My First-Sunday Online Living Room Concert a couple weeks ago was really special. I ended up doing a lot of jazz standards with a few folk and country songs thrown in for good measure. I so enjoy getting to play for friends all over the world.  

I also got to play a 90th birthday party for an old guitar buddy of mine. He wasn’t able to make the party, but we shot several videos and celebrated in his honor. Happy Birthday, Paul! 

What’s up for summer? 

Weekly 

Mondays and Tuesdays June through August 12:30-4:30 most every week I’ll be playing at the Royal Gorge Bridge at their entertainment stage on the south side of the bridge. I haven’t played here regularly in a few years, so I’m really looking forward to being out in the great outdoors and playing for folks from all over the world. http://royalgorgebridge.com/upcoming-events/ 

Thursdays 6:30-8:30 each week June through August I’ll be playing the barbecue in the rustic barn at the Yellow Pine Guest Ranch in Cuchara. This is a great place with a storied past and good eats that I always look forward to. http://yellowpine.us/ 

I’m hoping to be appearing maybe weekly at Bistoro in Pueblo. We’ve talked several times, but we haven’t put anything on the calendar yet. https://www.facebook.com/BistoroPueblo/ 

Non-Weekly 

First Sunday of each month 7:00 I’ll continue my online concerts. concertwindow.com/tommunch  

June 16 I’m playing Concerts on Top at the Red River, New Mexico, Ski Area. This is a very cool and beautiful spot for music. https://www.redriverskiarea.com/events/things-to-do-in-summer/?c=2&m=20180601 

June 27 through July 14 I’m playing several times for rafting scouts again at 8 Mile Rafting on their way to Philmont Scout Ranch. These gigs aren’t open to the public, but I like to mention them because they are worthwhile and a big part of my summer.  http://www.blueskyadventures.net 

June 30 I’m playing for my niece's engagement party. Congrats, Laura and Josh! 

July 7 I’m playing a concert at Philmont Scout Ranch during the dedication of the new digs for the Philmont Staff Association. Time is TBD. I always love playing for the folks at Philmont. https://www.philstaff.org/2018/04/building-dedication/ 

July 21 my nephew is getting married in the mountains in New Mexico by our cabins. Congrats, Eric and Katie! 

July 27 I’m playing a private party in Cuchara. I love playing for the folks down there, and I quite often play these kind of outdoor parties. This one I’ll be sharing the stage with my friend, Dennis Mills on bass.  

July 28 7-9 I’m playing and DJ'ing the dance for the La Veta Fire Auxiliary in Cuchara. I don’t DJ much anymore, but I love to help out these folks for a great cause, and I’ll be playing some tunes interspersed with the recordings. It’ll be fun! http://lavetacucharachamber.com/calendar/la-veta-fire-protection-district/?date=2018-07-28 

July 29 2-4:30 I’ll be playing a concert at the Feed Store Amphitheater in Westcliffe. I’ve played this venue several times now, and it is a beautiful location in the shadow of the Sangres with some great folks. Please come out if you can! http://www.westcliffefeedstore.com/FS/home.html 

August 3 6:30-8:30 I’m playing an outdoor concert at I Love Lucy’s RV Park in La Veta. They have a lovely stage where they put on a series of summer concerts that are really fun and not to be missed. http://www.lucysrvpark.com/ 

August 4 noonish I’m working on arrangements to play the Huajatolla Heritage Festival in La Veta again. Details TBD. https://www.huajatollaheritagefestival.org/ 

August 18 6-8:30 I’m playing an outdoor concert at Deerprint Wine and Bistro in La Veta. I got to play for these folks last winter inside and really enjoyed their vibe. http://www.deerprintwine.com/index.php/events-calendar/monthcalendar/2018/8/- 

As I say, there’ll be more, but that’s what I have scheduled right now.  

I hope you are well and happy, and I do hope to see you sometime down the long and winding road.  

Best always, 

Tom

Monday, April 30, 2018 - Music and Life 

I’m sitting here this morning contemplating what the function of music is in life. It is so intertwined with my life that I find it hard to separate out from who I am, but it might surprise you to know that I don’t play music on my days off very often. It’s not that I don’t enjoy it and feel compelled to play, but more that it just doesn’t occur to me to play. If I have a new instrument in the house then I quite often will pick it up and noodle with it, but to sit and play for my own enjoyment or to practice just doesn’t happen very often. I really can’t explain it. And music does so many things for the brain and for the enjoyment of life and shaping of attitude that I know I could benefit from more of it. I've been reading a book called “The Brain's Way of Healing” by Norman Doidge. The final chapter explores some very interesting ways that music affects people. I won’t go into all of the fascinating examples, but one passage that sticks with me and gives me pause to think is that “when the brain is stimulated by music, its neurons begin to fire in perfect synchrony with it, entraining with the music it hears.”  Also, “it turns on the reward centers of the brain, which increases the production of dopamine, which in turn increases feelings of pleasure and motivation.” Playing and singing music does this to an even higher degree because it involves even more of the brain in the creation of the music and the synchronization of the hands, mouth, and integrated parts of the body required to play and sing. It’s amazing! And I’ve said it before, but I believe that music is just plain magical. Knowing how it stimulates the brain just reinforces this belief even more. I’ll leave you with one more quote from the book - “this invisible art reaches places in the heart and mind that nothing else can touch. It is indeed a very mysterious medicine, especially for those who want concrete explanations of how things work.” And now I think I’ll pick up the ukulele and the Indian flute and make some music.  

What have I been up to? 

The gig at Cat's Pourhouse a couple weeks ago was really fun. I haven’t played a sports bar environment in a long time, and it was a gas to rise to the energy level of the room and ride the wave. It was intoxicating! I hope to do it again sometime.  

I also had a 95th birthday party that I didn’t write about last week that was great. It’s so much fun to dip into a family for an afternoon and help them celebrate with music.  

What am I up to this week? 

Sunday 7-8ish mountain time I’m doing my First-Sunday Online Living  
Room Concert again. I haven’t picked out a theme yet, but I may do something completely off the wall. At least that’s my inkling right now, so tune in and join in the excitement at https://concertwindow.com/tommunch.  

What’s on the horizon? 

The summer is shaping up to be a crazy one. Check my schedule on my website at http://tommunch.com/calendar. I’ll be at the Royal Gorge, the Yellow Pine, Deerprint Wine, Lucy's, the Feedstore Concert Series, Red River Ski Area, Philmont, Bistoro, Cuchara, La Veta, and so much more.  

That’s it for this week. Thank you for your continued support and friendship, and I hope to see you Sunday online! 

Best always, 

Tom 

Detail this week: 

Who:  Tom Munch 
What:  playing and singing 
Where:  online at https://concertwindow.com/tommunch 
When:  Sunday, May 6, 7-8ish pm MDT

Monday, April 16, 2018 - Pain Is Interesting 

I’ve had an interesting last week or so. I’ve had a series of medical procedures and a fall on the ice that have made me remember what it’s like to deal with weird pain. We all go through pain in our own way - it’s just part of growing older. What always amazes me is the different and new ways it comes on. When I was a kid I found pain fascinating - sometimes pinching myself just to see what it was like. Then the first time I had to go to the doctor there was that question of what kind of pain it was - “a stabbing pain, a throbbing pain, an aching pain,” etc.? And “On a scale of 1 to 10, how much does it hurt?” I learned over time to just tolerate pain. We all have it, and no one likes to hear someone else complain. But this week I got an interesting pain.  During a leg vein procedure (I have venous insufficiency) the doctor literally struck a nerve. I said “Ouch!” and kicked him reflexively. It made part of my ankle go numb (not the first part of me to do this) and caused a weird tingly zing that I get whenever that nerve is activated now. It’s very exquisite and unlike other sensations I’ve had. I’m not worried about it too much, and it’ll probably go away over time. It’s just another thread in the tapestry of my experience in this life that is pretty cool even if it’s painful now. So many colors and textures in this life! 

What have I been up to? 

My online concert a couple Sundays ago was great fun! So many folks tuned in for an eclectic mix of songs. I really enjoyed it.  

The private party the day before was a blast too. Happy Birthday to the birthday gal! 

What am I up to this week? 

Saturday 7-11 I’m playing for some old friends at their new venue. A decade or more ago I got to play many times for the Guidry family at ST's Pourhouse in Pueblo West. ST was a little guy back then, and now he’s all grown up. The new venue is a block away and is called Cat's Pourhouse. It’s a cool place where the vibe is very friendly and energized. It’s going to be a fun night. Come on out! 

That’s it for this week. I’ve been laying low and working on some new tunes while getting ready for summer. Hope you are doing well, and I hope to see you soon.  

Best always, 

Tom 

Details this week: 

Who:  Tom Munch 
What:  playing and singing 
Where:  Cat's Pourhouse, 147 Tiffany Drive, Pueblo West, 719-647-0270 
When:  Saturday, April 21, 7-11 pm

Monday, March 26, 2018 - Having the Touch 

I posted a bit of a guitar melody on Facebook yesterday I was working on, and one of the comments that a friend of mine made was that I seemed to have the right touch. I’ve been thinking of that and how it applies to so many things in our lives. In this life we move about - physically and spiritually - through space and time in a way that interacts with the things and people in our lives. These interactions can be bold and soft, bruising and soothing. It can definitely be heard in music where the touch on a string can express emotion in the slightest of ways, and touch can really be demonstrated in how you pet a cat. You can definitely tell when you’re doing it too rough because the cat reacts immediately. I wrote about this with one of our previous cats who would bite me if I wasn’t paying attention to petting her with all my delicate energy. It’s a cool sensitivity that we get to experience in this life with how we interact with everything in every instance of our lives - from how we feel in our body to how we feel in our clothes, how we hear, see, and feel everything all around us, and then how we react with softness or harshness. It’s one of the most interesting things in life to me.  

What am I up to this week? 

Saturday I’m playing a private party in Lamar, Colorado. I haven’t been to Lamar in more than a year, and I’m looking forward to a fun time.  

Sunday at 7:00 MDT I’m doing my First-Sunday Online Living Room Concert again. It’s Easter and April Fool's Day, so I might do a really interesting mix of tunes. I’ve been thinking about it, but I don’t have a definite list yet. Tune in if you can - concertwindow.com.  

That’s it for this week. The summer is rushing headlong upon us. Each year goes faster as we grow older.  Enjoy it! 

Best, 

Tom 

Details this week: 

Who:  Tom Munch 
What:  playing and singing 
Where:  online at https://www.concertwindow.com/ 
When:  Sunday, April 1, 7-8ish pm MDT

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