Monday, September 27, 2021 - Groups and Community 

I’m struggling today to write about groups and community. I have very mixed emotions about being in groups. I’ve always seen myself as kind of a lone wolf - especially since I mainly play music solo. Generally, when you’re in a group there are always dynamics that play into how you feel and how you interact. In a concert or theater setting as an audience member it can be very rewarding to experience the rush of emotion when everyone is feeling the same energy and you react together. As a performer on a stage it is an amazing feeling when you feel the audience transcend from individuals to one entity in reaction to your performance. In group settings like a party or gathering at a reunion or memorial there are all kinds of dynamics that come into play, and some people are gregarious and effusive while others are quiet observers. Some of this is learned and some is innate. I have to push myself to interact with other people in a group setting. I write a lot about how much we need each other, but when it comes to being in a group I’m most comfortable when I’m helping with the setup and logistics of the gathering instead of conversing with people in the group. It’s a funny thing how it all works out. The older I get the more I tend to pull into my shell. And this all relates to my online concert group too. I’ve cultivated a great group of folks that have become a community almost without any direction from me. All I’ve done is to try to put out good energy that benefits people, and that has attracted people who appreciate that and want to know the kind of people who like my music and presence. I hope this all makes sense. Like I said, I struggle to be in groups even when they are there for me. 

—— 

What have I been up to? 

Last week was a good one. The weather is still plenty hot although we had a couple cooler days. As result I had to have all my senior shows indoors. Hopefully we can keep the virus under control enough that we can continue indoors. I’m comfortable performing in a mask, so I feel fairly safe indoors. 

My Fall show online Thursday went very well. There are so many really good songs for Fall, and we didn’t even get to them all. I had a great group of friends and fans come out and join in. There’s that community thing again! 

My Saturday show for the Good Sam’s RV’ers went very well. I did mostly old country songs for them to feature my “Back to the Old Country” album, and it was right up their alley. I love playing for these folks. 

My Sunday favorites show online was another full group of friends with great participation although Facebook changed their app just enough that comments were being hidden for everyone on devices other than a computer. That didn’t stop the group from finding a way to join in and support me and each other though. It was very fulfilling. We actually did more impromptu requests this time than we’ve ever done before. 

—— 

What am I up to this week? 

My Thursday online show 7-8:30 mountain time will be playing songs about food. My online show comes right after or during dinnertime for some folks, and food is a frequent topic of conversation in the chat. So why not do a show about food?! This will be a lot of fun, and Jen and I have already had a blast finding and putting together songs for this show. Come on out and join in the fun! I recommend you eat before the show so you’re not dying of hunger as the food talk builds. 🤪 

My Sunday online show 7-8:30 mountain time will be doing favorites and requests as always. I’m very pleased at the way these shows have morphed over the months. Everyone is so comfortable with each other and the music and flow that we truly reach some very sweet and alternately boisterous moments. It’s something to experience. Hope to see you this week! 

—— 

That’s it for this week. Next week on Saturday, Oct. 9,  I have a show in Littleton at the Littleton Museum from 12-3 as part of their Fall Festival. If you’re in the Denver area I’d love to see you! Take care and enjoy being part of groups. 

Best always, 

Tom 

—— 

Details this week: 

Who:  Tom Munch  
What:  playing and singing an online concert of songs about food 
Where:  facebook.com/tom.munch and tommunch.com/online-concerts   
When:  Thursday, September 30, 7-8:30 pm mountain time  

Who:  Tom Munch  
What:  playing and singing an online concert of favorites  
Where:  facebook.com/tom.munch and tommunch.com/online-concerts   
When:  Sunday, October 3, 7-8:30 pm mountain time

Monday, September 20, 2021 - Making a Difference 

Hello, 

One of the most important things in our lives is feeling like we’re making a difference. There are many ways to do this. Giving to others is one of the most meaningful things I have found that makes a difference. I’m lucky that I have music as an obvious gift that I can give to others, but we all have talents and abilities that we can use to make others’ lives better and thus add meaning to our lives. Making a difference can be as simple as going out of your way to help someone, open a door, welcome them, or tell them they look nice. Little things can change someone else’s attitude, and that can ripple through out an entire day or community. It doesn’t take much, and it can add meaning and make a difference to others as well as ourselves. As I look back on my life there are some very big ways that someone else did something that made a difference to me or an entire group, but there are also very small things that made a difference. It just took the presence of mind and the brief pause to think of the kind or the beneficial thing that showed care and respect in the moment. I encourage you to try to make a difference as you go through your day and your week. 

—— 

What have I been up to? 

Last week was a good one. It felt so good to be back to playing after my COVID isolation. 

I had 8 senior facilities including one where I hadn’t been for a whole year because of COVID. It was SO good to see them. Talk about feeling like you’re making a difference! I love these folks. 

My Monday night online show doing favorites was a good one. I didn’t expect as many people as usual on an off night and with Monday Night Football, but so many great folks came out and joined in. 

Wednesday I played for the Pueblo Zoo at Senior Discovery Week, and it was more than fun! I also brought a PA for them to use on Tuesday and Thursday morning, so I got to see a lot of the wonderful staff. It was a pleasure! 

Wednesday night I played at the Gold Dust Saloon in Pueblo to a local crowd of good friends, and it was a rare night when everything really clicked. 

Thursday night’s online show was doing Elvis Presley tunes, and it was a boppin’ good time. His ‘50s tunes especially were just a hoot! 

I had a Philmont reunion on Saturday that was full of old friends and new friends and good food and conversation. I even played a few tunes at the end to round out the evening. 

My Sunday online show was doing favorites and requests as always. It was rewarding and sweet with good friends and music. 

—— 

What am I up to this week? 

I have 8 senior facilities this week, and I always look forward to these. It will be a bit cooler, so I don’t think I’ll be doing any of them outdoors. That may present some challenges. 

My Thursday online show 7-8:30 mountain time will be doing Fall songs. I have so many great songs about this season, and I’d hate to miss the opportunity to sing them, so come on out Thursday night to celebrate the Fall equinox and the cooler weather. 

Saturday I have a private concert for a Good Sam’s RV gathering. I’ve played shows for Good Sam’s groups for a decade now, and I always enjoy their camaraderie and spirit. 

My Sunday online show 7-8:30 mountain time will be doing favorites and requests as always. We have such a giving group who I know make a difference in their lives. It’s a joy to be part of them. Come on out and join in. 

—— 

That’s it for this week. I look forward to the changing season, and I hope you are staying safe and happy. Hope you can do something that will make a difference this week. 

Best always, 

Tom 

—— 

Details this week: 

Who:  Tom Munch  
What:  playing and singing an online concert of Fall songs 
Where:  facebook.com/tom.munch and tommunch.com/online-concerts   
When:  Thursday, September 23, 7-8:30 pm mountain time  

Who:  Tom Munch  
What:  playing and singing an online concert of favorites  
Where:  facebook.com/tom.munch and tommunch.com/online-concerts   
When:  Sunday, September 26, 7-8:30 pm mountain time 

Monday, September 13, 2021 - Ukulele 

I’ve been breaking out the ukulele again. I started on ukulele as my first stringed instrument, and I’ve recently become enamored with it all over again from it’s happy sound and portability. My sister Jane would tell you that she is responsible for my musical career since I permanently borrowed her ukulele and chord book when I was 12 which led to getting a baritone ukulele a couple years later and then my first guitar when I was 15. The ukulele was first mentioned in Hawaii in a newspaper in 1888, and is mostly likely based on Portuguese instruments from the island of Madeira that may have been brought to Hawaii in the 1800s. It became especially popular in the 1920s when famous musicians adopted it and performed and recorded with it. I read where George Harrison said it always was a happy and hopeful sound that people wanted to hear particularly in the 20s and 50s after the world wars when people needed its uplifting spirit and sense of fun. I will tell you that it’s more difficult for me to play than guitar because I can’t naturally transfer my skills on guitar to the ukulele since the instrument is so different to hold and play. So it is taking me some time to adjust and find the sweet voice of the ukulele that I know I can bring out in time. One of these days I will surprise my audience with a few songs. I think you’ll like it. There is always something to explore and enjoy in this life! 

—— 

What have I been up to? 

My senior facilities were wonderful once I got back to them at the end of the week. I played for the veterans home in Walsenburg and a memory care facility in Pueblo. It is such rewarding work when you see how the people respond. 

My Tuesday online show playing Linda Ronstadt songs was such a good time. Her music has meant so much to me over the years, and it is such a tragic thing that she got her illness which has taken away her singing voice. Such a stellar voice and great presence! 

The final outing of the Yellow Pine for the year on Thursday was outdoors around the campfire, and it was very special. The folks of Cuchara are just so warm and appreciative. I even had good friends from Pueblo West come down to join in. 

The private engagement party Saturday evening was a beautiful outdoor event even though it had been a very hot day. 

My concert at Pink House Concerts on Sunday in Colorado Springs was even more enjoyable than I had hoped for. I got to be the last regular concert of this venue, and after the rain stopped threatening and I hit my stride it was pure joy to the end. Gayle and Corlie are wonderful people and great hosts. John Spengler opened for me with some very heartfelt, well-written songs, and the audience was so genuine and welcoming. It will be a cherished memory. 

—— 

What am I up to this week? 

My Sunday favorites and requests show will be tonight (Monday) 7-8:30 mountain time on Facebook and my website. Hopefully I didn’t throw my regular crowd off by switching a day. I knew I wouldn’t get back from the afternoon Pink House concert until after 7:00 when I usually start, so I moved it a day later. It will be fun show, and I hope you’ll tune in if you can. 

Wednesday 11-1 I’m playing for Senior Discovery Week at the Pueblo Zoo. Admission is free for seniors 65 and older all week, and it’s always a wonderful time getting to play music and see folks and the animals at the zoo. Come on out if you’re free - especially if you’re a senior. 

Wednesday evening 6-9 I’ll be at the Gold Dust Saloon on the patio. I’ve been getting back my old Magpie’s crowd coming out to see me again here, and it’s so good to reconnect over good food and drink with my music. It’s a wonderful place to spend an evening. Come on out! 

My Thursday online concert 7-8:30 mountain time will be the music of Elvis Presley. I’m telling folks that I don’t do any sort of Elvis impersonation.  I just like his music and love playing it. It’ll be a memorable night with tunes we all know. I’d love to have you join in with our sweet group of friends. 

Saturday I’m going to a Philmont “Philtoberfest” at a Philfriends house in Colorado Springs where I’m sure the guitars and maybe even ukuleles will come out. It’s not a gig, but if you’re a Philmonter I’d love to see you there. You can find info and RSVP on the Philstaff Facebook pages. 

Sunday 7-8:30 mountain time will be our regular weekly favorites show with all the good friends and fun music we look forward to each week. I’m not sure what’s on the setlist, but it is always a fine time. Please tune in if you can. 

—— 

That’s it for this week. It’s back to practicing the ukulele now! Be good and be safe and I hope to see you soon! 

Best, 

Tom 

—— 

Details this week: 

Who:  Tom Munch  
What:  playing and singing an online concert of favorites  
Where:  facebook.com/tom.munch and tommunch.com/online-concerts   
When:  Monday, September 13, 7-8:30 pm mountain time  

Who:  Tom Munch  
What:  playing and singing for Senior Discovery Week 
Where:  Pueblo Zoo Mandari Pavilion, Pueblo. 719-561-1452 ext 106 
When:  Wednesday, September 15, 11-1 pm 

Who:  Tom Munch 
What:  playing & singing 
Where:  Gold Dust Saloon, 217 S Union Ave, Pueblo 
When:  Wednesday, September 15, 6-9 pm 

Who:  Tom Munch  
What:  playing and singing an online concert of Elvis Presley songs 
Where:  facebook.com/tom.munch and tommunch.com/online-concerts   
When:  Thursday, September 16, 7-8:30 pm mountain time  

Who:  Tom Munch  
What:  playing and singing an online concert of favorites  
Where:  facebook.com/tom.munch and tommunch.com/online-concerts   
When:  Sunday, September 19, 7-8:30 pm mountain time 

Monday, September 6, 2021 - COVID Isolation 

Well, I tested positive for COVID last Monday. Jen had been around a friend the previous week who later tested positive, so after waiting 5 days we got a Rapid test on Sunday and then a PCR test on Monday. The Rapid test was negative for both of us within minutes, and the doctor who did the test was confident that if we had no symptoms by Tuesday we were in the clear. We had already scheduled a PCR test for Monday, so we went through with that just to be sure. The PCR test came back negative for Jen and positive for me on Wednesday night. I didn’t have any symptoms still, and the recommendation from the CDC says to isolate for 10 days after a positive test, so I cleared my schedule of any outside gigs until Thursday of this week. I still don’t have any symptoms, and Jen doesn’t either. Her friend who she was with who tested positive has been sick ever since the day she got her positive test result 11 days ago. I don’t know if the vaccine for both of us is the reason that neither Jen nor I have symptoms or if the test is just so sensitive that it showed COVID particles in my nose even though I wasn’t infected, but either way we are doing the safe and responsible thing. This virus is too unpredictable to take chances with. I missed a few gigs I was looking forward to, but at least I could do my online concerts for folks. There is no doubt that we dodged a bullet. I’ve had several friends who caught the virus and had miserable experiences - with and without the vaccine. It does hit you very hard when you hear the test results. I’m pretty level-headed about life and death, but your mind still races when you stand at the precipice. I’m thankful that I’ll have more opportunities to continue playing my music and spreading whatever good it can do in the world. 

—— 

What have I been up to? 

You already know that I had to clear my schedule once I got my test results. When I had the negative Rapid test result I decided that I should still be cautious until I got the PCR test back so I masked up and only played one outdoor gig on Tuesday and one on Wednesday.  

Tuesday I played for one senior facility outdoors at a good distance with their permission after the negative Rapid test. I thoroughly enjoy the opportunity to play for these folks. 

My Tuesday online show was playing the tunes of the Everly Brothers and Buddy Holly. Their music is so much fun, and I played my Fender Strat that looks like Buddy Holly’s Strat on his rockin’ tunes. It was so enjoyable! 

Wednesday I played for the Gold Dust Saloon outside on the patio with a good breeze to good friends who were distanced - wearing my mask when I was anywhere near them. We did a bunch of old rock and roll songs including a bunch of Linda Ronstadt’s tunes in anticipation of this week’s theme show with her music. That’s where I got the positive test result in between songs. 

My Sunday show playing favorites and requests was great fun too. We did a lot of impromptu requests in the moment as people asked for them. I did have computer problems at the start when I found there was no sound and my streaming program was frozen, but after a reboot and a small delay we were able to proceed with gusto. This is such a wonderful group of folks to know and spend time with. 

—— 

What am I up to this week? 

I have three senior facilities once I am over the isolation period this week.  

My Tuesday online show 7-8:30 mountain time will be playing the previously-mentioned songs of Linda Ronstadt. Next to Ella Fitzgerald, Linda is my favorite female vocalist. Her music is so dynamic and heartfelt. She has done everything from rock to folk to country to Spanish tunes and even jazz standards, so there is so much music to choose from. This will be a special night with a lot of memories. Pleas tune in if you can. 

Thursday night 6:30-8 I’ll be at the Yellow Pine for their AA (Appetizers and Alcohol) or Shalom and Charcuterie party that they like to close the season out with the Thursday after Labor Day each year. It’s a FREE potluck appetizers and BYOB (bring-your-own-beverage) event that is a blast to be at every year. Everyone is welcome. Please come if you can! 

Saturday I have a private engagement party that I’m looking forward to. 

Sunday 3-5:30 in Colorado Springs I am playing a wonderful house concert that is part of the Pink House Concerts series. It is run by two gals who love music and have a beautiful backyard setting where they have put on concerts for several years. I am honored to play for this series, and I’d love to have you come if you’re up for it. You have to make a reservation to come, and they do require that you have been vaccinated. There is a $20 suggested donation that goes to the performers. I’ll have a musician I recently met named John Spengler open the afternoon with a few songs before I go on. It should be a really nice afternoon! You can make reservations and find out details on their website - https://pinkhouseconcerts.com/gt 

Monday 7-8:30 I’ll be doing my weekly favorites and request show that I usually do on Sunday since I won’t get back from the house concert above on Sunday until well after 7:00. 

—— 

That’s it for this week. I’m glad that my first close experience with COVID has been extremely uneventful, and I’m looking forward to playing the week. Take care and be safe. 

Best, 

Tom 

—— 

Details this week: 

Who:  Tom Munch  
What:  playing and singing an online concert of Linda Ronstadt songs 
Where:  facebook.com/tom.munch and tommunch.com/online-concerts   
When:  Tuesday, September 7, 7-8:30 pm mountain time  

Who:  Tom Munch 
What:  playing & singing for the AA Shalom and Charcuterie party 
Where:  Yellow Pine Guest Ranch, Cuchara.  719-742-3528 
When:  Thursday, September 9, 6:30-8:00 pm 

Who:  Tom Munch 
What:  playing and singing at a house concert at Pink House Concerts 
Where:  Colorado Springs - https://pinkhouseconcerts.com/gt for location and details 
When:  Sunday, September 12, 3-5:30 pm 

Who:  Tom Munch  
What:  playing and singing an online concert of favorites  
Where:  facebook.com/tom.munch and tommunch.com/online-concerts   
When:  Monday, September 13, 7-8:30 pm mountain time 

Monday, August 30, 2021 - Free Won't 

Interesting concept today - Free Won’t. It’s the choice to Not do something that crosses our thoughts. I heard it on a podcast I was listening to this past week. We tend to think that we are somewhat controlled by our thoughts, and we tend to react very quickly most times instead of remembering that we have a choice not only to do something, but also to Not do something. I think this is also tied up in habits. We like habits because they allow us to follow an established path, and that oftentimes is easier and takes less thought. But I’d like to propose that we have a choice in everything we do. That’s Free Will. But we also have a choice to Not do something as well, and that’s Free Won’t. If you can stop for a second to consider the outcome of your choice you can control the flow of thoughts and events that follow, and you can also set yourself free in the moment from your automatic habits. Try it! 

—— 

What have I been up to? 

Tuesday’s online show was doing the music of Nanci Griffith, and it was so rewarding getting to dive into her music again. She was a fine songwriter who could express so many emotions in stories not only about other people but about herself as well. She will definitely be missed, and it was a walk down memory lane for me Tuesday over the past 35 years. 

Thursday we found out that a friend of ours had tested positive for COVID, and we had spent time with her on Tuesday and Wednesday. So we had to read up on precautions for vaccinated folks who are exposed to people with breakthrough COVID. We found that we needed to wear a mask indoors for the next week and also get tested anywhere from 3-7 days after exposure, so we did a Rapid test after 5 days on Sunday, and we’ll do a PCR test today. The Rapid test was negative, so that’s good news. Our friend was pretty sick over the weekend, so we still want to take caution until we get the PCR test back just to be sure. My Saturday show I stayed away from folks and wore a mask except when I was onstage performing. We are both feeling fine. 

Saturday’s show at Hoobler’s in La Veta was so enjoyable. We had a good crowd, and I did mostly songs off my albums. It was a perfect night outdoors on the beautiful stage the Jim and Peggy Hoobler built on their yard. You can see pictures of it on my Facebook and Instagram. Thanks to everyone who came out. 

Sunday’s online show was also wonderful with a few new songs and our genuine  group of friends and fans. I can’t express enough how thankful I am for such warm and caring people who have joined in with me and my music. 

—— 

What am I up to this week? 

My Tuesday online show 7-8:30 will be doing songs from the Everly Brothers and Buddy Holly. Don Everly passed a week ago, and so I wanted to honor the memory of Don and his brother Phil with a few of their tunes. I thought Buddy Holly would be a good compliment to their music, so we’ll combine the two for a rousing show. Come on out! 

Wednesday 6-9 I’ll be at the Gold Dust Saloon in Pueblo out back on the patio. Our first outing there a couple weeks ago went very well, and I hope this week will be just as fun. Since it’s outdoors I can still maintain a good distance and safety with folks if we haven’t gotten back a negative PCR test yet. I’ll cancel if we test positive, of course. I have agreed to do the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays going forward. We’ll move them inside to the balcony as weather dictates. Of course this is all dependent on how things go with COVID. 

Saturday 11-1:30 I’ll be in Westcliffe performing for the street fair in front of KLZR radio station. This was originally scheduled on Sunday at the Feed Store Amphitheater, but they moved it to be part of the party on the street with all the cars and food vendors and excitement. It should be a good time, and there’ll be seating and lots of stuff going on. Come on out if you’re in the Westcliffe area! 

My Sunday online show 7-8:30 will be doing the favorites and requests that make for such a fun evening each week. I said it above, but we get such a great group of friends with so much support for each other and the music. Please tune in if you can! 

—— 

That’s it for this week. It was kind of a whirlwind with the COVID scare for us this week, and our friend is still pretty sick, so we definitely have an even better understanding of the risks that we all are still part of with this virus. Take care, my friend, and we’ll all get through this. My thoughts about Free Won’t definitely apply to how we think through this every day. 

Best, 

Tom 

—— 

Details this week: 

Who:  Tom Munch  
What:  playing and singing an online concert of Nanci Griffith songs 
Where:  facebook.com/tom.munch and tommunch.com/online-concerts   
When:  Tuesday, August 31, 7-8:30 pm mountain time  

Who:  Tom Munch 
What:  playing & singing 
Where:  Gold Dust Saloon, 217 S Union Ave, Pueblo 
When:  Wednesday, September 1, 6-9 pm 

Who:  Tom Munch 
What:  playing and singing for the Street Fair 
Where:  on the street in front of KLZR Radio, 103 S 2nd St, Westcliffe 
When:  Saturday, September 4, 11-1:30 pm 

Who:  Tom Munch  
What:  playing and singing an online concert of favorites  
Where:  facebook.com/tom.munch and tommunch.com/online-concerts   
When:  Sunday, September 5, 7-8:30 pm mountain time 

Monday, August 23, 2021 - La Veta 

I’m playing a concert in La Veta Saturday night, and I wanted to tell you a little bit of my experience with this little mountain town over the past 36 years. When I first moved to southern Colorado in the Fall of 1985 I was fresh out of college in Nebraska in the past year and had lived in Dallas for 5 months trying to put together a duo with a great guitarist there that didn’t pan out. I took a temporary job selling stereo equipment for a little shop in Pueblo while I tried to get a corporate job in computers. One of my first customers was an elderly couple who were buying a new receiver to replace an old classic Sansui 4000 receiver that I still have to this day. (It had switchable mono/stereo buttons and even reversible stereo channels!) The couple lived in La Veta, and they wanted me to deliver the new receiver and hook it up for them and take away the old Sansui. So I made a trip to La Veta to see them and discover this little gem of a town. I didn’t spend much time there, but it was the first time I had gotten so close to the Spanish Peaks (Huajatolla) that I had driven by many times over the years. I was enchanted, and when my temporary job in stereo ended after the Christmas shopping season and I hadn’t gotten hired on at the corporate job I was seeking I decided to do some live music like I had done in college. One of the places I booked to play was the Cuchara Valley ski resort and the Timbers bar at Cuchara just up the road from La Veta. I began to hear stories up there from the folks of Cuchara and La Veta of the camaraderie and specialness of the place, and I was hooked. I didn’t play in the resort that much before it unfortunately closed, but I knew I wanted to play in the area more. Over the next few years I played up and down the Front Range and into the mountains with a base in Beulah until I settled in Pueblo West at a house job playing at the Pueblo West Inn for 10 years. When that ended I just had to go back up the road to La Veta.  There I became re-enchanted by the people and the creative spirit and love that they held for life and the place they lived. Over the past 20 years I have played all over La Veta and Cuchara for the wonderful folks who appreciate life, art, music and genuine living. Some of the folks are from there and some have settled there, but they all share an excitement and an authentic joy that is infectious. I love playing there! That’s where I’ll be this Saturday night at an outdoor concert at the Hoobler’s house. More below. 

—— 

What have I been up to? 

My senior facilities went very well last week. It is so good to be singing for folks where you know it makes a difference to their lives. 

My Tuesday online show was doing the music of John Denver, and it was so rewarding. John’s music meant so much to me as I was learning guitar and trying out my musical wings. We had a great group of friends as always. 

Wednesday playing at the Gold Dust Saloon in Pueblo was a lot of fun too. I had so many local friends come out, and it was very sweet. I’ll be doing the Gold Dust on first and third Wednesdays each month for the foreseeable future. 

Saturday night I played a Pueblo Arts Alliance fundraiser that was wonderful too. It was outdoors in a beautiful setting along the river with some stellar folks. 

My Sunday online show was very nice too. I did a couple more John Denver tunes that I didn’t get to on Tuesday as well as songs from the Everly Brothers and Tom T. Hall who had recently passed. 

—— 

What am I up to this week? 

My Tuesday online show 7-8:30 mountain time will be doing songs by Nanci Griffith. She passed last week at the age of 68, and I followed her music very closely and did a lot of her songs. She was a wonderful Texas songwriter known for songs like “Love at the Five and Dime” and her cover of Kate Wolf’s “Across the Great Divide”. I think it will be a wonderful show and I hope you’ll tune in. 

Saturday 7-9 I’ll be playing the La Veta show I mentioned above at Hoobler’s outdoor concert site. Jim and Peggy Hoobler are sweet folks who have been involved in music and history for years around the area, and last year during COVID they began having outdoor socially-distanced concerts on their lawn when all the indoor venues had to close. I have played for Jim and Peggy for many private shows over the years, and I can’t wait to play at their outdoor stage. It’s the only time I’m playing in La Veta this summer, and it should be a blast. Bring a lawn chair and the beverage of your choice to their house at 707 East Virginia Street. It’s $20/person. You can call 719-989-1530 for more info. No reservations required. 

My Sunday online show 7-8:30 mountain time will be the favorites and requests that are always so much fun. I love the folks who come out to share each other’s company and my music. Come on out if you can. I’m always learning new tunes and polishing up old ones. 

—— 

That’s it for this week. I have a few other fun shows coming up including playing in Westcliffe September 4th, Yellow Pine on September 9th, and a Pink House concert in Colorado Springs on September 12th. I hope a bunch of folks from the Springs area will come out to this concert. You can find more info on that at https://pinkhouseconcerts.com/gt.  

Take care, 

Tom 

—— 

Details this week: 

Who:  Tom Munch  
What:  playing and singing an online concert of Nanci Griffith songs 
Where:  facebook.com/tom.munch and tommunch.com/online-concerts   
When:  Tuesday, August 24, 7-8:30 pm mountain time  

Who:  Tom Munch  
What:  playing an outdoor concert at Hoobler’s in La Veta  
Where:  707 East Virginia Street, La Veta  
When:  Saturday, August 28, 7-9 pm 
Details:  $20/person, bring lawn chairs, beverages, friends! 

Who:  Tom Munch  
What:  playing and singing an online concert of favorites  
Where:  facebook.com/tom.munch and tommunch.com/online-concerts   
When:  Sunday, August 29, 7-8:30 pm mountain time 

Monday, August 16, 2021 - Musical Influences 

I’m returning to singer/songwriters for my online theme shows starting with John Denver this week and Nanci Griffith next week, and it has me thinking of musical influences and how they have shaped me and my music. I have so many musicians and groups I have followed over my life, and as a listener and as a musician I have appreciated them for different qualities and depth in their music. From the early standards I heard my dad play I picked up rhythms and complex chords and harmonies that shaped my ear to hear and understand subtle nuances. In the folk and folk-rock ‘60s and ‘70s music of my youth I picked up an ear for acoustic instruments and songwriting structure as well as vocal harmonies and eclectic lyrics and poetry. In the rock and roll of the ‘60s through the ‘80s I grew an appreciation for the drive and grit that makes this blues-flavored music so powerful. In the Country and Texas-songwriter music I was exposed to in the ‘80s and ‘90s I heard more detail in the use of different swing-influenced chords and personal stories. So much of this music enchants me and informs my playing style and musical choices in almost every song. I normally do a deep dive on anyone I listen to if there is depth to be had in their music. I think that’s why I can hear and play a lot of different styles. I pretty much get lost in whatever world the musician or group is creating until I can understand it from the inside out. For instance, Jen and I were watching a documentary on Fleetwood Mac and their album “Rumours” the other night, and she asked me if they were an influence on me. I told her they definitely were. I can remember listening on good headphones to the song “Landslide” and being mesmerized by the acoustic guitars dancing in both ears. Then I heard the driving lead guitar, tight and strong vocal mix, and the tom-toms beating out the rhythm and I was definitely moved and wanted to listen and to eventually play that music. That’s just one example. I could say words to that effect for just about every major act I’ve come across in my life. It’s all amazing and engaging. A friend told me that my music was bringing hope back into her life, and I really think it is this amazement I feel that drives me to play with joy and feeling, and that intensity can bring hope to everyone. I’m glad to be in the flow of it. 

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What have I been up to? 

My senior facilities went very well last week. Some are inside with masks and some are outside without masks and they are all trying to do right by their residents. I’m still worried that we will have to stop again as the virus worsens. This is such a tough time to live through for all involved. 

My Tuesday online show doing the songs of Guy Clark and Townes Van Zandt was a lot of fun. I think my audience enjoyed it as much as I did. There is such a wealth of great writing between these two guys. 

The last Thursday barbecue at the Yellow Pine was a very memorable one with a packed house and lots of good friends. We had such a great season, and it looks like we’ll do it again next year. I started playing at the Yellow Pine in 2001, so this is one of my longest standing gigs, and I couldn’t enjoy it more! 

Friday night I got to play a dance at the Cuchara Community Center with Dennis Mills on bass, and we had a great time! I swapped between electric and acoustic guitars as we played a huge variety of songs for the dancers. If you missed it we’ll be doing a couple dances next summer as well. Stay tuned! 

My Sunday online show was a big variety of music as always. There were some great requests, and I was definitely pretty far out there on couple of them. That’s always part of the fun wondering if I’m going to pull it off. Hopefully I won’t ever crash too hard! 

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What am I up to this week? 

I have 7 senior facilities this week including a return back to Innovage - the first time since February of last year. I’m getting pretty good at singing through a mask. I boost the highs on the mic so that the words are still intelligible, and it all works out pretty well. 

My Tuesday online show 7-8:30 mountain time is doing the songs of John Denver again. His music was the first I featured on my theme shows a year ago last July, and we only got to 20 or songs out of 65 or so that I know, so there’s plenty of good songs we haven’t even touched yet. And I don’t mind singing some of the great ones we did last time if anyone remembers what we did! John’s music was some of the first I learned when I got my first ukulele and later guitar, and his accessibility and great tunes definitely influenced me in my early days. 

Wednesday night I’ll be playing live in Pueblo 6-9 at the Gold Dust Saloon on Union Avenue in Pueblo. They have a nice patio where we can enjoy each other and some good food and drink, and I hope to see bunch of the old crew from Magpies and Bistoro as well as some new faces and anyone else who’d like to come out. If all goes well we may make it a regular thing! I’d like to do some appearances at Bistoro again too, so stay tuned. 

Saturday night I’m playing a fundraiser for the Pueblo Arts Alliance that I’m looking forward to. If you are interested in the arts in Pueblo and you’d like to come there are tickets available at puebloarts.org. It should be fun! 

My Sunday online show 7-8:30 mountain time will be the favorites and requests we always enjoy. We have such a wonderful and supportive group of folks at my online shows, and if you’ve never been you will be welcomed with open arms. Feel free to message with any requests you think I could play for you, and I’ll try to work them in as I can. 

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That’s it for this week. I hope you’re doing well, and I hope to see you soon. 

Best always, 

Tom 

Details this week: 

Who:  Tom Munch  
What:  playing and singing an online concert of John Denver songs 
Where:  facebook.com/tom.munch and tommunch.com/online-concerts   
When:  Tuesday, August 17, 7-8:30 pm mountain time  

Who:  Tom Munch 
What:  playing & singing 
Where:  Gold Dust Saloon, 217 S Union Ave, Pueblo 
When:  Wednesday, August 18, 6-9 pm 

Who:  Tom Munch  
What:  playing ands singing for the Pueblo Arts Alliance fundraiser 
Where:  info at puebloarts.org 
When:  Saturday, August 21, 6-8ish pm 

Who:  Tom Munch  
What:  playing and singing an online concert of favorites  
Where:  facebook.com/tom.munch and tommunch.com/online-concerts   
When:  Sunday, August 22, 7-8:30 pm mountain time

Monday, August 9, 2021 - Songwriting 

I’m contemplating songwriters and songwriting this morning. It’s a work I’ve dabbled but never fully immersed myself in. I’ve written a fair number of songs, but I’ve never been able to make it a practice that I keep on a continuous basis. Songwriters seem to always be in a thoughtful observance mode. They process all they see with a filter that sculpts the world into a poetic and melodic realm that comes naturally to them. I enjoy it when I try it, and I used to keep a pen and pad by my bedside that I would write phrases and ideas with every night. Great songwriters are fans of great literature and poetry. They look for clever word usage and imagery that expresses ideas in meaningful ways. They can distill an occurrence into 3 verses and a chorus with an optional bridge that makes you feel the place and time in a very real way. One of my favorite book series that has minstrels in it talks of how these minstrels write songs that record history and make that history into legends. And of course I think there is magic in music that goes beyond the songwriters talent - introducing a timelessness and impact that is beyond the song. And so on Tuesday I will be featuring the songs of Guy Clark and Townes Van Zandt - two songwriters who revered and polished the act of songwriting to a high art. I hope you can tune in and enjoy it. 

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What have I been up to? 

My senior facilities went pretty well last week. For one of them the performance had to be outside because they had one resident diagnosed with COVID. This virus is surely not over. I even played one facility at the last minute on Sunday morning. That was a pleasant surprise. 

My Tuesday online show doing ‘30s and ‘40s music was a thrill. I’m not sure my audience was prepared to hear that kind of music, but the memories flowed, and there were several mentions of not having heard a favorite song since hearing it with a parent many, many years ago. 

Thursday at the Yellow Pine Barbecue was a little different than usual. We had a lot of new folks, and I don’t think they knew that they could stay and dance and make requests. They did seem to enjoy themselves though, and we even had my good friends Matt and Deann Pujol come out for their anniversary and dance the night away. 

My Sunday online show doing favorites and requests was just about perfect. There were many regulars with a good mix of new tunes and old favorites including several spontaneous requests.  

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What am I up to this week? 

I have a bunch of senior facilities this week from Colorado Springs down to Walsenburg, and it’s interesting to see how each one is dealing with the prevalence of the Delta variant in our area. I’m wearing a mask at most of them even if they say I don’t have to per their policy. 

My Tuesday online show 7-8:30 mountain time is doing the afore-mentioned songs of Guy Clark and Townes Van Zandt. Their songs are so engaging and impactful, and I hope you’ll tune in if you can. Remember that you can always catch my show in a replay on my website or Facebook if you can’t be there live - tommunch.com/online-concerts and facebook.com/tom.munch. 

Thursday 6:30-8 is the last Yellow Pine barbecue of the season. It’s always a little sad wrapping up the summer at the Yellow Pine. The nights are getting cooler, and families are getting their kids back to school, so it’s time to stop until next year. We will have one last Yellow Pine get-together on the Thursday following Labor Day in the barn though. That is always a potluck hors d’oeuvres night as a fundraiser for the local fire department that is so appreciated in the mountain community.  That’ll be on September 9th from 6:30-8. 

Friday night 7-9 I’m playing a dance with Dennis Mills on bass at the Cuchara Community Center. This should be a lot of fun, and it’ll be great to play with Dennis again. We’ve only played one other gig this summer. There’s no door fee, but donations are accepted. It is put on by the Cuchara Valley Recreation Program. Everybody in the valley usually comes out to these fun dances! You’re always welcome. 

My Sunday online show 7-8:30 mountain time will be playing favorites and requests as usual. These are always fun nights with friends from all over the country and sometimes world, and I truly enjoy them! 

—— 

I mentioned possibly playing at the Gold Dust Saloon in Pueblo, and several people responded that they’d love to do it.  I’m scheduled to play there on Wednesday, August 18th, from 6-9. If it goes well we’ll set up a regular schedule. 

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That’s it for this week. This summer is waning quickly, and I’m enjoying it immensely and hoping the virus doesn’t slow us down a lot.  

Best always, 

Tom 

—— 

Details this week: 

Who:  Tom Munch  
What:  playing and singing an online concert of Guy Clark and Townes Van Zandt songs 
Where:  facebook.com/tom.munch and tommunch.com/online-concerts   
When:  Tuesday, August 10, 7-8:30 pm mountain time  

Who:  Tom Munch 
What:  playing & singing at the barbeque 
Where:  Yellow Pine Guest Ranch, Cuchara.  719-742-3528 
When:  Thursday, August 12, 6:30-8:00 pm 

Who:  Tom Munch and Dennis Mills 
What:  playing for a dance put on by the Cuchara Valley Recreation Program 
Where:  Cuchara Community Center, Cuchara 
When:  Friday, August 13, 7-9 pm 

Who:  Tom Munch  
What:  playing and singing an online concert of favorites  
Where:  facebook.com/tom.munch and tommunch.com/online-concerts   
When:  Sunday, August 15, 7-8:30 pm mountain time

Monday, August 2, 2021 - Awareness 

I have a big topic in mind this morning - awareness. What does that mean? Well, it’s pretty broad. I usually use it in a more spiritual sense, but it doesn’t have to be that big. It can be as simple as the awareness of where you are standing or sitting and what is around you as you read this. I believe it is the key to our whole existence. Who you are and what you are currently doing is pretty much all there is. Being aware of this and how it relates you to others around you and where you are in the world determines what you will do today and what will result from that. I ask this of myself every day. Who am I? Where am I? What am going to do with that? In any situation there is always an overview that keeps me on center. To me this is what awareness is all about. When I see someone who is floundering I usually think that they just need some awareness. I also think this when I see someone mistreating someone else or lying or manipulating someone else. It just takes slowing down long enough to look at our situation and think of where we can do the most good for ourselves and others. That is one of my core beliefs. Does that sound true for you? 

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What have I been up to? 

My senior facilities last week were very fulfilling. I had one that had to cancel an online show because of an outbreak. That troubles me. I don’t know when we’ll be truly through with this virus. I recorded a show for them that they can show to individual residents. 

My Tuesday night online show playing traveling songs was a lot of fun. It’s hard to believe that there are so many songs about traveling from so many different genres. 

Thursday at the Yellow Pine Barbecue was full of good friends - some who are headed back home after their summer vacation at their mountain cabins. It was great to see them one last time and wish them safe travels. 

My Sunday online show quite unexpectedly turned into a lot of ‘70s folk-rock songs. It was fun! 

—— 

What am I up to this week? 

I have half a dozen senior facilities once again that I am looking forward to playing for. With the new recommendations for indoor mask wearing I will need to communicate with each to see how things have changed for each facility. 

My Tuesday online show 7-8:30 mountain time will feature ‘30s and ‘40s standards. I’ve only done this style of music a couple times, and I always forget how much I love this music that I grew up with. I think we’ll really enjoy it! 

Thursday 7:30-8 is the Yellow Pine Barbecue once again. We only have two more weeks - this one and next, and I hope folks will come out for some great barbecue and music in the old barn. They only have a few openings, and I’d love to see anyone who was hoping to come out this summer who hasn’t been yet. The number to call is 719-742-3528 by Tuesday morning for booking each week. 

My Sunday online show 7-8:30 mountain time will feature favorites and requests as always. I’m finally getting time to catch up on some of the requests I’ve had over the last couple months as things slow just a little. I so love the folks we’ve gathered around us for these online shows. And if you haven’t attended you’re missing a wonderful evening of friendship and music. 

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Possible Pueblo performances  

I recently talked to the Gold Dust Saloon on Union about doing some regular performances there like I used to do at Magpies. We would start outside and then hopefully move into the balcony over the main room inside as the weather cools. Do you Pueblo folks like the food and atmosphere at the Gold Dust enough to make it a regular place for us? Please let me know. I would start pretty quickly. 

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That’s it for this week. I hope you’re able to approach each situation you’re in this week with the awareness you deserve. This life can be beautiful if we let it. 

Best always, 

Tom 

—— 

Details this week: 

Who:  Tom Munch  
What:  playing and singing an online concert of ‘30s and ’40s Standards songs 
Where:  facebook.com/tom.munch and tommunch.com/online-concerts   
When:  Tuesday, August 3, 7-8:30 pm mountain time  

Who:  Tom Munch 
What:  playing & singing at the barbeque 
Where:  Yellow Pine Guest Ranch, Cuchara.  719-742-3528 
When:  Thursday, August 5, 6:30-8:00 pm 

Who:  Tom Munch  
What:  playing and singing an online concert of favorites  
Where:  facebook.com/tom.munch and tommunch.com/online-concerts   
When:  Sunday, August 8, 7-8:30 pm mountain time

Monday July 26, 2021 - Driving Peace 

I tried an interesting experiment on my way back from Chama, New Mexico, yesterday. I locked in my cruise control at exactly the speed limit for almost the whole trip. I was the guy who drives me and, I’ll bet, drives you crazy sometimes. I did speed up when I passed someone on the interstate if someone was coming up fast behind me so as to not hold up the faster driver, but on the two-lane roads they had to pass me. You feel pretty vulnerable when other people are jockeying around you constantly. Some are not good at estimating time or giving you much space when they pull back in. I’m convinced that it’s not very safe to depend on other drivers to be careful and conscientious. Going with the flow or slightly ahead of it is usually safer since you have more control over your interactions. But what I’m really interested in is how driving slower makes me feel, and also what the psychology is that makes us feel the need to be aggressive toward each other. How does it make me feel? In a word, great! I’m more relaxed. I don’t worry about checking my speed or scanning for speed traps. I get much better gas mileage. The time I lose in the speed difference is honestly negligible on the other end, and many times I catch up to the people who passed me in towns. Leaving five minutes earlier is all it takes for all but longer trips. But the more intriguing question is why we feel the need to be so aggressive toward each other - especially on the road. I’ve felt that feeling of being a caged animal when I’m blocked in or stuck behind a slow driver, and I’m sure you have too. Western culture especially teaches us to be individuals who don’t need and don’t necessarily want interaction with other people. I don’t know if this is something we have learned or whether it’s something that’s innate in us. The strange part is that we have all felt that boost we got when we let someone else go first or actually went out of our way to be kind in some meaningful way. So why do we do the opposite so often? I don’t want to get back to my blog of a couple weeks ago where I asked if we are inherently good, but our driving behavior begs the same question. I encourage you to take a little extra time and make the effort to be kind to others in your driving or even walking and interacting with others. This life can be something full of joy and peace if we only try to make it so. 

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What have I been up to? 

Tuesday was a blast playing at Deann and Matt’s house for my online show about friends. Ricky Maxey was visiting and sat in on a few tunes, and everyone got a real kick out of it! Thanks again, Deann! 

My Wednesday private party was wonderful as well. I won’t go into details, but I hope it is something that I can do again. 

Thursday at the Yellow Pine was a packed house for the barbecue. Some of these nights in the old barn are so special. 

Friday playing at the Pueblo Riverwalk was great fun too. It started out hot and sunny, but the clouds came over and cooled us off. There were many people who came out who I hadn’t seen since before the pandemic, and it was great! The clouds brought some rain just as I was ending my show, and the cool-down was wonderful with no damage to my equipment from the rain. In fact everyone helped me pack up! 

Saturday I had a private party in Chama, New Mexico, that went really well. The folks were so kind and generous, and the next morning I got some great mountain photos that you can see on my Facebook page. I need to start posting some of those to my website too. 

My Sunday online show started a little slow as I was pretty groggy from a full week of playing. (How did everything get scheduled into just one week?!) But I bounced back, and it turned out to be a very enjoyable time with most of our regular group. 

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What am I up to this week? 

I have half a dozen senior facilities this week that should be fun. I’m still afraid that we may go back into some sort of lockdown with all the new Delta variant cases, but for now we don’t have more restrictions on these facilities. I’m always wearing a mask unless we’re outside and I’m at a significant distance. I’m out and about enough that I don’t want any risk of being an asymptomatic carrier. 

My Tuesday online show 7-8:30 mountain time will be playing traveling songs. With summer travel going on this seems like a perfect theme. There are a lot of great traveling songs, and I’m really looking forward to this show. Please tune in if you can. 

Thursday 6:30-8 is the Yellow Pine Barbecue once again. I wrote above of how special these nights can be, and I’m look forward to this one as well. Again they have been able to let in a few extra folks each week even though they’re technically sold out for the summer, so if you’d like to come you should call by Tuesday morning to make reservations. 719-742-3528 

My Sunday online show 7-8:30 mountain time will be back to the favorites and the good folks who always contribute so much to these evenings. It’s always fun, and I’d love to have you join in if you can. 

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That’s it for this week. I really do encourage you to find a way to slow down your driving if, like me, you tend to be more aggressive than you’d like to be. Life is really what we make it, and putting extra angst into our lives just doesn’t make sense. 

Best always, 

Tom 

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Details this week: 

Who:  Tom Munch  
What:  playing and singing an online concert of traveling songs 
Where:  facebook.com/tom.munch and tommunch.com/online-concerts   
When:  Tuesday, July 27, 7-8:30 pm mountain time  

Who:  Tom Munch 
What:  playing & singing at the barbeque 
Where:  Yellow Pine Guest Ranch, Cuchara.  719-742-3528 
When:  Thursday, July 29, 6:30-8:00 pm 

Who:  Tom Munch  
What:  playing and singing an online concert of favorites  
Where:  facebook.com/tom.munch and tommunch.com/online-concerts   
When:  Sunday, August 1, 7-8:30 pm mountain time

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