Monday, November 8, 2021 - Historical Music

I’m going to do a show of pre-1900s historical music on Thursday, and it has me thinking of all the great songs and history in that first century and more of our nation. And it also has me thinking about my ancestors and the role that music might have played in their lives. First let me say that I am under no illusion that these songs will come across without any irony or possible offense. American history and all history is full of contradictions and pitfalls. I’ll do my best to steer clear. American history has so many periods of music and so many influences. Firstly you have to know that the music of the British Isles is the first influence on colonial music since the original states were under British rule until we established our independence, so that will have some influence on some of the songs I’ll choose. Of course there were pockets of other ethnicities especially since the French and Spanish claimed parts of what became the United States, and there were many Africans brought here as slaves, not to mention the Native Americans who were here before. As you progress through American history you come across many different work songs from miners, pioneers, cowboys, and more as well as songs about historical occurrences, so there’s a wealth of great music there to round out my setlist to 1900. As to my own ancestors, they came from the British Isles on my mother's side mostly before the Revolution, and my dad's side came mostly from Germany in the 1840s. I often wonder whether they were musical or enjoyed the music of their day. We don’t have any instruments passed down from them, and we don’t have stories of musical talent although it’s fair to assume that many folks had some musical talent since they couldn’t hear music often as we can today unless they made it themselves. But I love to imagine them cherishing the same songs that I do from their era. Music plays such a big part of my life, and I hope it delighted and lifted them too. So here’s to some great songs to sing on Thursday. Hope you enjoy them! 

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What have I been up to? 

My senior shows went well last week although I had another one cancel for COVID after they had just been cleared to do shows again. I really feel for these folks. 

Wednesday’s show at Gold Dust was great fun! We had a bunch of good friends (although a few couldn’t make it), and I did another straight three hours of a huge variety of songs. I have to remember to take a break next time so folks can stretch their legs! 

Thursday was my online show with original songs, and I have to say that I was finally comfortable doing my own songs for the first time. I tend to be reticent to play my own songs - partly from embarrassment over what I perceive to be sub-standard writing, and partly from shyness since I write pretty personally - baring your soul can be a pretty scary thing. But I knew I was among friends without judgement, and I really enjoyed sharing my songs and stories. I think I might actually pull this thing off! 

Sunday was my online show of favorites and requests, and there were some good new songs as well as other favorites from the past two years. This time of learning songs for requests during the pandemic has really acquainted me with some wonderful tunes I never would have had the opportunity to learn, and I’m grateful that this is one of the good things that has come out of this turbulent time. 

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What am I up to this week? 

I have five senior shows this week. I’m looking forward to seeing the folks! 

Thursday my online show 7-8:30 mountain time will be doing historical songs as I wrote about above. I’ve been learning historical songs since high school about many different eras of music in American history to play for museums, historic shows, and events. I can’t wait to dive into them and share them with you. I hope you’ll find them as entertaining and enlightening as I do. 

Sunday my online show 7-8:30 mountain time will be the favorites and requests we have grown to love playing. I have had several people send me lists of favorite artists and songs to work on and learn at my leisure, and I really enjoy doing this and then singing them for folks when I see them at my shows. Feel free to do this if you have favorite songs you think I could do well and folks would enjoy hearing. 

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That’s all for this week. The holidays are fast approaching, and I hope you’re staying safe and well. 

Best always, 

Tom 

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Who:  Tom Munch  
What:  playing and singing an online concert of historical songs 
Where:  facebook.com/tom.munch and tommunch.com/online-concerts   
When:  Thursday, November 11, 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, November 14, 7-8:30 pm mountain time

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