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

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