July 2020 meeting

Barefoot and blissful, and making up the words as I go merrily along.

We made history on July 7th, with our first OUTDOOR meeting of the Cheyenne Guitar Society. Justin and Kristy played host to us in their back yard. Centrally located with plenty of parking, it worked out really well. The cool grass felt wonderful on your tootsies; those of you that managed to keep your shoes on will just have to take my word for it.

Welcome to Julie and Kevin Calcote, up from Texas on a visit with their friend Jeanie White. Kevin certainly knows his way around a guitar neck, and has a good voice to go with it. Come back any time, it was a great pleasure hearing you play.

Here’s Kevin tearing up ‘Man of Constant Sorrow’

We were going to, then we weren’t, then (oh what the heck) we did it anyway, a group song of the traditional folk song ‘Cripple Creek’. Thanks to Ben Zavorka and his lovely entourage for bringing that for us.

Nancy, Margene and Ben ready to knock out a tune or maybe knock off a liquor store; who knows?

It’s hard to believe this was the first time in 25 years we held a meeting outdoors, it was just so pleasant. With the COVID-19 pandemic, it appears we’ll have to be creative about where and/or how we meet for the next few months. Personally, I hope the Johnson’s will consider having us again. For me, the highlight of the meeting was getting the chance to hear Kristy play and sing. Her harmonizing is spot on, and her voice is clear and bright. They can’t get away together very often, so hearing them together was a real treat.

Playlist for July 2020

Ernie Brazzale started us out with ‘Sleepy Time Down South’, by Rene, Rene, and Muse.

Remy Abeyta, Television Westerns Medley, Livingston, Koury, and Young.

Head ’em up, Move ’em out! Yee haw!

Justin and Kristy Johnson, ‘Chaos and Clothes’, Jason Isbell.

Steve Gilmore, ‘Let Me Love You One More Time’, the Carter Brothers.

Nancy McKenzie, Margene and Ben Zavorka, ‘Whiskey in the Jar’ aka ‘Gilgarie Mountain’, Chieftans/Irish Rovers.

Keith Blaney, ‘Cheyoming Front Rear Daze’, original.

Rich Ryan, ‘Blackbird’, Paul McCartney

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s Rich looking for the words to the next verse.

Jeanie White, ‘Crazy Love’, Van Morrison.

Russ Williams, ‘Sarabanda from Suite in A’, Ponce.

Paul Robertson, ‘La Caterdral – Preludio’, Agustin Barrios Mangore.

Some songs need more cowbell. Looks like Paul could use some more neck.

Ernie Brazzale, ‘Hide My Blues’ (revisited), Dougherty.

Remy Abeyta, ‘Jamaican Farewell’, Irving Burie. for Marvin…

Justin and Kristy, ‘Cover Me Up’, Jason Isbell.

The Tiki Torch was enchanted, and would conk Justin in the noggin if he played a wrong note. Sadly, it never happened.

Steve Gilmore, ‘Fergus County Jail’, John Lowell.

Steve and his Proulx, sending another poor unfortunate to jail.

Keith Blaney, ‘Dream a Little Dream’, Andre/Kahn.

Kevin Calcote, ‘Red Headed Stranger’, Willie Nelson.

Jeanie dragging a cowboy off his fence.

Jeanie White, ‘Desperado’, The Eagles.

Russ Williams, ‘Soledad’, Montes

Here’s Russ, busking for a tennis ball.

Paul Robertson, ‘La Catedral – Religioso’, Augustin Barrios Mangore.

Group Song, ‘Cripple Creek’, traditional folk song.

Ernie Brazzale, ‘Someone to Watch Over Me’, Gershwin.

Ernie playing in his own very unique style, singing into a very tiny microphone.

Remy Abeyta, ‘America the Beautiful’, Katherine Lee Bates.

Kristy Johnson, ‘July’, Noah Cyrus.

Justin Johnson, ‘Like You’, original

Kevin Calcote, ‘Sunshine On My Shoulders’, John Denver.

Also joining us were Julie Calcote and the Johnson children.

Photo credits go to Rich Ryan, Nancy McKenzie, and yours truly. And believe me, I was happy to have some photos to include this month!

June 2020 meeting

We Zoomed once again for our June meeting, but it really gave us a run for our money this time.  Melinda B. once again played host, but the website wasn’t behaving so we got off to a late start. My best guess is that people saw this as a cancellation of the meeting, as attendance was low with only eight participants.

The added confusion this month was it was dropping the connection for participants, who would then either give up, or switch to another device.  Plus there is the basic problem that Zoom is designed for voice only; music out of that frequency range is considered noise and eliminated, so even the best connection for a performance is full of audio holes, frequency clipping, or total blackouts.

Rich had his cue cards, shouting encouragement, sometimes upside down sometimes backwards but enjoyable all the same.  Ernie told us all about St. George, Utah, where he and Melinda were visiting their son and his family.  Steve showed us his favorite t-shirt, both front and back, from the 19th annual Country Bluegrass Show in North Platte.  We also had a guest appearance by Little Red Riding Hood herself, and we thank her for the video.

It has been suggested that perhaps for our next meeting, we get together in a park somewhere.  We can practice social distancing, wear our masks when it isn’t our turn, and perhaps have a better outcome.  Worth a try, yes?  We’ll see what develops.

Playlist for June 2020

Nancy McKenzie/Keith Blaney, ‘Little Red Riding Hood’, by Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs.

Rich Ryan, ‘Morning Has Broken’, Cat Stevens.

Ed Heffern, ‘Cremation of Sam Magee’, poem by Robert Cervis, to the tune of ‘Star of the County Down, assembled by Ed hisself.

Gary Krause, ‘Smile a Little Smile For Me’, Tony McCally/ Jeff Stevens of The Sound Machine.

Steve Gilmore, ‘Blue Knight’, Kirk Magee.

Nancy and Keith, ‘Red Haired Boy’, Francis O’Neill.

Ernie Brazzale, ‘Green Acres’, Vic Mizzy, and ‘Beverly Hillbillies’, Flatt and Scruggs, done acappella.

Nancy and Keith, ‘Wayfarin’ Stranger’, folk tune.

Rich Ryan, ‘These Days’, Dan Fogelberg.

Ben & Margene Zavorka, ‘My Starbucks Song’, original.

Ed Heffern, ‘De Colores’, folk tune.

Steve Gilmore, ‘East Virginia Blues’, traditional.

Gary Krause, ‘Back to Work’, original.

Steve Gilmore, ‘Colleen Malone’, Pete Goebels.

Rich Ryan, ‘Drift Away’, Mentor Williams.

Also attending were Rick Memmel and Melinda Brazzale.

May 2020 meeting

We were Zooming again in May, with the Covid lockdown still in place, thanks to Melinda Brazzale hosting us on her account. Some of us struggle with technology, while some of us eat it up. Turns out I am one of the former types. I joined the meeting as the Invisible Man (no video) then about twenty seconds into my first offering, my feed went quite dead and bounced me out all together. I felt like a contestant on the Gong Show.
Luckily, Rick picked up the ball, and the rest of the meeting was well documented. Also, we had more photos than usual, from many sources, which is pretty cool.

The Usual Suspects.

We also had a guest from back east (New York maybe), Rick’s brother Ray Memmel. Twins run in this family, and while this isn’t a recent photo, it’s a good one all the same…

Rick and Ray. Or maybe it’s Ray and Rick, from a couple years ago.

Ernie tried to send us over to Facebook for a tune, but some of us non-technical types were afraid we’d get lost in cyberspace and wouldn’t be able to get back. I think his backing track was a big band from the 50’s.

Ernie on harmonica, from somewhere in the Van Allen belt.

Russ and Steve joined the meeting from the same location; they had been goofing off that day, getting their flies wet.

Russ showing us his new voice coach, Seamus Finnigan

Rick was running the meeting, and took a break between ‘laps’ for a chat session. I heard that didn’t exactly go to plan, but I was long gone by then so it’s just hearsay… The other fun thing to mention is Rich’s audience comment cards. While one person is performing, it’s best that everyone else mute their audio feed. So instead of applause, Rich has made an assortment of cards; sometimes he even gets them right side up!

Playlist for May 2020

Before I get rolling on this, let’s take a minute to thank Rick for the work he put into it. We’re lucky to get just the song title from the performers, but you’ll see the info presented is very complete this month. That took some serious effort on Rick’s part. Thanks buddy!

Nancy McKenzie started us off with ‘In the Pines’, a traditional tune.

Gary Krause, ‘Is It Wise’, an original tune.

It’s tough to catch Gary with his eyes open.

Ernie Brazzale, ‘Sleepy Time Down South’, Clarence Muse, Otis Rene, Leon Rene (1930)

Tom Fuller, ‘Kansas City Blues’, by Ernest Tubb.

Jeanie White, ‘Oh Virus Leave Us Be’, parody of ‘Blues Stay Away From Me’, by Don Gibson

Ed Heffern, ‘Born Under a Wandering Star’, Lerner and Lowe, from Paint Your Wagon, sung by Lee Marvin

Ken Frederick, ‘Strawberry Moon’, original

Edith Cook, ‘Aria of Orpheus’, C.W. Gluck

Rich Ryan, ‘Everything’s Gonna Be Alright’, Bob Marley

Keith Blaney, ‘Wayfaring Stranger’, Isaac Niswander (1858)

Rick Memmel, ‘Honey Don’t’, The Beatles

Russ Williams, ‘Minuet in A’, Agustin Barrios

Steve Gilmore, ‘Good Morning, Mr. Time Clock’, Peter Rowan.

Nancy McKenzie, ‘Beneath the Willows’, Bradley Kincaid

Ernie spent too long out in cyberspace.

Ernie Brazzale, ‘American Patrol’, F.W. Meacham (1885)

Gary Krause, ‘Sing It In’, original

Jeanie White, ‘This Town’, Niall Horan

Ken Frederick, ‘Dad Gum It’, original

Ed Heffern, ‘They Call the Wind Maria’, Lerner and Lowe, sung by Harve Presnel in Paint Your Wagon.

Edith Cook, ‘Spanish Folk Song’, traditional

Rich Ryan, ‘Blues Study’, Keb Mo

Steve Gilmore, ‘Them Hors D’doevrers’, Mason Williams (1964)

Also joining us were Steve Borin, Ray Memmel, Melinda Brazzale, Larry White, Judy Heffern, and Cathy Memmel.

Photo and screenshot credits this month go to Rich Ryan, Rick Memmel, and Steve Gilmore. Thanks to everyone that helped put this together!!!

April 2020 meeting.

For the record, let’s talk about the circumstances that lead to this rather unique meeting that took place on April 7th. This country, as well as the rest of the world, is trying to cope with a pandemic caused by the coronavirus, or COVID19. The rule of the day is to avoid contact with your fellow humans as much as possible. Just about everything is shut down while we all isolate ourselves from one another. The library shut down a couple weeks ago, and of course, has cancelled all meetings at least through May.

Not to name names, but our mandolin player (of questionable height and character) suggested we might be able to meet online.  Nancy (oops, it slipped out anyway)  wasn’t sure how to do it, so I put the question to our general membership when notifying them of the physical meeting’s cancellation. Up stepped Melinda Brazzale, offering to host the meeting on her Zoom account.  We held the meeting on our normal first Tuesday at the normal time.  Ironically, we finished exactly at the same time the library would have been throwing us out, at 8:50pm!

So what happened in between, you ask?  Let the lies begin!  I’ve gotta tell ya, I’m really pleased about this golden opportunity to gasbag about some new material, too.  It took us a bit to get used to the format, some of us never quite got there, either…  We had folks show up from Wheatland to Denver, tho’ it did take Martin a little longer to get here, Denver being so far and all.  We made him play an extra song as punishment, which delighted everybody.This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is IMG_3433.jpg

As for Zoom, it left a lot to be desired as a music platform.  Mind you, this is coming from a man whose VCR would still be blinking 12:00 if I had a VCR, but the whole thing seemed rather primative for this day and age.  The video lagged, and the audio was horrid.  It is designed for meetings, for speech; anything else it deems as noise and tries to eliminate it.  So the sound was clipped, high notes were missing completely.  A couple of the people sounded like a weak radio station fading in and out.  In other words, they have much room for improvement, to say the least.

In the plus column, we had 17 participants.  Some of us took advantage of not having to haul heavy equipment.  We had tunes by Ernie on an 1860’s pump organ, Ed did a couple on his keyboard, and yours truly dragged out a bass guitar and ran it through a homemade amp.  Also joining us was Kenneth Thompson, from Ft. Collins.  He presides over the FoCo guitar group, and said he thinks he’ll give this a go for his cohorts.  Good luck, Kenneth, and you’re welcome back any time!

We also learned a bit more about our president, Rich Ryan, also known as GalaxyNote8.  His alter-ego showed up as well,  The Green Fone Icon.  Unlike Superman and Clark Kent, both of Rich’s identities were at the meeting at the same time.  It appears GFI’s super power was stealing the spotlight at random throughout the meeting .  Pretty scary stuff, Mr. Whoever You Are.

Welcome also to Jackie Smith, Steve Borin, Nancy McKenzie, Ben and Margene Zavorka (aka 13076) and of course, Melinda.  Thank you so much for inviting us into your cyberspace.


Early in the meeting, before Martin and Steve Borin arrived.

Playlist for April 2020

Note: Wherever you see (?) means the information was not provided, was not heard properly, or a best guess at what belongs there. Participants are encouraged to contact me (kdawg307@gmail.com) to erase those Q’s with the correct information.

Justin Johnson started us out with an original tune, ‘No One’ (?)

Ed Heffern (on keyboard), ‘I’m Looking Over a Four Leaf Clover, by (?)

Keith Blaney (on bass) ‘Sunny’, by Bobby Hebb.

Ken Frederick, ‘Here Comes the Sun’, George Harrison.

Russ Williams, ‘Maria Maro’, Antonio Maso

Steve Gilmore, ‘The Village Road’, Matt Flinner

Ernie Brazzale (on pump organ) ‘Quarantine’, a parody of ‘Misty’.

Edith Cook, ‘Minuet in C’, Fernando Saur.

Rich Ryan, ‘Never Going Back Again’ (?) Lindsay Buckingham (?) Rich, our man of mystery…

Martin Gilmore, ‘Something he Wrote in Egypt’ (?), original.

Rick Memmel (on ukelele) ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow, (?)

Justin Johnson, ‘Cover Me Up’, Jason Ismal

Ed Heffern (on keyboard) ‘Your Song’, Elton John

Keith Blaney, ‘Ain’t Misbehavin’, Fats Waller

Ken Frederick, ‘Blackbird’, Paul McCartney

Russ Williams, ‘Soladad’, Alfonzo Montez

Steve Gilmore, ‘Irish Fiddle Tune’ (?) traditional (?)

Ernie Brazzale (on pump organ) (?) by (?)

Edith Cook, ‘Spanish Folk Song’ (?) traditional (?)

Rich Ryan, ‘COVID ONE NINE’ a parody of ‘Sweet Caroline’ by Neil Diamond. new words by GalaxyNote8.

Martin Gilmore, ‘Teenage Lover’ (?) by John Prine, who sadly passed away today from the virus.

Martin Gilmore, completing his penalty lap, with ‘Any Old Time’ (?) by Jimmy Rodgers.

Then Ernie played us out on the pump organ as we exited the meeting.

My Little First Guitar

by Remy Abeyta

It was during the summer before starting my first year of high school. I had worked hard bucking bales ($1 an hour wages in those days) and had earned a little money. I shopped around and settled on what I could afford, a $13 Stella guitar. I purchased it at, of all places, a furniture store in downtown Fort Collins.

At home, I did my best to try to play but it probably wasn’t even in tune. One evening, we had invited a Mexican migrant worker who was here without his family to share supper with us. After suppertime, he saw ‘Stella’ sitting there and asked if he could play it. First, he showed me how to tune it, then showed me how to play a C chord and a G7th (have always been grateful for that). Then he played a few songs and some of the most beautiful music I’ve ever heard started flowing from that cheap Stella guitar.

In the following days I tirelessly played those two chords over and over again. I didn’t own a guitar pick, so I improvised. I would break a few teeth off hair combs searching for just the right ‘gauge’. A properly selected hair comb tooth provided a surprisingly good sound on the guitar strings. My mom wondered why the hair combs all suddenly started missing teeth…

I quickly outgrew that Stella guitar, it had a very high action and was rough on my tender fingers.  A nearby friend had a guitar for sale.  His folks had bought it for him but he had lost interest, offered to sell and I bought it for $10!

Remy with his second guitar and his fan club watching on.

It was a beginner’s guitar with numbers imprinted on the fretboard and had slightly improved playability over the Stella. While many other guitars would follow during my lifetime, that Stella guitar will always remain in my memory.

Monthly Meeting March 2020

Brady brought us his original shark attack song, ‘Ocean Lover’

March is tricky. Coming in like a lion and going out like a, mmmm, different lion, like it does here in Wyo, with a Friday the 13th thrown in for good measure, it’s not easy to navigate. Worst still, that first Tuesday cropped up so fast it caught many of us off guard. Our turnout reflected this tumultuous month. Welcome to Peter Inells and Chris Smith, who joined us for a listen this month.

Peter watching on while Marvelous Marvin takes us to Jamaica.

Reports were the Valentine’s Day Dinner/Concert went well, and Steve had a solo gig up in Chugwater. If your time machine isn’t in the shop, you can still catch that on the 7th.

No scheduled group song, per se, but Keith invited all to join in and sing like Ringo on ‘Little Help From My Friends’.

What will you do when I sing out of tune? Will you stand up and hurl stuff at me???

Thanks to Rich Ryan for providing most of the photos used this month.

Playlist for March 2020

Brady Lyles, ‘Bird’s Eye View’, an original tune.

Remy Abeyta, ‘Good Time Charlie’s Got the Blues’, Danny O’Keefe

Mike Clark, ‘Imagine’, John Lennon

Mike, wake up! It’s the middle of your turn. Sheesh

Steve Gilmore, ‘Traveling Blues’, Lefty Frizzel

Gary Krause, ‘Angels’, original

Jeannie White, ‘Spinning Wheel’, Blood Sweat and Tears

Ride a painted pony, let the spinning wheel turn!

Keith Blaney, ‘You’ve Got a Friend in Me’, Randy Newman

Marvin Frerich, ‘Jamaican Farewell’, traditional folk tune.

Earl Janack, ‘Ironing Board Blues’, From the Waltons

Earl, with a little help from Avery, playin’ the ‘Ironing Board Blues’

Avery Janack, ‘Black’, Pearl Jam

Rich Ryan, ‘More Than Words’, Extreme

Ken Frederick, ‘Yesterday’, Lennon/McCartney

Look at all the strings on that thing! Remarkably, it was in tune, too…

Brady Lyles, ‘Ocean Lover’, original

Remy Abeyta, ‘Gotta Travel On’, Billly Grammer

Mike Clark, ‘This Ol’ Guitar’, John Denver

Gary Krause, ‘Together’, original

Gary and I have the same tell; we start grinning like crazy when we goof up. He was not alone tonight! It was a tough course for a bunch of us.

Jeanie White, ‘Someday Soon’, Ian Tyson

Rick Memmel, Jeanie and Keith, ‘You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away’, Lennon/McCartney

Marvin Frerich, ‘Jamaican Farewell’, traditional folk tune.

Steve Gilmore, ‘Colleen Malone’, Pete Gohles

Steve and a very old friend, an 80 year old Gretch New Yorker

Earl Janack, ‘London Calling’, The Clash

Avery Janack, ‘Wolf Like Me’, TV on the Radio

Rich Ryan, ‘Queen of Corona (virus), Paul Simon mostly…

I can read Rich’s mind; ‘Oh please oh please what’s the next chord here, QUICK!’

Ken Frederick, ‘Things We Said Today’, Lennon/McCartney

Mike Clark, ‘Windy and Warm’, John Loudermilk

Steve Gilmore, ‘Down at Milo’s House’, Norman Blake

Remy Abeyta, ‘Roadhouse Boogie’, Duane Eddy

Man, look at that fancy shirt! As Remy so aptly put it, ‘Where else can you wear a shirt like that?’ Point taken, Mr. Abeyta.

Jeanie White, ‘Tomorrow’, Bob Dylan

Keith Blaney, ‘Little Help From My Friends’, Lennon/McCartney

Earl Janack, ‘Mind Your Own Business’, Hank Williams

Avery Janack, ‘Boy From School’, Hot Chip

Avery hoped we captured his passion. I think we got it. Chris Smith looking on.

April’s meeting doesn’t pop up until the 7th, so it shouldn’t leave the station without us next month. See you there!

February 2020 meeting

Marvelous Marvin made it in from Carpenter.

It’s not every day I get to write about the February Guitar Society meeting; now I just have to think of something to say…

Avery and Earl Janack, guarding the door. Avery’s pickin’, Earl’s a grinnin’…

Earl managed to get us an upgrade. We were slated for the library’s Willow Room, but ended up in the much larger Cottonwood Room next door. Thanks Earl! Attendance was light, with only about a dozen attendees. It was only 3* when I arrived, and -3* when I left, so weather may have been a factor. Marvin came in from Carpenter and Paul came down from Wheatland, so we had a few souls brave the weather.

You may not be able to tell from the picture, but Paul here is from suburban Wheatland.

With the small group, we were able to make it around three times. While there wasn’t an official group song, Keith did invite everyone to sing and play along with Otis Redding’s ‘Dock of the Bay’.

Keith ‘sittin’ in the morning sun’ with Otis. Photo by Rick.

Along with Keith and Otis, Ernie had us singing and scattin’ along with Cab Calloway’s ‘Minnie the Moocher’. Hydee hydee hydee hay!!!

That songbook had more verses than you could shake a music stand at. Especially THAT music stand… Ernie sent it flying more than once.

Playlist for February 2020

Rick Memmel, Keith and Jeanie started us with ‘Big Rock Candy Mountain’ by Woodie Guthrie

Marvin Frerich, ‘Jamaican Farewell’, traditional folk tune.

Ernie Brazzale, ‘Minnie the Moocher’, Cab Calloway

Steve Gilmore, ‘Watch What Happens’, Tony Mattola

Ed Heffern, ‘Goin’ Down to the Depot Station’, original

Here’s Ed doing some quick strumming.

Justin Johnson, ‘Great’, original

Ken Frederick, ‘Mixed Emotions’, original

Paul Robertson, ‘Corcovado’ (Quiet Nights), Jobim

Avery Janack, ‘I Will Dare’, The Replacements

Earl Janack, ‘ Lovesick Blues’, Hank Williams

Jeanie with ‘Baby, I’m Yours’.

Jeanie White, ‘Baby I’m Yours’, Barbara Lewis

Keith Blaney, ‘The Water is Wide’, traditional

Ernie Brazzale, ‘Fly Me to the Moon’, Bart Howard

Steve Gilmore, ‘Ain’t Gonna Happen’, Kenny Cornell

Steve leaning into a lick

Ed Heffern, ‘Right Here’, original

Justin Johnson, ‘Murderer of Blue Skies’, Chris Cornell

Always a treat when Justin can join us!

Ken Frederick, ‘Holiday #19’, original

Paul Robertson, ‘ Dia de los Pinos’, Torroba

Earl Janack, ‘In America’, original

Jeanie White, ‘Ruby Tuesday’, K. Richards/B. Jones

Keith Blaney, ‘Dock of the Bay’, Otis Redding

Ernie Brazzale, ‘This Masquerade’, Leon Russell

Ed Heffern, ‘The Wind’, Cat Stevens

Ken Frederick, ‘March Bob’, original

Justin Johnson, ‘Chaos & Clothes’, Jason Isbell

Paul Robertson, ‘Savior Like a Shepherd Lead Me’ Dorothy Thrupp

Avery working a Gorillaz tune

Avery Janack, ‘Feel Good Inc.’ Gorrillaz

Earl Janack, ‘Mansion on the Hill’, Hank Williams.

January 2020 meeting

You know that saying, ‘Sometimes big things come in small packages’? We were just the opposite, with only eleven people in the Library’s Cottonwood Room. Well, make that twelve, when Ernie showed up just in time to play us out.

Ernie teaching Justin’s guitar his unique playing style

Welcome to Crys Moore and Stevy Rae Luca who came for a listen. Paul Robertson drove down from Wheatland with his classical guitar. Some of us would like to thank Paul for waiting a few years before joining us. Had he been there in the beginning, they never would have invited us steel string players to join the party. Listening to Paul play is what I guess the original (classical) players were going for in the first place.

Not a great picture of Paul, but he was busy and I didn’t want to disturb him…

Our group song was Chris Christopherson’s ‘Bobbie Magee’, with a key change in it, no less. Most of us did ok with it. We also voted in the officers and board for 2020. It’ll be a small group this year.

It’s time to get your tickets for the Valentine’s soiree if you haven’t yet. February 14th, Little America, starts at 6pm for hors d’oeuvres, performance by last year’s GFA winner at 7, and plated dinner at 8. There are two words there I spell so poorly I keep them on a cheat sheet. Can’t look up what you can’t spell, and auto correct is just confused by my attempts. Just sayin’.

Playlist January 2020

Earl Janack started us off with ‘Wild Blue Eyes’, a traditional folk tune.

Earl working a tune.

Roland Peterson, ‘Opus 139 #5’, Guiliani

Steve Gilmore, ‘Gentle Annie’, by Steven Foster

Justin Johnson, ‘Time In A Bottle’, Jim Croce

Keith Blaney, ‘Confused’, original

Rich Ryan, ‘Wichita Lineman’, Jimmy Webb

Look at all the strings and tuning pegs on Rich’s guitar. That’s just crazy.

Paul Robertson, ‘Squares Suspended’, Andrew York

Earl Janack, ‘Deportee’, Woodie Guthrie

Roland Peterson, ‘Opus 60 #7’, Carcassi

Steve Gilmore, ‘Young Jane’, traditional fiddle tune

Our big man with a small guitar, Steve Gilmore

Justin Johnson, ‘SRV Style Blues’ unknown

Keith Blaney, ‘My Road’, original

Group song, ‘Bobbie Magee’, Chris Christopherson.

Rich Ryan, ‘Hark the Herald Angels’, jazzy version

Paul Robertson, ‘Ode to Joy’, Ludwig Von Beethoven, arrangement by Paul

Earl Janack, ‘Wildwood Flower’, the Carter Family

Steve Gilmore, ‘Doc’s Guitar’, Doc Watson

We make Justin sit by himself and sing to a chair

Justin Johnson, ‘Friend of the Devil’, Greatful Dead

Keith Blaney, ‘I Will’, Lennon/McCartney

Rich Ryan, ‘Sister Golden Hair’, America

Paul Robertson, ‘Carol of the Bells/What Child is This?’ medley.

Earl Janack, ‘I’m In The Place I Am’, original

Justin Johnson, ‘Sittin’ Here’, original

The original of Justin’s original. I’m lying, of course, it’s much too neat to be original

Keith Blaney, ‘Crazy Love’, Van Morrison

Ernie Brazzale, ‘You Belong to Me’. I might be wrong about this as well, as we had already packed up and Ernie didn’t have a chance to write his tune down.

Also joining us were Stevy Rae Luca, Rick Memmel, Crys Moore, and Nancy McKenzie.

December 2019 Soiree

Our master of ceremonies tonight, the fabulous Ernie B.

We had a fairly modest turnout of about 20 folks for our December meeting in the library’s Cottonwood Room. We invited everyone to bring treats, and there were nearly as many platters of goodies as there were players! So many, in fact, we had to take an official snack break, along with casual grazing as the meeting progressed.

Tom Fuller has joined us a few times before, but this was the first time he broke out his guitar. Nice job, Tom!

Tom playing ‘Bill Bailey, Won’t you Please Come Home’

Russ sang two for us, which is always a treat. Some gals showed up early during our second lap, so we waited until they stuffed their faces full of cookies before we asked them who the were. Welcome to Sue Frerich and their neighbor Char Nolan.

Marvelous Marvin and his cookie monster groupies, Char Nolan and Sue Frerich.

The group song was a bit different this month, brought to us by Edith. She enlisted the help of Carol Bowles, Gary Krause, and Ernie to sing it a few times a cappella, then taught it to the rest of us.

Carol, Floyd (sitting in for Gary) and Edith

Here’s wishing you and yours a most joyous and blessed Christmas season. See you all again, with perfect clarity, in 2020.

Here’s Ed with his fancy singing music stand, Judy Heffern. Also pictured is Rick playing along with a rather mundane music stand. Rick (and his stand) do not usually sing.

December 2019 Playlist

Lots of guests tonight, so just to mix things up a bit that’s where I’ll start. Floyd Turner, Barb Williams, Kathy Memmel, Sue Frerich, and Char Nolan all joined in the festivities, and many brought treats! Thank you!

Russ sang two for us tonight, along with a most excellent classical piece.

Russ started us out with ‘Blott en Dag’ by Oscar Ahnfelt.

Tom Fuller, ‘Bill Bailey, Won’t You Please Come Home’, by Hughie Cannon.

Marvin Frerich, ‘Jamaican Farewell’, traditional folksong.

Ed and Judy Heffern with Rick Memmel, ‘Christmas Dinner’ by Paul Stookey.

Ken, about to be eaten by that tall stack of chairs. Goodies in background about to be eaten by everyone else.

Ken Frederick, ‘Pearl Harbor Day’, original

Keith Blaney, ‘The Christmas Song’, Mel Torme.

Earl Janack, ‘Do You Hear What I Hear?’, lyrics by N. Regney, music by G. Shayne.

Roland Peterson, ‘Study in A’, by Giuliania

Roland working on something classical

Ernie Brazzale, ‘Please Come Home For Christmas’, Charles Brown.

Remy Abeyta, ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’, Hugh Martin/Ralph Blane

Edith Cook, Carol Bowles, and Gary Krause brought us the group song ‘Dona Nobis Pacem’, anonymous

Boy, who took this picture? Cut Carol in half, Ed’s hat is hovering a foot off his head, and Gary is hidden in obscurity. I say fire that photographer!!!

Russ Williams, ‘Auld Lang Syne’ , traditional

Tom Fuller, ‘Sloop John B.’, Bahamian folk song.

Ken Frederick, ‘Chut Hut’, original

Ed Heffern and Rick Memmel, ‘Little Saint Nick’, Beach Boys.

Keith Blaney, Rick Memmel, Nancy McKenzie, ‘Holly Jolly Christmas’, Johny Marks.

Nancy and Rolland look on while Earl offers up his original tune

Earl Janack, ‘Winter Solstice’, original

Keith Blaney, ‘Merry Christmas From the Family’, Robert Earl Keene.

Roland Peterson, ‘Opus 50 No. 3’, Carcassi.

Remy Abeyta, ‘The Little Drummer Boy’, Katherine Davis.

Ernie Brazzale, ‘You Belong To Me’, Chilton Price/ Pee Wee King.

Our camera shy Remy with his nylon stringed marvel.

Carol Bowles, Edith Cook, Gary Krause, and Ed Heffern, ‘Silent Night/ Night of Silence’, Daniel Kantor

Russ Williams, ‘Mary’s Boy Child’, Jester Hairston.

Marvin Frerich, ‘Jamaican Farewell’, Jamaican folk song.

Ken Frederick, ‘So Beautiful’, original

Rick Memmel & Ed Heffern, ‘Feliz Navidad’, Jose Feliciano.

Earl Janack, ‘All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth’, Don Gardner

Remy Abeyta, ‘Jingle Bells’, James Lord Pierpont.

Upcoming Events

January is just around the corner! Time to renew your membership for the princely sum of $25. Such a good deal! While it is not a requirement for monthly attendance, it does support our status as a real group, which we must do from time to time. It also earns you discounts for our special events. It also entitles you to vote, which coincidently, is the next topic.

We will be voting for a new slate of officers as soon as possible in the new year, hopefully in January (but things do happen). Perhaps it will be February, which brings us to our next topic. See how I’m segue’n from one thing to the next? Notice I don’t really know how to work with the word ‘segue’?

February will be our annual Valentine’s dinner/concert on the 14th. Pester Russ about it in January if you would like to attend. There are not many seats left. There will also be a master class. Trust me, you don’t have to play classical guitar to learn enough to make your brain hurt for a couple days. $10 to monitor, again pester Dr. Williams for details.

Don Williams

March 28, 1939 – November 13, 2019

Our good friend and long standing Guitar Society stalwart Don Williams passed away last Wednesday. When I took over the newsletter from Don and Danna in April of 2015, I did a bio of the Dynamic Duo. Let’s see if I can transfer that story here for those of you that didn’t get a chance to know Don.

This photo was up in the ‘Teaser’ section on the first page. and was captioned ‘WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE?’

Don and Danna Williams, We Salute You

We begin this tale in 1958, when Danna’s sister took her along to work one day at her job at the Owl Inn. Don saw Danna, snatched her right out of the cradle (obviously) and that was that. Before you know it, the begat’n started; three daughters begat 7 grandkids that begat 2 grand babies. They’ll also begetting a set of twins this fall.

Danna did a short stint (27 years) with the state. Don had an auto upholstery/glass shop for starters, then like a good neighbor, wrapped up his work career in the insurance biz. More importantly, he started up a band with Carl Halladay, Stan Christiansen, and Wayne Land called The Chugwater Philharmonic in 1967. Don was on the five string banjo. Their first gig was during the rodeo, playing between acts at the Melodrama, two shows a day. Like most things CFD, they put in very long days on a voluntary basis. The band became a fixture at the Pancake Breakfast. Ask anyone that’s been around town awhile, they will tell you the two things they miss about the good old days are the Chuck Wagon Races and/or the Chugwater Philharmonic, playing for breakfasts. Pancakes just don’t taste as good these days.

Now to the WHOLE POINT of this third page. Don and Danna have been doing our newsletter for this entire century, this entire millennium even, plus a year or two of the last one. Not everyone had a computer back in the ’90’s, so they produced a printed version as well. (there was a photo of an old green printed newsletter here I can’t seem to recover; you’ll have to use your imagination) They have also served on the board of directors since Hector was a pup. They opened their home and have been the most gracious hosts of our group’s annual picnic more times than you can count on your hand. They have been members of Guitar Society longer than either of them can remember. True stalwarts of our guitar picking community, we wouldn’t be the group we are today if it weren’t for their generous support. Thanks Guys, You Rock!