I'd like to tell you about a friend of mine, Michael. Michael and I go back quite a few years - though it seems impossible that so many have passed.
I met Michael in 86? or 87? along with his friends Joe and Ken. The 4 of us jammed around a bit and after a few sessions thought it'd be cool to start a band - so we did.
I always think of Michael as the "quiet one". He talks softly, he sings softly and has a very precise sense of humor. When we would be performing he never said much but when he did it would just knock you over - either with laughter or sheer profundity. (Unlike myself who will often say a hundred things just to get to that one perfect line.)
He is the same with his music - the songs he chooses to perform are always poignant and well-crafted. I've been performing one of his songs for the last 15+ years and to many of my fans it is "one of the most beautiful songs I never wrote." My favorite story is about a jig he composed several years ago and was surprised one day to hear another band performing his jig and claiming it to be a traditional Celtic tune. As a composer you know you've written a good jig when other musicians think it's hundreds of years old... and from Ireland.
Over the years the line up has changed a little and we've been on indefinite hiatus due to geographical differences but whenever we get together we always have a great time...making friends, making fans, making music and mostly enjoying the 'feck' out of ourselves. And, despite those geographic hindrances we have always found time to get together for reunion shows or more often a wild weekend of jamming and drinking at Michael's when he lived in Colorado. My song, "Across The Canyon" was written in (and inspired by) his front yard.
Michael's passion for music and for life always made everything we did together that much more real. I love his smile - it's infectious.
For the last 2 days I've been reading all the comments left on his Facebook page made by friends, many of them mutual, and remembering all the goodness and joy and laughter and music that surrounded Michael. At least, I try to. Sometimes the tears just get too much in the way.
Michael Matheny lived until 12:20PM June 10, 2012