Wednesday, April 23, 2008

'til we meet on the other side -G'bye, Bob Childers

Until I went to the Woody Guthrie Free Folk Festival, I knew nothing of Bob Childers or his music. I was more than saddened to hear yesterday of his passing; I felt like I'd lost a friend.

Like so many others who fell under his spell, once you dig Bob it's a forever thing. His music is honest, Red Dirt Poetry. Tinged with sadness, exuding hope, singing about life the way people live it. Call it roots, red dirt country, folk, americana, rainbow rock or what have you, Bob's songs would always hit you in the deep down spot where your soul was thirsty. Listening to his music makes you feel a little more alive, even in the wake of sadness like today.

But the music was only part of the magic of Bob, or mostly a reflection of it. He was just a damn good guy. Kind, gentle, honest, self-effacing, quick with a smile and ready to laugh, often at himself. His genuine thankfulness for those who showed appreciation for his art was touching. Any time with Bob was memorable. Woodyfest will not be the same without seeing the bleary-eyed, but reliable, Bob squinting against the Oklahoma sun at Mary Jo's Pancake Breakfast (see above photo).

Travel safely, Brother Bob. Say hi Woody for me. See you on the other side.

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