29 December 2008

George Groesbeck, Jr: A Musical Tribute

George Groesbeck, Jr., of Butte, Montana, died earlier this month at the young age of 38. George was a talented guy at whatever he chose to do: Montana politics, flyfishing, golfing, music... I first met George as a candidate in an MS program at the college where I teach: he was notorius for taking an "out-of-the-box" approach to fulfilling assignments, such as performing an original song in lieu of a research paper. Not many students could pull this off, but George did (and he did it well).

Glenn Bodish of the Musueum of Fine Arts-Butte (MoFAB) hosted a musical tribute to George that was also a fundraiser for the two beautiful daughters he left behind. It was a great event: more than a dozen bands playing on three different stages for six hours, a potluck ranging from wild-game sausages to choice desserts, beer on tap from the Quarry Brew Pub, and a packed house with fans & friends from 8 to 80 years old. The spirit of Butte America really shines on such occasions.

The show opened with George Groesbeck, Sr, and his band. You could see where George, Jr., got his talent from. Each stage was decorated with tie-dye by Tim Mason, an amazing guitar picker and artist:

Kristy Dunks is also back in town (everyone, it seems, comes back home to Butte as soon as they can), and it was good to hear her clear high voice, talent for the banjo and other instruments, and original songs:

Ed Shaw, also known for reading his poetry at the Venus, picked out a Rolling Stones tune and a few other favorites:

Justin Ringsak picked up a great blues-style from his years in Chicago:

Chad Okrusch is always a crowd favorite with his tunes about the Big Hole River and the town of Opportunity:

And VertexVortex played its indescribable, head-tripping version of improvisational jazz:

I apologize to Sean Eamon and some of the other bands of whom I took pics but they did not turn out well--I neglected to grab a fresh battery for my camera and so the flash was quirky at best.

Thank you, George, for a life well-lived and for building a network of friends who will long remember you. A man cannot ask for more.


troutbirder said...

Oh my this post was hard to take..... The Christmas tree hunt was neat though. We had a similar outing with the grandson last year in a National Forest above Fort Collins. You can't beat the real thing! I burned a favorite hat a few years back in the BWCAW under exactly the same pressure!

Sean Eamon said...

That's all right Pat. It was a great event and PTC really represented.

You won an award at my blog last week.


Matt Hamon said...

I think it should be noted that.... Though she would never take credit for it, it was Camela Carstarphen who originally conceived of this tribute a did most of the organization.