There are plenty of proper ways to listen to a Buddy Tabor song.
For those unadventurous homebodies who still crave a dash of excitement, one trip to the store will bring any of several of Tabor's recordings into the comfort of their own cabin, cottage or bungalow. And those who prefer not to venture even that far from the computer chair can click their way to Tabor MP3 paradise.
In fact, the artist himself encourages the kind of deep listening that lends itself to more sedentary behaviors; for many fans his lyrical journeys and relaxed melodies are fitting companions to activities such as staring out the window and enjoying the view.
"My songs need to be listened to. They're not just dancing songs," Tabor said.
If you're a dancer, don't worry. Buddy also believes in free choice and won't be offended if you choose to enjoy his music by getting down and having a boogie, as long as you still listen to the words.
But those who enjoy live music at the bar will have to do it sans Buddy. For a musician of any kind, there may be nothing worse than to devote hours, weeks or even years to a piece only to have all that hard work drowned out by the sound of pub clatter. This is exactly why you won't find Buddy Tabor at a bar, either as a listener or a performer.
"I'd have to be paid at least $5,000 an hour," he said, "and even then I'd have doubts about showing up."
However, you can find him performing live at various other venues. He is scheduled to play at Resurrection Lutheran Church this Saturday, Aug. 23, at 7:30 p.m. This performance also celebrates Tabor's latest CD release, a boxed-set anthology comprised of the best songs he's written in the last 25 years.
The first time he heard Bob Dylan's music at age 17, Tabor was inspired to study it and was subsequently moved to write his own music. He also reveres Hank Williams and John Prine, though he sees them more as vehicles of inspiration rather than direct influences on his writing style.
"I'm not on the same level as these guys," he says.
However, many fans and admirers would beg to differ.
"Someone once told me I'm better than Dylan. I said, 'Trust me, I've been studying Dylan forever and his and my name should never be used in the same sentence.'"
Tabor has also made his way to Juneau's Wikipedia entry as one of the capital city's token musicians.
"I don't know who put me in there, but it wasn't me. I'm a legend, what can I tell you!" Tabor jokes, though he has been in Alaska for more than 40 years and his name has certainly spread to every corner of the state and beyond.
His music has even been featured on National Public Radio and also has received airplay on many mainstream radio stations throughout the U.S. and Canada.
Fans of Buddy's who wish to thank him for treating their eardrums all these years now have a good opportunity. A recent back injury has been keeping Tabor off of his feet lately, so all profits from album sales will be put toward his new accumulation of medical bills.
The entire population of Juneau is invited to come hear a mixture of old and new songs this Saturday, where he will also be joined by various friends on stage, including John Hartle, Betsy Simms and other musicians. Anyone who may be willing to add him as a dependent on their insurance policy is especially welcome.
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