Monday, July 26, 2010

Chuck McCabe

Singer songwriter Chuck McCabe lost a battle with cancer last Friday, and the North State music community lost a dear friend.

I met Chuck when he offered a weekend songwriting workshop through the Shasta County Arts Council several years ago. He listened to us -- all rank amateurs - and he shared stories and advice and he encouraged each and every student. Lunch time came around, and he worked right through, smiling, laughing and answering questions and sharing the insights that only come from years of experience on the front lines of the music industry.

Chuck listened to a rough version of a song I wrote, "Heart Shaped Stones," and made kind comments. "Do you have more?" he asked. When I nodded, he said, "Well, what are you waiting for? Get 'em recorded." His encouragement was a precious gift.

Chuck was a most gracious and generous performer. He was never impressed with his own talent, though everyone else was, and he always took the time to chat, ask about the local songwriting scene and to listen. When Chuck was on stage, I never saw ego -- only a talented entertainer who loved picking and singing and sharing the laughter. His performances were all about the song - funny, poignant and brilliantly crafted, and delivered with sincerity.

The last time I saw him at The Post Office, Chuck beamed like a proud Papa when local musician Richard Horner played his song "I'd Rather be in Redding."

Chuck left us a whole heap of great songs - available on CDBaby - and these last few days, I've found comfort listening to "My Prayer for You."

You can listen to it here: Chuck McCabe on Podsafe

Listen to clips and purchase Chuck's music at: CDBaby

There is a guestbook at Chuck's website for remembrances: Chuck McCabe

I'd Rather be in Redding was his gift to the North State - enjoy:


Michael said...

Hey Erin,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I'm sure you're still trying to come to terms about this as the rest of us are.

Everyone who was fortunate to have had Chuck cross their path (whether through his songs, his friendship, or both) instantly knew what an amazing gift he was to us.

I'm so glad he had the following he did up in Redding (as he did in many other places). But I know your neck of the woods was very special to him.

We've lost another one of the good ones. Best we can do is honor his memory by writing, playing...and being incredibly nice to each other. Just luck Chuck.

Erin said...

Amen, Michael. Chuck was a shining example of a generous artistic spirit. I'll be writing today - and being nice.
Peace to you - Erin.