Posted by: suek2001 | January 19, 2013

The Last Hurrah?

John Stewart wrote a lot of songs about life, death and everything in between…I’d like to think that my blog has a bit of that as well…

…to be fair, there are deeper, more knowledgeable fans of John Stewart that may write better blogs about him on this day but I will just write my honest feelings about a man who became the soundtrack of some important years in my life…

About 12 years ago, I was at a crossroads in my life…I had just finished college..and was still working the same part-time job that I had for the past seven years or so….I was still living in the rooming house I had called home for years….

I realized I had a desire in my heart to move to Duluth… had always been there but that desire soon overtook every thought I had….I began taking day trips to Duluth via Greyhound..the four hour ride was something of a challenge for it was my own weird way of seeking my own identity…and of course, I took music…

My John Stewart collection was just starting to blossom, thanks to my friends and fellow fans…and so I listened to those early albums…..and found that desire for a better life, a better world and that hunger for dreams was a theme in John’s music….

Within a year, I had moved to Duluth…and that’s when I first heard the incredible album “Lonesome PIcker Rides Again”….I was so full of hope then..dreams too…and hearing “Road Shines Bright” was a revelation..For years, it was an anthem to me..a seeker’s anthem…

Years would go by and on another road trip to see the Kingston Trio, I introduced my Aunt to John Stewart…She was a fan of horses and loved John’s use of horses as history and as imagery…I still see us…criss-crossing the farmlands of Western Minnesota listening to “Earth Rider” on her killer car stereo…and knowing the music was making a difference for her and for me…

John Stewart died five years ago today..I never met him personally and never told him what his music meant for me but I felt his spirit last year….In August, I went to the Kingston Trio Fantasy Camp…I have written extensively about that in other blogs so I won’t say much about that here…John Stewart came up with the idea of the Camp and although I lack a lot of musical skills, I don’t lack musical passion….and that week gave me a chance to live my passion…

So, sometimes we wonder if the impact we have on people is really much of anything…I’m sure John looked at the lack of Chart success and wondered if all he would be recalled for was “Daydream Believer” and his tenure with the Kingston Trio….I can tell you that five years later, his music still matters to us and is still played and experimented with on the web….

So, five years ago his passing wasn’t his last hurrah, it was the start of his road shining bright..We miss him down here but a lot of us are grateful for sharing his gift with us…

Some videos and songs you should know:

(Last Hurrah)

(You Can’t Go Back To Kansas)

(Jim Laney doing John Stewart’s “Jasmine” at Kingston Trio Fantasy Camp)

(Fred Grittnerr.John August Lee doing a great tribute song for John Stewart called “Where The River Meets the Sea”)



  1. Thanks Sue. Very nicely done.

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