Saturday, January 2, 2010

In Memoriam: Vic Heyman/Sean LaRoche

Rachel Bissex: Just Like That


Denice Franke: Kindred Skin

[purchase] (on her Comfort CD)

I am weary of death - it has been a difficult year (major understatement)... and, in addition to my mother's passing, there have been a handful of others whose absence has shaken me mightily...

Two of those, while not musicians, were "movers and shakers" on the folk and acoustic music scene... and I was honored to call both of them friend - after I wrote, in my Eddy Arnold In Memoriam post last December 30, 2008, of my visit with Vic Heyman at his hospice bedside, Vic passed a week later... on January 6, 2009. His wife Reba has come back to South Florida for the winter, as usual, but it's still quite a shock to see her without him - a variety of articles have been compiled about Vic and, listening to Rachel's song about the couple, you'll get an inkling of how loved and respected he was...

Last April, Denice Franke performed in the UU church concert series I present - she's based in Texas and, having just gotten word that her former agent/forever friend Sean LaRoche was seriously ill in the Ocala area, she visited with him a few days before making it to South Florida. Soon after, he was admitted into a hospice program and passed away July 15 (4 days before my mom) - Denice sang and dedicated Kindred Skin to Sean at our concert, and she told me later that she had written it for him. He was a raucous, fun-loving, chain-smoking, heavy-drinking man whose spirit was as gentle as his voice was loud - he knew more about the music business than most people had forgotten, but the knowledge was always shared jovially, not pompously. He and I participated in a booking agent's panel together once, e-mailed regularly, talked on the phone sporadically and, one of his last work accomplishments was ensuring that John Gorka, who he represented, would play my series (the show will be next month... Saturday, February 13, 2010)...

These "folk angels" will be much missed - however, we can be comforted... knowing they are even now enjoying that great Song Circle in the Sky!

P.S. I had never heard of Scotland Barr before... but I feel as if I know him now after reading this moving piece by Lisa Lepine, who also managed Dave Carter and Tracy Grammer - as soon as I send this, I will listen to these songs intently... and then make a donation to the Finish the Album Fund, in memory of Vic and Sean (paying it forward... :-)

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