≈ Songster ≈ Busker ≈ Balladeer ≈


J. Michael Combs by Sam Enriquez

I sing songs and play tunes with Heart, con Corazon. The old new Mexican marchas, cutilios, cuadrillas chotises y polkas; old Texas Blues, Quebecois Reels & Jigs, Gospel & Honky-Tonk, Labor & Union Songs, Folk and Protest songs, a song of the Sea, an Appalachian murder ballad or a 500-year-old maiden’s lament — my repertoire is a Mile Wide and an inch deep. The inch-wide, mile-deep repertoire can’t hold me, though i respect those who go that route.

I was a wood-cutter, log-faller, pole-peeler, mill hand, published author, migrant fruit picker, tree planter, construction laborer, mechanic’s helper, taxicab driver, daycare worker, a ditch-digger, substitute teacher from pre-school to college, hitch-hiker, student of two-legged people and their ways, baker, sheepherder, weatherizer, dish-washer, landscaper,panned for gold, been a farm hand, ranch hand,  personal attendant, both an actor and an extra in the movies, truck driver, fugitive, rock-breaker, been a cane-cutter, harvested beans, carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, grapefruit, apples and oranges, bucked hay, plowed and skidded with horses and mules, built log cabins and made adobe bricks — plumbed, wired, framed, poured concrete & plastered. Ridden bulls and horses, castrated, dug post holes, butchered turkeys and hogs, goats, snakes, lizards, bugs & calves — mostly with the owner’s permission.

I’m a student of history, a believer in the Spirit of the Universe, a grandpa, a Dreamer, and a Local. I’m a dried-up old drunkard, a veteran draft-dodger, back-to-the-land, hope-to-God-to-die, a Proud, Born-Again Hippie.  I’ve done lots of things I’m not proud of, but I’ve made amends the best I can. I believe we’re all here on assignment, to re-weave the Sacred Web of Life. Since we agreed to come here to do this work, it doesn’t become us to kick and complain. Happiness in itself is an unworthy goal, but rather a by-product of a life dedicated to Love & Service. We need to each become Warriors of Love and Justice.

May these old songs and tunes strengthen your heart; may your family be mended, may you never eat food grown by strangers, and from that center of Love may you venture forth each day to offer your own peculiar gift to those you find!

15 thoughts on “≈ Songster ≈ Busker ≈ Balladeer ≈

  1. Wow Michael, Great job. Leaping lizards school loves when you come to school to play. The kids get so excited with all the different music and instruments you play. They can t sit still with all the dance and movement. Its always a joyous time. Thank you for all you do for the children in our lives. Keep on creating and always be who you are. Besos from all your Lizard friends.

  2. Michael:
    You are one of the most talented musicians I have ever known throughout my entire life in music. Keep up your inspiring and happy work.

  3. The CD is great : especially the songs you wrote yourself ! Keep on keepin’ on! Traditional music lives in only one way: present performances by people, for people, of people. May it not perish from the earth!

  4. Finally, after endless pages of “j. michael combs attorney-at -law “garbage, I found you here. Great write up! ( I could add a paragraph or two of first hand observation as well. You left out “seller of Christmas trees in Greenwich Village ” ). I can’t wait to hear your CD and let your warm sunshine- soaked soul pour into my ears. All the best to you!

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