Producers of two other festivals came to the Kerrville Folk Festival to help pay tribute to the late singer/songwriter/Zen Cowboy Chuck Pyle, who passed away on Nov. 6, 2015, near his home in Colorado. This country-folk singer-songwriter and master fingerstyle guitarist had songs recorded first by Jerry Jeff Walker in the 1970s (Jaded Lover), and through the years by John Denver, Chris LeDoux, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Michael Martin Murphy, and Suzy Bogguss.
Keegan Pyle, Chuck’s son, reminiscenced about his dad stating he was just going to enjoy his music and not try to be a major star. Keegan said he was totally stunned by that statement, because in his eyes, and the eyes of half the music world, Chuck Pyle was a star.
For this tribute, organizer Butch Morgan gathered 13 of Chuck’s fellow musicians. Some sang one song, some sang two. Some sang Chuck’s songs, some songs that reminded them of Chuck. This list is of the performers and the names of the songs they sang.
- Butch Morgan — A specific original about Chuck Pyle
- Michael Hearne — Producer of the annual Big Barn Dance in Taos, N.M. “Angels’ Share,” and “Endless Sky”
- Ken Gaines — “Take Your Favors”
- Daniel Boling – “Other Side of the Hill”
- Owen Temple — “Days” and “Jaded Lover”
- Karen Mal — (Unknown title of her song)
- Larry Joe Taylor — Producer of the annual Larry Joe Taylor Texas Music Festival and others. “Down On The Coast Tonight” and “Hold On”
- Mike Williams — an instrumental on his 12-string guitar
- The Whipples — “Chickadee”
- Kristin DeWitt – “Affected by the Moon”
- Mary and Bill Muse — “Step By Step”
- Walt Wilkins — “Blanco River Meditation No. 2” and a Kent Finlay song that Chuck recorded “I’m Up and On My Way.”
- Susan Gibson — “A Star Lighting Up The Universe”
Some of these titles may be a bit off, but are nearly right if they aren’t exactly right.
Susan Gibson, along with all the artists who got back on stage, led the standing crowd in the finale song, “Keeping Time By The River.”
They missed performing one of this writer’s very favorites — “Here Comes The Water” taken from the radio dispatch of a lawman who had been trying to save lives in a Colorado canyon flash flood.
Another of Chuck Pyle’s favorite activities on the road was noticing bumper stickers. Butch Morgan mentioned several, including the mantra “Be sure to take the high road — It’s the road less traveled.’