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“Moondog” Mike Judge's sound advice 

click to enlarge LISA DENOTTER
  • Lisa Denotter
Originally from Cleveland, “Moondog” Mike Judge was a career computer programmer when he decided to leave a field he had no passion for and start a musical instrument store here in Colorado Springs. Since its 2012 opening, Moondog Music Shop has enabled him to become part of the local culture, connecting with individuals and community organizations through music. He describes his shop as a “kind” business, donating instruments, cash and time to local charities.

Essential Saturday night listening: Assuming this isn’t a quiet Saturday night, Eddie Harris & Les McCann’s Swiss Movement, which is probably my favorite album of all time. Sticking with that psychedelic jazz/funk/blues theme, Karl Denson, John Scofield, Greyboy Allstars, Galactic, Medeski Martin & Wood and Lettuce. Also Parliament-Funkadelic; at 2 a.m., one must listen to “Maggot Brain.”

Essential Sunday morning listening: Sunday morning tends to be a little mellower, with rootsy, grassy stuff: Doc Watson (Doc & Dawg is an incredible album), Railroad Earth, Tony Furtado, Lightnin’ Hopkins. Probably the single greatest concert I ever saw (that I can remember) was Doc Watson and David Grisman touring on the Doc & Dawg album.

First record I bought with my own money: I bought my friend Kiss’ Destroyer for his birthday for $5. We were probably 8 or 9. The Kiss phase ran its course by the time I was 12. Apparently, for some, it hasn’t yet.

“Wish I’d written that” song: “Lily, Rosemary, and the Jack of Hearts” by Dylan. If I could write a 15-verse song that somehow kept you captivated throughout, I could write anything! In the meantime, I’ll work on writing five three-verse songs.

“Wish I could unhear that” song: A lot of ’80s stuff, but nothing’s worse than “Mickey” by Toni Basil. Good god, I feel bad for even bringing it up, because someone out there will now have it stuck in their head. On the other hand, maybe they like it? Probably not. Sorry.

My latest online discovery: Bill Withers’ BBC concert from 1973. He’s full of soul and funk and playing an acoustic guitar! Also, I love some of the suggestions that come up in the side bar on YouTube when you’re looking for something else. A recent one was old-time bluesman Scrapper Blackwell doing “Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out.” The guitar is a little out of tune. The record sounds warped. Perfection! Check ‘em out.

Artist more people should know about: I’m probably out of touch with some of the national up-and-comers, but a guy who’s been around for a little while and deserves more recognition is Tony Furtado. He’s an amazing slide and fingerstyle guitarist, banjo player, singer and songwriter of roots, folk and bluegrass music. He comes around here once in awhile, so he’s accessible. Locally, check out bands fronted by Jeremy Vasquez and Charlie Milo. Both deserve more recognition.

Guilty pleasure: The good old Grateful Dead. It’s almost like their intention sometimes exceeded their ability, but they wrote great songs and always put a smile on my face.

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