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Juneau singer, songwriter and musician Guy “Buddy” Tabor died five years ago, but this year, Alaska Folk Festival goers will be able to hear his original songs once again.
Whitehorse musician to sing in honor of friend Buddy Tabor 032917 AE 1 Capital City Weekly Juneau singer, songwriter and musician Guy “Buddy” Tabor died five years ago, but this year, Alaska Folk Festival goers will be able to hear his original songs once again.
Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Story last updated at 3/28/2017 - 7:07 pm

Whitehorse musician to sing in honor of friend Buddy Tabor

Juneau singer, songwriter and musician Guy “Buddy” Tabor died five years ago, but this year, Alaska Folk Festival goers will be able to hear his original songs once again.

Ray Tucker, a Whitehorse musician, will be playing music by and for Tabor.

“He was a good buddy, a good friend, and he’s sorely missed,” Tucker said.

Tabor was a very talented, and well-known, Southeast musician. He wrote his own songs, performed in Folk Fest, and released several CDs. The write-up on the site where those CDs are sold quotes musician Townes Van Zandt as saying “Buddy Tabor is a player and a poet.”

“His songwriting is timeless poetry blossoming from true artistry and integrity. His songs tell stories, paint pictures, take you on journeys and often inspire laughter or tears — sometimes both. This man is the real deal,” the CD write-up continues.

Tucker and Tabor got to know each other when Tabor came up to Whitehorse for the Folk Society of Whitehorse’s Yukon Alaska International Folk Festival, scheduled both in Skagway and Whitehorse. The festival usually happens soon after Folk Fest.

Tabor had a lot of stories, Tucker said, adding “he certainly had insight into the way the world works.”

Because Tabor tackled serious topics in his music and was outspoken politically, some people thought he was negative, Tucker said.

“For people who didn’t really get to know him, he could seem like a little bit of a pain in the neck, but he had a reason to complain because there’s lots to complain about in the world — but he also really saw the good in people and the good in the world,” Tucker said.

Many of Tabor’s messages, Tucker said, were hopeful, even if inspired by a topic that was not.

Some of his favorite Buddy Tabor songs are “Wait for Me,” “Motel Lonely,” “Abandoned Cars & Broken Hearts,” and “Beat-up Old Truck.”

“He really had a way with metaphors,” Tucker said. “He was quite a poet, actually.”

He then quoted a line from “Motel Lonely”: “We all rub shoulders at the checkout desk.”

Tabor also joked about being a “crummy” guitar player, Tucker said, but was far from it.

“I could go on all night talking about how brilliant Buddy was with his lyrics,” he said, mentioning Tabor’s 3-CD anthology, available on www.cdbaby.com. “There’s just so much really good stuff. There are so many songs that are just brilliant.”

The set will just be Tucker and his guitar. He performs 8:45 p.m. Wednesday, April 5.

“Fortunately, I have really good material with Buddy Tabor songs,” he said. He’ll also be singing one he wrote about Tabor the day after he died.

“I don’t generally have a lot to say, but when I do, I try to write it down,” Tucker said. “When Buddy died, I had something to say.”