Sunday, January 19, 2014

Songs from Home: "Midget's" by Chuck Reinhart

Chuck Reinhart
(at Poetry Scores costume review party, in soldier garb)
Three Fried Men is recording songs by St. Louis songwriters that have been stuck in my head for half of my life. First we did "Had to End Sometime" by the late Bob Reuter. Next up: "Midget's" by Chuck Reinhart.

I know the song from the Guitar Circle, a sort of hootenanny in the round (without the jamming) that flourished in St. Louis in the late '90s and early oughts, centered around Michael Friedman and Roy Kasten. This song really gets under my skin. I actually wept at one Guitar Circle over the line "Is there any reason to update what your heart holds dear?" which strikes me as the perfectly innocent question to ask about growing up and older.

We are posting this performance with Chuck's permission. I very hesitantly asked him if he wanted to tell any of the actual stories behind the song, assuming there are any. I assume there are because the song sounds so much like my own life. I almost don't want to know what Chuck's actual stories are, though, for fear that learning more about the song would diminish the spell it casts on me.

Chuck is not much of an e-mailer, doesn't seem to have a social media presence. I'm not waiting for his answer about the stories behind the song - it could be a long wait - though I will add his story here if I get anything.

I don't know much about the composer. Chuck and I have been at many Guitar Circles together, but that was all about listening to songs. He acted (extremely effectively) in a Poetry Scores movie, Go South for Animal Index, but those shoots were all hectic business. Kind of the same way I feel about "Midget's," Chuck has a quiet mystery about him I've liked keeping intact. He strikes me as the kind of square-jawed, taciturn, decent, sincere man who belongs in an earlier era of cinema. Though a gal pal gave him a ride to the Go South premiere and found him very pleasantly forthcoming.

I think this comment from Chuck sets his tone. I'd emailed him our recording of "Midget's" to ask for his permission to post it for free sharing, and he responded, "Thanks for taking time out of your one and only life to give my song your attention."
-- Chris King



(Chuck Reinhart)

Performed by Three Fried Men
Nick Barbieri: vocals, drums, guitar, keyboard
Mark Buckheit: lap steel, guitar
David Melson: bass, guitars, organ

Produced by Chris King for Confluence City
Recorded by Nick Barbieri and David Melson in St. Louis, MO
Mixed by Meghan Gohil at Hollywood Recording Studio in Los Angeles, CA
Mastered by Elijah "LIJ" Shaw at the Toy Box in East Nashville, TN

(c) Chuck Reinhart

Feel free to download this performance from our Box account and freely share or post it with credit. The composition belongs to Chuck Reinhart. We could probably find him for you.


You can hear Chuck Reinhart's own performance of "Midget's" in Confluence City's Bootblogging series.


Previously on Songs from Home

"Had to End Sometime" by Bob Reuter

Chuck Reinhart (center)
as a Los Alamos sentinel at the zombie barber shave
(featuring Thom Fletcher and Joyce Pillow);
location still from the Poetry Scores movie
Go South for Animal Index