David A. Grover

On Sunday, June 12, mostly gray-haired David Grover fans in a nearly packed Colonial Theater on South Street in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, got together one last time to, for nearly four hours, salute the troubadour and bathe joyously in his music as performed by some of his friends and listen to their stories about him. Words from them that kept on coming up were vulnerable, generous, creative, inspirational, loving. A Berkshire Eagle news story about his life and death is HERE. A brief obituary is HERE. A photo on the cover of Sunday’s program is HERE. Just below is the letter on page 2 of it. — MCM


Dear Friends,

My husband, David Grover, connected with many generations of music lovers. The folk songs he learned with his family in his earliest musical years, he continued to play his whole life. The list of his influences go on and on: he was fascinated with Elvis and, in fact, shared a birthday with him; the awakening of the Beatles; and the deep study of Brian Wilson’s exacting layers. He was deeply in love with “West Side Story” and equally enamored with “Man of La Mancha.” Leonard Cohen, Randy Newman, Chet Atkins, Stan Rogers, there was no genre he didn’t embrace and find the “sweet spots” in, as he would say.

Dave kept thousands of songs in his head. Songs from every era of history. Songs in many languages. Songs that brought back people’s happiest memories and songs that brought tears to your eyes because they were so perfect for the moment. This was one of my husband’s greatest gifts. We know he was incredibly talented and he was sincere and vulnerable. He never tried to be anyone other than himself. Often, though, when I think of all of the music I saw him perform over the years, one of the most amazing things I experienced was that he always managed to read the audience and somehow knew exactly where to go next. He knew somehow what they wanted in every room. Even when it took a hard left from the original set list.

This was also true of his songwriting. He wrote what he knew and understood about people; what he lived through and how he loved. He never shied away from deep pain or great joy. We were all Dave’s kids. He wanted to give us things we loved and the things we needed. He wanted to speak to the problems and the challenges we faced as a society and as individuals. But sometimes he just wanted to make us laugh and be joyous.

For me, today is about celebrating the music and the kinship he found with so many musicians here in the Berkshires and beyond; to take a journey through Dave’s musical history with his friends and fans. Dave played with everyone. He never judged anyone’s skill level. His only expectation was to sit and share music together because he knew it was a healing and comforting process. Who and what he was to each of us individually is between us and Dave, but the music is for all of us. I am grateful for all of those who have joined us today on stage and in the audience to share the song.


Kathy Jo Grover