Archive for September 6th, 2010

by JC

Walkin’ Jim Stoltz

Walkin' JIm Stoltz

Via Paul Richards:

Legendary American folksinger, backcountry traveler, and wilderness advocate James “Walkin’ Jim” Stoltz passed late Friday night, September 3, 2010, at St. Peter’s Hospital in Helena, Montana.

Stoltz, age 57, a veteran performer for 35 years, earned his nickname “Walkin’ Jim,” by hiking more than 27,000 miles through wild country in North America. Packing a guitar and penning extraordinary lyrics along the trails, Walkin’ Jim’s always-humble-yet-strikingly-powerful songs voiced enormous respect and appreciation for the Earth, its wild places, and the wild critters that he carefully studied and truly adored.

I met Walkin’ Jim almost 25 years ago, and had the honor of listening to his music, and following his adventures through the years. I worked with Jim on his Musicians United to Sustain the Environment (MUSE) nonprofit and website for many years, and found his selfless and boundless energy to be an inspiration in my work and music, and that carried me through many a rough time when the going seemed dark and unfathomable.

I am grateful that I was able to attend Walkin’ Jim’s last public concert in Montana, a benefit for the Last Best Place Wilderness Campaign on March 6th, 2010 at the Stensrud Building in Missoula. The gravel in his voice that night was a portentous reminder of the fleeting moment we all experience upon this planet. The purity of his spirit and being serves as a reminder to us all that we can rise above the petty nonsense that passes for politics, and ground ourselves in the land from which we all arose, and to which we all shall pass.

Buffalo Spirit
“Buffalo Spirit” by Walkin’ Jim Stoltz

May the Buffalo Spirit carry you far on your journeys–forever wild and free, my friend.

———–

“Forever Wild”
By Walkin’ Jim Stoltz

There’s a magic in the air, that I feel when I am there,
It plays straight to my heart, and lays it all a’bare,
It’s in the cry of the eagle and the deer so meek and mild,
It’s in the rise of a mountain, let it stay Forever Wild.

Forever wild, Forever Wild
Let it stay, Forever Wild.

It’s in all that is not tame, and some that can’t be named,
It’s in the fog down in the valley, and the scent of summer rain,
It’s in the scream of a lion when she’s soundin’ like a child,
It’s in the song of a river, let it stay Forever Wild.

Forever wild, Forever Wild
Let it stay, Forever Wild.

Now the Earth it holds the key to all that shall be free,
It’s in the peace of the desert and the wisdom of the trees,
It’s in the grace of a swan’s wing and the grizzly when she’s riled
It’s in all the love I bear it, let it stay Forever Wild.

Forever wild, Forever Wild
Let it stay, Forever Wild.

There are those of my own kind, they’re runnin’ fast, but goin’ blind
And the only thing they worship, is their God, the dollar sign
We must fight* them with our Spirit, with our might, and with our guile
We must show them that the answer: It must be Forever Wild.

Forever wild, Forever Wild
Let it stay, Forever Wild.

Forever wild, Forever Wild
Let it stay, Forever Wild.

By Walkin’ Jim Stoltz on Wild Wind Records
©1986 by Walkin’ Jim Stoltz

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