(I am kind of 'down in the dumps today...'getcha later...lovejudy)

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I loved San Franciso more than any city I was ever in on the road. It's got everything. It's got atmosphere.. even when it isn't nighttime you still feel like you're in a movie. It's got fog. It's got fog horns. It's got the Golden Gate Bridge, sometimes covered in fog with just the city shining through. It is so incredibly beautiful. It is the perfect temperature for me at all times. Cool, cold...sometimes warm...but never too hot. I LOVE IT and I really loved the San Francisco nightclub, BISCUITS & BLUES. And I loved SWEETWATER in Mill Valley. Among the best stage experiences I ever had. The audiences were as hip as the cities.


At Sweetwater, Bonnie Raiit and Maria Muldaur got up on stage with me and sang "The Salvation Army Song". What an incredible thrill!! In San Francisco, at Biscuits & Blues, Diana Pray, coloratura, and Heidi Waterman, mezzo-soprano (both of the San Francisco Opera) came up on stage and joined me on "The Salvation Army Song"...another thrill. We sold out all our shows in the Bay Area. What a lot of fun it was. We wish you all had been there. xxjudy


Bonnie's note to Judy's publicist, Mindy, following the Sweetwater show 7/25/05:

"Judy is a monster. I've wanted to see her ALL my life!! She is my favorite..there is NO ONE BETTER" - Bonnie Raitt 7/24/05


Maria's note about Judy's Sweetwater appearance:

"Alternating between a wickedly droll and whimsical wit, and the ability to express soul-searing pathos, Judy was utterly captivating and had EVERYONE entranced. She can tickle your funny bone one minute and rip your heart out the next. I sat in the audience with my mouth open, but I was taking notes the WHOLE evening"--Maria Muldaur 7/26/05


FEB 4th-2005

Tune in SUNDAY Feb 6 FOR THE SIRIUS RADIO show DAVE MARSH. Judy will be his guest (see press page)- we would listen ourselves but we don't have Sirius radio yet

Hi everybody- Judy here. We just worked on updating our web site with all the information about the records that are now available. It's not exactly finished. There are style-warts that will be fixed. OK... So I spelled "piquant wrong. .I somehow mixed it up with pecan... SO WHAT!!

Dec 4, 2004,

Just released our CD. Thank you wonderful wonderful fans for making "She Sang California such a hit. It's colder that BILLY BLUE HELL here in SOCAL. Rainy, windy, like Chicago with palm tress. Saw three deer crossing our street yesterday. They were all hunched over and coughing. everybody's sick. Now as I'm writing this, outside the window I hear a crow sneezing.

May 9, 2002

Hmmmm. Let's see. Not a very good correspondent, am I? Well, I'm gonna change all that and write new stuff every minute of the day and night. I will be contributing to this so much it'll make my head spin.

OK. Since I haven't written anything for about a year, I'll tell you what's happening now:

We still didn't get a new dog, but Craig got a new mouse.
We're working on a new CD, and just finished a song we really really like: The Ballad of Seymour Cray:
Seymour Cray was a famous guy , a genius who is from Chippewa Falls, Wis. (where I'm from) He was the inventor of the super-computer...We wrote this song which is a very jaunty and interesting little song about his life and death. THEN, at the beginning of this year the History of Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin was published, and there's Seymour Cray, and there am I! (it is no mystery that equal time in the history was given to a Leonardo DeCaprio look-alike, who is way cuter than either Seymour Cray or me.)

No rain this year in SoCal. When you go outside it's like walking on popcorn. Drives me nuts. Next year is supposed to be an El Nino year.Thank God.
I hope we are nearly sweptaway by rain and wind and thunder and lightning.

Oh yeah, In the month of September we're going to play in Hollywood, weekends ( actually, thursdays, fridays and saturdays )at the Hudson Theatre . We can hardly wait...we'll have a lot of new material, a lot of the stuff will be on this latest CD. This CD will have a few spoken word things, you know, whatever that is that I do. Whatchacallit.

Last year Warner Brothers, United Kingdom re-released my first two Elektra albums. Then, Dave Guard and the Whiskeyhill Singers was also re-released, but by Collector's Choice in the States. So, I've got some product out there.., AND, it's available from ME!!....check out the order page.

NOW <ALL WE NEED IS A NEW TEESHIRT> Hmmmmm.Say no more, one's on the way

Photo Credit: Henry Diltz.


When I was about 9 and 10 and 11 and 12, I used to go fishing with my dad and my uncle Charlie Henske. Because there wasn't a boy in the family, I got to do all the boy things. It was really fun. My Uncle Charlie was a big jock who belonged to the Catholic teaching order, the Christian Brothers, and who taught football in Indiana at the University of Notre Dame during the school year.

Every summer Charlie would come and stay with us in Chippewa Falls for 6 weeks. My mother dreaded the time he spent at our house because Uncle Charlie was so rough. He was loud and big and sloppy and had bad table manners. He was too guy-like for her. She said, "I'm just going to tell him this summer that we're not going to pick up after him, and he's not going to use the fork he's been putting into his mouth to help himself to everything.on the table ."

My Dad didn't listen to her. He loved Charlie. He loved it when there were two Henske men in the house instead of just one man with the three mother, little old Margaret and me.

Margaret was our cook and house-keeper. Margaret loved Charlie too, because he was generous with compliments on her cooking . He'd grab her by the arms and look down into her face and say, "Is this the wonderful lady who made those prune rolls this morning? The greatest cook in the world?" Margaret would blush and shake her head , pleased as could be.

One August when Charlie was visiting, he and my dad cooked up a fishing trip to the Hayward Flowage. The Hayward Flowage was a legendary body of fresh water where the big ones were, the big ones being the huge sabre toothed freshwater fightin' fish, the Muskellunge, otherwise known as "Muskie", tiger- shark of the lakes.

Our neighbor, Mr. Bertrand, an accomplished all-around-sportsman who every November had a heart-shot deer hanging by its heels in his vestibule, had gone to the Hayward Flowage many times and had caught enormous muskies. He brought them back to be admired before they were eaten.

He laid his muskies out on a narrow, painted, dark green bench on his front porch.The fish were all more than four feet long, their enormous golden shining eyes were as big as quarters, their gaping maws were open and lined with rows and rows of white teeth as pointed and sparkling in the bony jaws as bright new pins or darning needles.

Viewers whistled softly, or said "Oh!."

About a half hour before we were to leave for the Hayward Flowage, my dad said to my mother, "Dorothy, where's my gun?" "It's down in the basement with your duck-hunting equipment." she said. "No,no no. I don't mean my shotgun, I mean that revolver I got in New Guinea when I was in the Army."

"What do you want with that old thing?" Mother sounded worried... "Those muskies thrash around if you put 'em in the boat when the're still alive" he said, "I talked to Bertrand and he said you're supposed to shoot them in the head before you put 'em in the boat... They're too dangerous otherwise."

I had actual jobs on the boat. I was the motor runner and steerer and the anchor-man, as it were. The old wooden boat we rented at the Hayward Flowage had a small Evinrude motor and an anchor that was made out of a big coffee can filled with concrete. It must have weighed forty lbs. Whenever anybody yelled "Judy, throw in the anchor." I stopped the motor and walked tippily around the other two to the bow of the boat and threw in the anchor. On this particular trip I wasn't fishing with a casting rod. it would be too time consuming for those two professionals, to get my backlashes out. No, instead I was deligated to my hand line which was just some old, moldy leftover line wrapped around and around a destroyed chair-leg . There was a lead sinker the size of a golfball a foot above the end of the line ...and the great thing was that it hardly ever got caught on anything

I had had some luck with that rig. It was completely right for my inactive fishing style. You could put a worm on the hook, let the line out about 300 feet until it was on the bottom and leave it there for two hours. You could even "trawl" with it. Which was just leaving it out all the time. As you motored around the lake, you just left it out, bumping along the bottom. Then, at the end of the day, when you wound it up, more often than not there was a small, dead, rigor-mortised walleye on. Little walleyes didn't put up much of a fight. Instead, they seemed to die immediately of a heart attack as soon as they were hooked.

We were out on the water by 6AM and had been there all day. By 4 PM there had been no nibbles, no nothing. How disappointing! In all fairness, it must be said that all the time we had been out had not been devoted to fishing.

Margaret had packed us a big, complicated lunch. Baked ham, cold fried chicken, home made Parker-House rolls, potato salad, celery and olives, hard=boiled eggs, and for dessert, chocolate cake. There was a thermos of hot coffee, a thermos of cold lemonade. (a jar of cream for the coffee, a jar of sugar too.) Plates. cups, knives, forks, spoons and napkins. In fact, there was not a lot of room left in the boat by the time we got the lunch and the picnic hamper which was big enough to carry a ten year old child , and my dad's first-aid kit.

Dad's first-aid kit was a medium sized suitcase which included everything but a stainless steel table on which to perform surgery ( the 65 year old 350 lb. near-sighted anesthetist, Wanda Wucherpfennig, sadly , had to be left behind) Additionally, there were the four big tackle boxes. Why so many big tackle boxes? Because there was room in each for only three or four muskie plugs of which my dad was a reverent collector. The plugs were all about a foot long bearing six or seven shiny three tined grappling hooks, some of the plugs were jointed, they were all wildly imaginative approximations of what anybody thought would entice the muskie into striking. They were all so toy like, like beautiful , dangerous dolls for men. Some with sparkling green and yellow glass eyes, shining egg-yolk yellow, green , peacock blue, sky blue, white and grey-mottled skins, not one but several of them with chicken feathers sticking out, some with backs broken and jointed in three places, one shining purple black one, with a paint job like oil on water, the zZombie Death Dancer , with long festoons of black rawhide sprouting out of its head, and huge staring hand-painted white eyes... two large mouthed landing nets, the big galvanized milk-bucket of shiners, (just in case the tackle boxes were lost overboard in a storm,) four big rods and reels, the portable bullhorn which you would use in case you were sinking, And of course, the gun, loaded, but lying buckled up in its stiff orange leather holster with a big ammo belt.

There it all was in the boat which had been taken back to shore twice. Once, to retreive the rods, which had inadvertently been left behind on the dock and once after lunch for a rest-room stop. And there we were in the boat, just sitting around waiting for a muskie to discover us.

When the disaster happened, Charlie was fishing off points while I ran the motor and steered and threw in the anchor and my dad rowed and worked on his backlashses. We were about 50 feet from shore . Charlie was working a little bay that was choked with lily pads. None of the baits were weedless and Charlie had caught his in the lily pads close to shore. He had been standing up, yanking the rod this way and that for about ten minutes.Finally it came loose and he started slowly cranking the bait toward the boat.

Then, it happened. As he cranked the bait , as he got it only a foot from the boat , a huge muskie seized it. As Charlie shouted, my dad dropped his rod and reel and wrongly wrongly wrongly took the big landing net and hauled the amazed muskie into the boat. It all happened in two seconds. We were, all four of us, equally surprised.

Uh oh. . It was not a tired, half-dead muskie that had been fighting for its life on the line for an hour. No, this was a surprised, big, dangerous, wild animal the size of a porch bench and it was hanging on to its ass NOW.

It landed with a tremendous crash on top of the open tackle boxes and casting rods. It smashed and flung them around, as it struggled and baits went flying overboard , it crashed around and pounded the boat and some baits got stuck in its sides, the pail of shiners flew overboard next, it suffered a big hit and was smacked and lifted and went end over end into the sky, spraying its water and little silver shiners in a rainbow as it flew..The huge muskie leaped and twisted and continued it reign of terror , violently flinging its great weight around, .Smashing, smashing everywhere and everything with great force, with a great noise, , it crashed into the luckless picnic hamper and first aid kit and everything went flying out, the leftover rolls and potato salad, the bandages and snake-bite medicine the hemostats joined the sugar and cream and silverware and plates some things went overboard to sink like stones others bobbed about, joining the flung baits and some stayed in the bottom of the boat to be smashed and re-smashed..and smashed again and again. What of the three human beings in the boat? Everybody was yelling. and hanging on, trying to avoid being smashed by the muskie, which, as the seconds ticked by, seemed to gain strength and momentum. It was like an evil army, the more it smashed, the more violence, and terror it spread. This all happened in less than a minute.

Then, I saw dad take the gun out of the holster and with shaking hands aim it at the destroying muskie. At the same time as the muskie gave a tremendous leap and flung itself overboard dad fired three times into the bottom of the boat..

It was kind of a relief to be sinking because it felt so quiet , so slow and so much safer . We could all swim and we were only 50 feet from shore. We grabbed as much stuff as we could and made our way in.

When we got onshore and were going through the flotsam and most of all, jetsam, I found my big wooden chair leg with the line wrapped around it. When I rolled the line up, there on the end was another dead walleye. This one was pretty big though.

Dad took it to a taxidemist and had it stuffed. It hung on our den wall for many years.


November 12, 1999

Playing Java Joe's in San Diego was wonderful. First of all, it's great to play in a place with a roof. Hey, I like outdoor venues as much as the next guy, but the shape of the room is everything, and when the shape of the room is all outdoors, just how big is that? Is it infinite? Well, it's a hell of a lot more commodious than it should be for a nightclub act.

There are no nightclub acts in outer space.

Java Joe's is sort of like a church with a high,beamed ceiling and two side aisles. It's a really cool building. Somebody told me it used to be a bank. Hey, the banks are made of marble and so are the churches. I don't think Joe's has any marble anywhere. Maybe it used to be a bus depot.

Whatever it was I can hardly wait to play there again.


There's this one place on Route 66 that I think is MAGIC. It's Ash Fork, Arizona. Craig and I went through there the first time with our camping equipment.(tent, coleman lantern, pan, flashlight) We just pulled in there because a bad storm was coming in.

Here's whats so great about it. Its a stone and slate cutters town. It's a tiny village with only one real street, and on one side of the one street are the houses where the employees of the slateworks live. The cottages are small and completely made of stone, with concrete steps leading up to them. It reminded me of the Welsh Mining town in the movie, "How Green Was My Valley" ...but it isn't in a green valley. It's a lonely yellow place with big piles of blue slate stacked by the railroad track.

Its' scale is very small . All and all, under the wide Arizona sky when the wind blows it's a bleak place.

Lake Havasu has the same oddness about it. The London Bridge is there. It's actually just A London Bridge. It's a squat arch made of stone that looks like blue granite, and all around the blue granite bridge and the man- made little canal that it spans and all the way down to the shores of the man-made lake and thousands of square miles all around is the yellow desert.

The first time we went through Ash Fork there was only a gas station and a small restaurant.There's a motel there now. The Aztec. It's mighty unbeautiful. A mark of progress.

Love, XXX Judy

Fabulous Mimi, the former dog, who went to that big dog house in the sky.

Judy standing in front of Grandparent's house in Chippewa Falls, Wis. 1996.


October 24, 1999

Hi everybody out there in electricity land....just wanted to tell you how very happy it makes me to hear from you. I really enjoy reading your messages. Write as much as you want.

I usually sing my story...but I also dig it when I get to write it.
Writing is good for us.

One of the greatest Christmas presents I ever got was a fly-tying kit. I'm not a fly fisherman, but fly-fishing is a beautiful undertaking to watch. They don't use those big, spectacular crank-baits like you use for bass or walleye or musky. If you've ever fished, you've pitched your share of monstrous doppelgangers out into the water where they landed with a KERPLOOSH and when you reeled ' em in they came boinking back to you upside down with weeds and sticks and pieces of styrofoam cups caught in their ten nakedhooks. Or if you were unlucky, the hooks got hung up on some underwater object and when you gave a gigantic yank, the whole scary apparatus came flying back at you and smacked you in the face. Some of those crank baits were as big as a good sized trout. I remember one that was called "The Largemouth Dove" that looked like a cross between a day-glo salami and a chicken.

You could fish June Lake in the Sierras and catch all the farm raised rainbows you wanted. It was really easy. You could go out with your rod, use worms and a little sinker and an invisible nylon leader and have your limit in an hour.

One morning when we left the June Lake Lodge we saw two low-lifes going out in a rowboat with a case of dog food. Adult delinquents, chumming for rainbows. I wondered if they had a gun so they could shoot the fish once they got them to come to the surface or if they were gonna brain them with a baseball bat. It was too depressing.We left the low mountain and went to the high mountain.

That day was the first time I saw anyone fly-fishing. I was lying on my stomach looking down into the water from a little point of land on the far end of Saddlebag lake. It was way back in the Sierra above 10,000 feet. I wasn't fishing the little feeder stream. I wasn't fishing because the natural brook trout were all in their courting colors. The feeder stream was so clear you could watch them swimming around and playing.They were way too beautiful. Brookies are spectacularly arrayed in the fall. These were small,rose-gold and brown with peacock blue, aqua and magenta polka dots with midnight blue central moles above cloudy pink belIies. They all had a kindly expression on their faces. I was just watching.

I noticed a fly fisherman working his way along the stream. To a watcher on shore, the action of fly fishing is the sound of the line and the patterns in the air. In my life, I can't remember a day more beautiful than that one.I watched him for a while .He was fishing with barbless hooks and released all the Brookies he caught.

When you're in the wilderness you should probably bring something beautiful to it. No, fly-fishing is more austere, if you do it right. You use flies that are light as air and they float on the wind, and you create them yourself from your fly-tying kit.

Hi You Guys! I'm really glad to be back in touch with you again. Finished the CD, we're really proud of it. There are great cats playing on this new record. We're rolling out the new CD on October 15th at Java Joe's in San Diego. Love it if you'd come.

Love, XXX Judy

October 4, 1999


On this page you can read stuff. Sometimes I'll write it and sometimes I'll be quoting other people. Here's the first installment.

When Craig and I played Phil Ochs Night for the Rock n' Roll Hall of fame, well, the concert was one thing and R&R H of F was one thing, but another thing was when we went out on a boat and took a tour of the harbor.

THE LA FARGE CONCRETE COMPANY IS AMAZING. There are huge white silos that are about 20 stories tall, and in front of them are 50 ft. piles of different colored loose, smashed stone. They look like pyramids of pink, white, greenish grey and tan. You wonder how they did it. Maybe there's some kind of funnel that comes out of the silo and that's how those pyramids are built. Are the silos filled with rocks or what?

The rock piles of the La Farge Concrete Co. are perfect.

I watched this "Geography" thing on TV. It was a program of information about different European countries, and how their geography contributed to their being.The most interesting segment was the photo essay on Andalusia, Spain. One part of it is completely covered in plastic.Like, for a hundred miles.They grow tomatoes under the plastic in a mixture of sand and manure. The voice-over said, "Never have the works of mankind been so immediately obvious as here in Andalusia. Only a few years ago, this coastline had nothing on it but palm trees and sandy beaches!"

Even when you go deep into this thought it's NEVER true. Maybe that's what it means.

The perfect sandwich is chunky peanut butter, mayo, & sliced sweet pickles. This sandwich represents all of the food groups. It would be a good thing to eat every day if you had a choice between that and goat gruel and were stuck in the gulag. On pumpernickel. Cut into triangles.

Rented "Mrs. Dalloway" Craig says it's perfect. Boring all the way through.

Love, XXX Judy