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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Graham Bradshaw 2009 Obit: Jim Couza RIP (UK) (96* d) RE: Obit: Jim Couza RIP 2 August 2009 05 Aug 09


Oh no, not another one.

Jim was tagged as being 'the giant of the hammered dulcimer' - an obvious cliche for a large man.
I first met him in the mid 80s I think, and we forged a professional relationship which led to recording his meisterwork, Jubilee in 1989. I later recorded Out of the Shadowland and his biggest seller - Welcome to the Fair. This was done because he needed something to sell at the Mediaval fairs that he did (when he dressed up in doublet and hose as a minstrel). What started out as a throwaway item (and was recorded all in one day), went on to become a massive seller, to Jim's surprise and joy!

During all that time, we became firm friends and I found him to be a 'giant of a man'. There were legion stories about Jim Couza - mostly centring around his somewhat brash American demeanour - but I found him to be a kind, gentle and compassionate human being underneath the exterior. And when I had troubles of my own, he was one of the few true friends who stepped up to the mark.

I last saw him in person a year ago at Warwick Folk Festival, where he had a whale of a time getting back to the playing he loved. I last spoke to him earlier this year, when he was in very buoyant mood, and was talking about doing more gigs, and even starting a new album project. This from a man who had had both legs amputated and untold health problems. But he never lost his sense of humour and joy of living. I remember us joking after the first amputation - he had taken up going to the gym to try and keep fit, and was doing 10 miles a day on his exercise bike. All the old jokes about the one legged cyclist came out. After the second amputation, I asked him what he was going to do. He said, "Oh, they've fixed me up with a rowing machine, so I don't need the Goddam legs for that!"
I've never known a person remain so positive under such adversity, and he will always be a true inspiration to me.

I had no idea that things had taken a turn for the worse, and was shocked to read here that he had passed on.

I will truly miss him, and my thoughts go out to Karen.


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