North Dakota’s official state troubadour Chuck Suchy – also a good friend of the Northwest Montana History Museum’s late ambassador Pete Skibsrud – comes to perform 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5, at the Northwest Montana History Museum.
A folk musician, songwriter and farmer from Mandan, N.D., Suchy has released seven albums, many on the well-known Flying Fish label, with songs ranging from ones that celebrate Burma-Shave road signs (“Burma Shave Boogie”), a 15-year-old who died saving her siblings during a 1920 snowstorm (“The Story of Hazel Miner”) and Indian motorcycles and father-son relationships (“Indian Dreamer”).
Suchy brings high-plains music, ace guitar work and emotive singing for an event that honors his friend Skibsrud, whom he met while performing in Kalispell about 15 years ago. “I was doing concerts at the KM theater downtown, and at one of the first ones he just showed up,” Suchy remembers. “We visited afterwards and then he wrote me a letter of appreciation. He offered to put up posters, take tickets, sell CDs for me – in true Pete fashion.”
Skibsrud, who died at 76 in November 2021, lived simply and expansively. He often made the rounds in downtown Kalispell, undertaking special projects for his causes, and making friends wherever he went. His maverick ideas, such as buying the Old Steel Bridge, led to the creation of large-scale art.
“I knew of no one more dedicated to the Kalispell and Flathead Valley community than Pete Skibsrud,” says Jacob Thomas, former executive director of the Northwest Montana History Museum, who will introduce Suchy on Nov. 5. “Not only did he always volunteer to lend a hand whenever needed, but he actively sought out reasons to be helpful and involved. Pete meant a great deal to a number of nonprofits and organizations around the valley, the Northwest Montana History Museum being just one of many.”
Come honor the memory of Skibsrud and feed your soul and ears with original music.
6:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5
Northwest Montana History Museum, 124 Second Ave. East, Kalispell, MT 59901; 406-756-8381
A donation of $15 is suggested to cover Suchy’s travel expenses and support the museum, one of Skibsrud’s favorite causes.