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Kim Tweedy is a musician who loves his job

July 19, 2011

BLACKFOOT – Kim Tweedy loves his job. He is the owner of Tweedy’s Music, 335 W. Judicial St. in Blackfoot. The store is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. each Saturday.
“I’ve got the best job in town and you can put that in the newspaper,” he said.
Tweedy’s Music has been open 12 years this August. It’s a full-line music store with instruments, sheet music, a full repair bench and band rentals, Tweedy said.
“I really cherish my customers,” he said. “I can’t say enough good about my customers.”
As a hobby, Tweedy collects and buys old vintage instruments—guitars, mandolins, drums, amplifiers, microphones—old, old, old stuff.
“The old school stuff is built well,” Tweedy said.
Some of it he picks up at garage sales.
“People have a lot of stories to tell about how the instrument was used and by whom,” he said. “Sometimes people don’t know anything about the instrument and the instrument itself tells a story,” Tweedy said, “like how it was used, how it was played and if it was well taken care of or not.”
Tweedy has been playing in bands for more than 45 years. He plays the guitar, drums, mandolin and harp guitar. His harp guitar was custom built. Its body is similar to a regular guitar with a second neck attached to the guitar body.  
The second neck is strung with six strings that are played in open position, Tweedy said. A player can play the guitar and then add the bass on the upper neck.
He also sings and writes songs. He just completed a five-year gig with the band, Fabulous Nobodies, with whom he cut two albums.
Tweedy has played drums and guitar professionally with various bands. He has also performed around the country.
Twice Tweedy has lived in Nashville, Tenn., where he has played with numerous Grand Ole Opry stars. When he lived in Memphis, he played at the Blues Club.
"In the 1970's, the Musician's Union did not consider drummers musicians, Tweedy said. "We were just drummers.
"Of course we're musicians," he said. "The notes don't know what to do without us—without rhythm."
In the mid-1980's, Tweedy was the museum curator for the Elvis Presley Museum in Graceland.
Tweedy grew up on a potato farm near Thomas. He returned to Blackfoot to be near his parents and because he got tired of being on the road.  
“The people who hire you just pay you to haul the stuff in, set it up and then haul it out again,” Tweedy said. “The playing is just for fun.
“Once I played 28 nights straight. That was seven nights a week for 28 straight nights,” he said. “You give it everything you’ve got. It was physically and spiritually exhausting.
 “Music has been part of my life since I was a baby,” Tweedy said. “From the age of 12, I knew I wanted to be a musician.”
He attended Idaho State University, graduating with a B.A. in education, though he has never taught in a classroom.
His wife Martha is the love of his life. They have been married 18 years. Tweedy has three grown children—two boys and one girl—and two grandchildren.
In the group, "Spinner," Tweedy and Joe and Jacie Sites will perform in the Bingham's Music in the Park series. "Spinner" will perform at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday at the Courthouse Square Park.

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