By Anya Kaats.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned since moving to Crestone, it’s that creative, multi-talented people are as plentiful as prayer flags. The conservationist turns out to be a Grammy Award-winning musician. The potato farmer just so happens to be a curator of internationally renowned art. Timothy Budrys, whom most of us know from Windwalker Footwear and Earth Dancer School of Shoemaking, also happens to be a lifelong musician and songwriter.
“Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean I’m going to stop making shoes,” Tim said as we sat down on the couch in the back of his shoemaking studio. “But I’ve been playing music just as long as I’ve been making shoes, and I think it’s about time I put myself out there as a songwriter.”
Tim and I spoke about the myriad ways the music industry has changed since the mid-’80s when he first started writing songs and playing in bands. From the proliferation of streaming platforms to AI-generated John Lennon tunes created 40 years after his death, to the shift away from actual talent toward marketable and commodified “acts,” many musicians view these changes as the inevitable end of an era. Tim, despite it all, has remained open-minded on the issue. “You can’t build anything on top of pessimism, because you’ll never get anywhere,” he said.
When I asked how he remains optimistic, his face lit up. “Where’s the hope? Places like T-Road Brewing! Walk in there on a Thursday night and it’s like the Sixties again! There’s such a camaraderie among the musicians and the artists here in Crestone. Everybody wants to see everybody else do well.”
With the support of his family and community, Tim has decided to embrace the modern marketability of musical acts by creating a packaged brand of his own called “Old Man Tim.” Although he loves to perform his own music, his real passion lies in creating ready-made songs for other performers to use, which is his ultimate goal. “Before I can sell these songs, I know I have to get them out there in front of an audience, because there’s no development without audience participation and feedback,” he explained.
Tim feels strongly that any success he’s able to achieve in the future wouldn’t be possible without the encouragement of local musicians and promoters who have helped support him along the way. Specifically, he wanted to thank Bruce Becker, Keith Morrison, Tom Dessain, Benjamin Byer, and Lydia Sprouts for helping bring “Old Man Tim” to life.
“This is mostly just great fun, and I try not to take myself too seriously,” Tim added at the end of our conversation. Grateful for having been able to nurture his creative talents throughout his life, he hopes to see his musical journey through to the end, no matter where it happens to lead. “This interview is like a time capsule,” he said. “Regardless of where I’m going, this marks an important step along the way.”
Catch “Old Man Tim” on Thursdays at T-Road’s open mic, and on YouTube and Facebook.