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Texan brings a big heart to his music
by Krystal Bick
Jun 18, 2008 | 789 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune/Krystal Bick-Dasan Alchesay, or otherwise known as "Tumbleweed Tex," visits and plays at local libraries for children audiences.
Tribune/Krystal Bick-Dasan Alchesay, or otherwise known as "Tumbleweed Tex," visits and plays at local libraries for children audiences.
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Not many people can say that Sammy Davis, Jr. gave them personal advice, they have played in Radio City Music Hall or that they were a guest on the Larry King talk show.

But Dasan Alchesay is not like many others.

Alchesay, a 63-year-old singer/songwriter for children and otherwise known as "Tumbleweed Tex," has spent his fair share of time as a touring musician but has never lost sight of where he came from.

The native-born Texan has performed with the likes of B.B. King, Diana Ross and the Supremes and Davis himself, who told Alchesay that he should share his love of the Old West. And Alchesay has been doing it ever since at national concert tours, libraries and dude ranches, hardly ever seen without his cowboy hat.

"He (Davis) told me that I knew all the old stories," Alchesay said. "And these are stories no one really tells anymore."

And now Alchesay, a Reno resident, is touring Reno/Sparks libraries doing just that - sharing his knowledge of folklore stories, Native American history and folk song and dance with children.

Playing multiple instruments including the guitar, trombone and harmonica, Alchesay has performed in full orchestras, including the Harrahs Reno house orchestra and the Glen Miller Band. But still, Alchesay said spending time with children is much more worthwhile.

"I would much rather be here performing for children than for a packed orchestra hall," Alchesay said. "There is joy and learning in music that stimulates the imagination. I want to pass that on to the children."

And growing up on a horse ranch, Alchesay said that music is very much a part of him, recalling listening to family and friends share traditional music and stories of the past.

"As a kid, any instrument I listened to I was fascinated by," Alchesay said, explaining that he began playing music at the age of four. "I didn't choose this, it was always just there."

Alchesay who was a former public school music teacher, has also produced his own line of CDs and children's books with several hit modern day folk songs like "The Armadillo Tango" and "My Dog Harold" which he said he encourages audiences to sing along to.

And it is these story-telling ballads that Alchesay said are the most important things to keep alive in today's material-driven society.

"I have a lot of kinship to these songs because it's what I grew up with," Alchesay said. "And it is the human heart and spirit that make a culture. People matter, not things. Children should learn that."

But when asked what he ultimately enjoys about what he does, Alchesay said he wants history to live on because there is a lot to learn from it.

"I just want to pass it on," Alchesay said. "I do this in hopes that someday, these songs will be sung."

For more information and tour dates, visit Alchesay's Web site at www.tumbleweedtex.com.
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