CHAZY - When his older sister, Seana, began playing the guitar, then 11-year-old Timothy Hartnett knew he needed to learn the instrument as well. Now, he can play nearly any song someone throws his way.
"Tim is a real music historian," said longtime friend Amanda Palmer, director and curator of the Alice T. Miner Museum. "He knows lots of different songs and we've ... tried in social situations to come up with songs he can't remember. To kind of stump him. And, it's hard to do."
During a housewarming party Hartnett attended, he and his friends began singing various songs - giving him the nickname "The Human Jukebox," by Palmer, just because "he seemed to know so many songs."
"We just picked up the guitar and one song triggered another song, and before we knew it, two hours had gone by," recalled Hartnett. "We were amazed at how many words we remembered."
Hartnett took up guitar in the late 1960s, when many people were "learning the songs of the day," Hartnett said.
Today, he plays with numerous bands, performing when he can. Now, he's taking on a different kind of concert.
Hartnett was asked by Palmer to perform at the Alice T. Miner Museum next Friday, Nov. 6, at 7 p.m. - his first time performing there.
"I think it will be fun," Palmer said. "I'm hoping for some audience participation."
"I think the idea is that I'm going to sing some old favorites," explained Hartnett. "It just matters who's there and what their old favorites may be."
Expecting a "baby boomer crowd," Hartnett anticipates playing The Beatles, James Taylor, Cat Stevens, and Neil Young, to name a few.
"Do an old Sinatra song if we can," he said. Who knows?"
The one thing Hartnett hopes doesn't happen is that he has to do all the singing.
"It could be really fun and a lot different from the sit and fold your hands and listen to someone play for two hours," he said. "It's really supposed to be engaging for the audience."
In the time before the performance, Hartnett has his work cut out for him.
"I've got some work to do to sort of dust off the memory banks," laughed Hartnett. "But, it will be fun and I'm flattered to be asked."
The event will be held in the museum's ballroom, and those interested in attending should call the museum at 846-7336 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Admission is $5.
"The acoustics up in the ballroom are just wonderful," said Palmer. "It's a great place to hear music."
"I commend Amanda and the museum for basically expanding the programming there," Hartnett said. "I think it's a great way to draw people in and then find out there's this wonderful museum there."