I’m still in shock. I was looking at my Facebook feed yesterday when I saw one of my musician friends put up a post that started with “It is with great sadness…” Well, this cant be good I thought. But it was even worse than I realized.

The person my friend was talking about happened to be another friend, and one of the nicest guys I ever met. Ever.

Papa John Mole has been around the Hudson Valley forever. But he has played with bands wide and far. I probably first met him years ago when he played with the Bill Perry Blues Band, but I don’t really recall. I got to know Papa John over the past six or seven years. He was the drummer in the Piranha Brothers, a band that my boyfriend played in.

I never saw Papa John angry, upset, or even in a grumpy mood. He was always happy to be playing. There were times I saw him have to carry his equipment up flights of steps without complaining, even though I knew it was hard for him. 

Not only was Papa John a great guy, but he was also an outstanding musician. A drummer who could keep the beat without being a showoff. If he had an ego, he sure kept it in check. A talented and humble drummer? Sounds crazy, but that was Papa John Mole. No wonder he was in such demand. And if you had a problem? Papa John was a great listener, and he always made you feel better with a smile and a good wish. Man, he’s going to be missed.

I never had the pleasure of meeting Papa John’s family, but I know he had a wife that he was super proud of, and he loved immensely. My thoughts and prayers go out to Papa John’s family, friends and fans. I know he’s leaving a void that will take a long time to fill. But he’s also leaving a legacy of talent, kindness and humility. That can be rare, particularly among musicians. Rest in Peace, Papa John, and thanks for the great music and the memories.

5 Great Places to Adopt a Dog in the Hudson Valley

5 of the Hudson Valley's Best Animal Shelters

One of the Best Views in Ulster County, Hands Down

Photos from the Giant Kaleidoscope in Mount Tremper

Is It Legal to Carry These Things in the Hudson Valley?

Answers To Your Questions About What's Legal to Carry