The Twilight Troubadour Biography

     I’ve been playing guitar most of my life. This passion began 31 years ago when I found myself living at 2033 N. Bissel St. on the north side of Chicago. It was a short walk from The Old Town School of Folk Music. What an opportunity! So I took my guitar down there and the instructor told me to bring in a list of 30 songs that I’d like to learn to play. He taught me basic finger-picking moves to use with these songs. It was a great way to learn and made the guitar fun to play!

So I proceeded to learn many more songs. My guitar and I were found mostly at campfire settings or at Christmas (My favorite time to play and sing!). You see, I’ve also been blessed with a very good voice. It is a strong one and fits right in with the finger-picking I do. I found that at Christmas time I got to play some of my favorite songs. What a joy it was to bring this gift to family and friends at such a special time of the year.


     The talent turned into a passion when I was directed by a priest from my parish to take my talent to senior’s residences. Sounded like a good idea. The first home I went to was on a cold December day. While I was playing an elderly woman was wheeled up right next to me. She had suffered a stroke some time back, bent in an uncomfortable way, wearing big black sunglasses. I felt sorry for the shape she was in. I started singing “Silent Night” and was amazed to find the most angelic voice coming from this woman. Wow! What a great way to use my god-given talent. I was hooked!

Your Troubadour, John

I began playing at a residence on Sunday mornings. Going up to the second floor (an Alzheimer’s ward) was a special time for me. There was a lady who always sat at the elevator. She’d be the first person I’d meet when the door opened. I’d sing her favorite song (“Your Cheatin’ Heart”). What an effect my talent had amongst these folks. Music would light them up!

I forged a 25 year career in materials management at various companies in the Chicago area. It was a good career and I made the most of it. I built myself a good life with a wonderful wife and two terrific daughters. However, one year I found out (two weeks before Christmas, ouch!) that my position was being eliminated at my company. Manufacturing on a whole was making its way to foreign countries and I began to question my future in an ever-shrinking field. I met a counselor from The Illinois Employment and Training Center, and he suggested that if I had a talent that I could market during this time of unemployment I should do so. Extra cash coming in made sense, so I came up with a flier and started mailing it out. The Twilight Troubadour was born.

I try to arrive at my performances a half our early. I’ll sit down, tune up my guitar and set up my music. With the twenty minutes left before the concert I’ll pick up my guitar and stroll through the residence. I’ll play songs as I’m walking and it seems to brighten up the spirits in the people that I meet. The moment turns special when I enter a room of someone who may not be able to come to my show. There are many times in these rooms when it is just the Lord, this person and I. What a wonderful time that is.

That priest sure knew what he was talking about!!!


The Twilight Trubadour
Naperville, IL 60540

John P. Muhlenfeld
111 Waterford Court
Cell - (630) 887-6487