Inmate maestro earns respect in prison

VIDEO - People who know him say, he's the best musician that you've never heard of. That's because for the past two decades he has lived his life in a Colorado prison.

Luther Vandross was outed as gay after his death.

People who know him say he’s the best musician that you’ve never heard of.

That’s because for the past two decades he has lived his life in a Colorado prison.

Chuck Limbrick believes in the freedom of music — and that in a land of liars and thieves, even the seemingly trustworthy are worthy of skepticism.

“There are so many personalities, there are so many characters, there are so many agendas,” Limbrick said. “Everybody does not have your very best interests at hand.”

Here, Chuck Limbrick is a musician. But he is also a murderer. Not one word that comes out of his mouth will ever change this fact.

More than two decades ago, he shot and killed his mother in Colorado Springs.

“I loved my mother and I think of her all the time,” he says now. “I don’t even know how to relate to the person that I was, what, 21 years ago. Wow.”

At the age of 16, Limbrick was best known for being the youngest prisoner in the state’s adult prison system.

“That’s a part of my life, that’s part of my story,” he said. “I’m not in prison for playing too loud in church or singing too loud in church.”

“In my 25 years of being chaplain, I’ve never met a guy like Chuck,” observes prison chaplain Dan Metsche.

Chuck Limbrick is better known for being one of the state system’s most talented prisoners.

“He’s deeply respected in this facility by both the inmates and the staff,” says Pastor Metsche.

He’s self taught. He can’t really read music, yet if you give him an instrument he’ll pick it up and he’ll play it.

“Oh. There’s no doubt about it. Chuck Limbrick is the most talented overall musician I have ever seen,” says Pastor Metsche.

“He can play bass, he can play guitar, he can play drums, he can play saxophone and he plays them really well.”

Almost every day you can find Limbrick teaching music inside the prison’s chapel.

Just so that, on occasion, he and his students can perform in front of a prison gymnasium filled with fellow, and hopefully former liars and thieves.

“I can’t fix lights. I’m not a plumber. I mean I’m a musician. Some people are plumbers, electricians, construction workers. That’s just my trade, that’s what I do,” Limbrick said. “I’m not perfect by any means. I make mistakes. Lots of mistakes. But I am very pleased with the man that I have become.”

Limbrick is now eligible for parole in 2016. He says he intends to work with a church music program in Colorado Springs once he gets out.

The people at that church have been so impressed with his talents and rehabilitation that they have already offered him a job once he gets out.