Randy Granger

Randy Granger
In the Chihuahuan Desert near the Organ Mountains, New Mexico

Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy Holidays!

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Season’s Greetings. I hope this holiday time of year finds you well, healthy and enjoying life. This is my first holiday marathon since my partner passed away in March from pancreatic cancer. I’m taking things in a metered approach making sure my expectations are realistic all the while trying to navigate new traditions. As the executor of his estate I’ve been consumed with cleaning out a house, listing and selling it, paying bills, hiring contractors etc. I’m still playing music and have gigs and booking more for the 2012 season.

Also on my overly crowded burners are several recording/album projects and several other creative endeavors. When you sign up to be a musician the flow of music, of creativity never stops brewing inside you. Having put my career on hold so to speak to care give, find a new home, manage care, sell a home means that financially I took a hit. Gigs are now an essential aspect of keeping a roof over my head. At times it can feel desperate and almost panicked so I am always looking for new performance opportunities. The expense of recording and releasing an album is significant if you want the attention and exposure that makes it profitable. As a professional I don’t have the luxury of “doing it for the love of it” alone. Of course I love what I do, but it is na├»ve to think love pays the bills.

I had some awesome performing experiences in 2011 and hope they have resonance. I was honored to be nominated for two NAMMY Awards, New Mexico Music Industry Awards where I also won in the World Music Category. Headlined at a few festivals. Yet, it feels like I’m starting over at times. That is because you can’t really be out of commission for too long in the music biz—an industry that relies on constant exposure. Think about it. Coke and Pepsi don’t need to advertise do they? They advertise because they can’t afford for you to not be thinking about them every time you get thirsty. This is all a way of saying you must be able to keep making a living doing what you love in order to love doing what you do. If it becomes desperate you kill the muse.

So if you, dear fan, are part of a World Music or Native American Flute festival or community put in a good word for me. Sometimes it is as simple as that. My profile at Reverbnation is a good way to share what I do with someone. Or my website randygranger.net. The new music that is percolating in me is documenting the difficult journey that cancer put Wayne and me through. Fortunately as an artist I was able to slightly detach and more or less take artistic mental notes knowing the pain, suffering, fear, unconditional love would all find its way into my music. My hope is that the music will somehow comfort and help others.

A snowy day at my home in New Mexico
It is strange that here in southern New Mexico we’ve had more cold temps and snow than people I know in Chicago. We had over four inches in one day. For us that is amazing. It was beautiful and I kept the fireplace roaring and my flutes on hand. Several Saturdays I’ve tried busking at our Farmer’s Market but the wood flutes wet out so quickly in the frigid air. In December I did play for the Mesilla Valley Hospice’s “Light of Our Lives” candlelight memorial like I’ve done for the past ten years. Only this time Wayne’s name was read as well. I set up a candle with his photo on it and played extra nicely. I hope. I also played again for the Downtown Arts Ramble in an outdoor courtyard. That was night of our tree lighting and luminaria Winterfest. We were dampened some by a freezing rain. Who knew? Brrrr.

I went with some friends up to Truth or Consequences, NM which used to be called Hot Springs. We split a cool and funky hotel room and a private soaking tub right on the Rio Grande River. Was wonderful and cheaper with friends for sure. We went into a local bar to hear this amazing old-school guitar player and singer. She was reminiscent of a female Roy Orbison with about a 6-note range. We had a blast with her and she appreciated our crazy, uninhibited enthusiasm. The loft where we stayed shared a Zen Garden courtyard with other rooms. In the morning there was frost on the cars. Even so I and my friend Donny took the time to improvise on my Moyo and Native American Flute. My other friend David taped it with my camera for us. Enjoy.

Well friends. Merry Christmas and Happy Allidays! Thank you for your support as always. I love hearing from you.

Randy

ZENPROVISATION

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Fall Music Notes


Greetings folks. It has been a while since my last blog post. I want to update you on what I’ve been doing music wise and of some upcoming gigs and an announcement.

Singing "Hallelujah" Yosemite Festival
As I wrote last time my partner had passed away in March after a very grueling fight against pancreatic cancer. It hasn’t been seven months and I still have moments of crushing grief. Anyone who has been through this has my deepest empathy. Wayne and I collaborated on three recording projects and on my latest CD release “Pura Vida – This is Pure Life” he co-wrote the title track as well as performed spoken word on the song. This CD was nominated for 4 New Mexico Music Awards and received “Best World Music” recording. I’m honored to announce Pura Vida has made it to the final round of this year’s 13th annual Native American Music Awards, aka The NAMMY’S. What a thrill to be in the company of such wonderful Native musicians many with NAMMY’S and Grammy’s® of their own. The voting is open to the public through October 7 when the awards show will take place. I can’t afford to attend the show but will be working a local gig that night anyways. I will be thinking of Wayne that night.

Please take a moment and visit the NAMMY voting website at http://www.nativeamericanmusicawards.com/votenow.cfm where you will provide your email and name and find a ballot. I am nominated in categories #16 Best Latin American Indigenous Recording and #33 Best World Music Recording. In this case every single vote actually counts so please share it with your friends, on message boards, your co-workers. Feel free to vote in the other categories as well.  

 

It has been good to get back to work and on the road as soon as I could after Wayne passed. Both because the income but also I love what I do and the interaction with fans and other musicians sustains me. This spring I played with Michael Allen at Musical Echoes, again for the World of Faeries Festival in S. Elgin, IL, the Franciscan Fine Arts fest, many smaller gigs and have just returned from performing The Yosemite Flute and Art Festival in Oakhurst, CA. I’ll be on the main stage again at the 40th annual Dona Ana Arts Council Renaissance ArtsFaire. How awesome that my music takes me coast to coast and to such humbling places like the National Parks. You really make fans one at a time just like friends. Radio and print interviews continue and they always ask my future plans. Usually I say to make the most authentic, expressive and best music I can and to challenge myself. With Pura Vida I brought back a layered more fleshed out sound with drums, guitar, bass, hang, halo, world flutes and vocals. The Native American flute is still a central part of my sound because I live in the Southwest and of Native American ancestry so it’s my DNA so to speak. I feel more and more comfortable becoming myself—the entertainer—breaking free somewhat of the stereotyped leathered, pony-tailed, fringed, stoic Indian never playing the same song twice as if channeling spirit. That’s all cool, but I’m more than that and at the heart of what I do is entertaining you with interesting stories, heartfelt emotive music and a stage show that makes time go by quickly.

Some upcoming shows:
Friday Oct. 7th, MVS Studios 535 North Main Street · Las Cruces · New Mexico  88001 · 575·524·3636 5-7PM. Part of the First Friday Las Cruces Downtown Ramble, I’ll be playing outside.

Sunday Oct. 23rd, Beatlick Press Launch Party, The Projects 3614 High Street NE, Albuquerque, NM www.beatlick.com, beatlickpress@yahoo.com for info. Featuring poetry, Storydance, Randy Granger, Zen Jazz, an Open Mic and more. This night will also honor poets late Joe Speer and Dr. Wayne Crawford

Nov. 5th&6th, 40th annual Renaissance ArtsFaire, Young Park Las Cruces, NM. Open 10-6 Sat. 10-5 Sun. http://www.las-cruces-arts.org/events/renaissance-artsfaire/ Randy performs 2PM both days, Main stage.

Hope to see you out at some of these performances. As always please say hello. And remember CD’s make excellent holiday gifts. You can purchase my music at Amazon.com, iTunes, CDBaby.com or my website RandyGranger.net.
Thank you for your support as always. And please go vote!