Randy Granger

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

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Is about the music or the spirit?

“My music will go on forever. Maybe it's a fool say that, but when me know facts me can say facts. My music will go on forever.” 
 Bob Marley

Final performer's concert RNAFF 2013
Greetings friends. I hope your summer has been peaceful and filled with good things. I’ve been on the road bringing my music to as many listeners as possible. In June and July I was fortunate to play at the inaugural Renaissance of the North American Flute (RNAFF) festival at the Smokey Mountain Heritage Center and hear and play with some of my favorite musicians and visit with great friends. The fest was filled with warmth and mutual support that I hope will continue to infuse future gatherings. It rained everyday but we toughed it out together. My workshop and performances were well received. My borrowed booth tent collapsed under the collected rain and many folks rushed to help me not be eaten by the tent. 

We do what we need to do as artists because we are compelled to express the inspiration and creative force within us. It’s like you sign up to be the tool and once you do it uses you and you’d better express or the energy builds up. That’s what causes the insanity, substance abuse, ill temper and depression. My audiences lately have been very open about how my music makes them feel. It seems spirituality is the number one thing people want to talk about. If my music helps take them there I’m honored. I don’t think it is anything special about me, just the creative force or source expressing more purely as I become more in inline with my soul’s purpose here in this life.

After that I headed over to North Carolina for some great gigs and to stay with two of my dear road friends Ed and Dawn. We have so much fun together eating, cooking, playing music and maybe enjoying a tasty beverage once in a while. I’m so grateful for the road friends I’ve made over the years of touring. Looking forward to even more. I did a full day in NC or a flute–playing workshop, master class, potluck and full concert. It was a great, if not long day and I loved every second of it. I always do. As musicians you have to love what you do, all of it. The grind, the touring, the fans, the questions, the lack of sleep all add up to our way of life. It is what it takes to do get your music out there to new listeners, keep current fans and make a living.

Saint Anne's Chapel
Another concert I did was in an amazing reclaimed Chapel called St. Anne’s Chapel, on a former tobacco plantation in Tarboro, NC. Here is an article: Tarboro The spirit and energy of the place was incredible. Turnout was wonderful for the space. The humidity was brutal and I could feel the sweat dripping down my back and legs. My hair used to be straight. Ha-ha. We followed the concert with a meditation during which I offered some of my unique techniques and drumming. The owners Kevin and Trish Wilson are doing a beautiful job of building a community of high consciousness in the midst of some entrained religious conservatism. Ble
ss them for that. I can’t wait to return.


I ended this tour with another visit to Handpangea near Asheville. Another great festival of hand pans with great music and a chance to renew friendships and make new friends. I led workshops on playing the flute with hand pans and using hand pans in Hospice. I especially enjoyed the Hospice workshop participation. My friend Robin Burk who recently certified in MCCT and who plays handpans was a valuable asset and offered the clinical perspective.

After some gigs in New Mexico I now find myself doing concerts in Iowa and the Chicago area with a return to the 9th annual World of Faeries Festival, which I love. Gloria and David Yeager, the WOF organizers pour their passion, energy, resources and love into this festival every year and I’m honored they’ve invited me back all these years. Please let your friends know about it. It is in S. Elgin, IL northwest Chicago area and close to Milwaukee, Indiana, Iowa etc. It is held on the Fox River in a beautiful Oak Park. Magical. The theme this year is Airship Coud 9 Steam Punk and I’ve been busy on my outfit and hat. When on the road it’s a good idea to do “Pick up gigs” to increase your chance to play for new people and hopefully increase your revenue. Be creative about price etc. If you just say I need, for instance $500 for the night venues aren’t likely to take a chance on you. If you say well let’s do a door charge with a percentage split or donation et
My homemade Steampunk Hat
c. Like I said, be creative. Make it a good experience for the venue host and don’t whine, demand or deceive. Your music will have to sell itself. I personally love the challenge of playing to a brand new audience. I’m always open to a gig in your town like a house concert, church, clubhouse etc. you name it. No venue too small in my way of thinking.

Upcoming shows:
JULY 31 - Radiant Om Yoga, 7694 Hickman Road, Windsor Heights, Iowa. 5:30 PM play for Community Yoga Class followed by concert at 7:00PM www.facebook.com/events/179144032266059/ www.radiantomyoga.com/‎ (515) 270-4820
AUGUST 2 - Batavia, IL The Holmstead, 700 W. Fabyan Pkwy. 7:00PM. Private concert.
AUGUST 3, S. Elgin, IL The World of Faeries Festival "Steam Punk" 1PM, 4:15PM Directions: http://goo.gl/maps/NzCyi

AUGUST 4, S. Elgin, IL The World of Faeries Festival "Steam Punk" 1:45PM, 4PM

4 comments:

Aricka Williams said...

First picture of this blog is so beautiful. Thanks for such a nice blog.

Sandy said...

Thank you for sharing, Randy...It's always interesting to hear about where you've been and where you are going next...Enjoy your adventures in Iowa and have great fun at the World of Faeries Fest!!!

Chris Wollard said...

Nice to hear reports from your travels. Wish you all the best with your show today!

John Platt said...

I look forward to seeing you in person one of these days, Randy!