Upcoming Performances

  • Jun 3

    Albuquerque Folk Festival

    Albuquerque

  • Jun 17

    Black Range Lodge

    Kingston

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 Here is a new music video for my song “Dancing Skin” from 2012’s Strong Medicine album. Strong Medicine was of course funded via Kickstarter, thankfully. The entire album was a chronicle of my caregiving and loss of my late partner, Wayne Crawford, to pancreatic cancer. The lyrics are based on his “Sun Waltz” poem set to melody and music. I’m grateful to have that. It was a very challenging record to write and record as emotions of grief etc. were still fresh. He wrote about dance in many of his poems, the dance of life, of relationships, of sex, of intimacy etc. I hope you enjoy it. 

I’m in Albuquerque tonight. Tomorrow I perform again at the Gathering of Nations, North America’s largest powwow. And it is huge. Besides the fact that we aren’t paid, pay our own parking, travel, room etc, I am honored to be a part. Whether I break even, well, let’s just say this is my homage to my ancestors. No one cannot help but be moved to heightened emotions when you see the couple thousand dancers from all over the world during the grand entry. It says to me that we are here, strong, proud and resilient. Every time I get booked to play it I have conflicted feelings, as I never even break even. Yet, people come down to the stadium floor and tell me how much my music moved them. So we’ll see how it goes tomorrow.

 After that I head back to Las Cruces to deliver the inspirational message, sermon, and music at Wellspring, a new thought church based in religious science, which I practice. Ernest Holmes started it in the early decades of the 20th century. This is my third sermon this month and second with music. I am extremely grateful for this growing opportunity. Writing a sermon/message takes me average three days and it is always from scratch. Much more work than music. Haha. Then Algernon D’Ammassa and I return to Hillsboro, NM to perform An Iliad as our company Theatre Dojo. We are grateful for the opportunity.

 Yes, it’s a killer weekend in three cities and I had another request to do music in Albuquerque Sunday at the First Unitarian Universalist church but had to decline. We moved it to Mother’s day May 14. Please come. It is nothing compared to last weekend however. I left very early Friday morning to get to Hooker, OK for the Hooker Spring Fling, my second time performing there. They try their best to incorporate a Native American element to their festivals. Good for them. Nice people and town. On the way there I was driving north on US-54 north of Carrizozo, NM through a construction zone that went down to 45mph. Those speeds are enforced 24/7 here and fines are doubled. The truck suddenly speeds up behind me and flashes and lays on his horn. He pulled back then sped up within inches of my bumper blaring and flashing. I look at him in my sideview mirror and ask, "what dude?" He becomes so angry I could see his veins bulging. He mouths, "fuck you" over and over flipping me of and is less than inches from me so I speed up. He then passes me flipping me off coming inches again from my car. He tried to run me off the road but I braked. I can't believe how angry he was. Probably was on amphetamines, but very dangerous regardless. I called the state police and reported him but never heard anything back. I've had so many experiences of road rage out there usually because I actually drive the speed limit. But, the climate since the election and new president has intensified.

They put me up at the Hooker Inn, the only game in town. At about 4am I heard shouting. Turns out it was a woman yelling at her man that she wanted to, “get drunk, get high and get fucked up.” He slurred that it was 4 in the fucking morning. She said she knew where some liquor is and was challenging him. When he refused she told me that he was partying with his kids in the room so he was a pussy. I don’t know, it was something like that. I put my pillow over my head. She was pissed off so she went in the truck and played loud music. What a trip.

 After my second set I had to leave immediately as I had a gig in Houston, TX at 11am the next morning. I drove very hard through some seriously Christ, camouflage and pickups. Billboards telling you to pray for the unborn, the country, the schools, the town etc. It was creepy especially at night. And, to top it off I had been listening to the S-Town podcast so was especially sensitive to the redneck aspect of that part of Texas in particular. Nothing against rednecks, I’m related to some, but I’ve never felt welcome or safe with my features driving through such areas.

I stopped in Buffalo, TX in desperate need of sleep. I slept a couple of hours then was on the road for the final two hours to Houston. I live on coffee, great music and podcasts when I’m on the road. I don’t know how I do it, but I know I’m not the first musician/entertainer to work this hard. It’s not like I get a paycheck so each gig is my paycheck. I try and post pics on my Instagram feed. Please follow. 

I was set to deliver the message, story for all ages and the music for the Earth Day service at Unitarian Fellowship of Houston. I’ve been there before and it is a beautiful venue with a glass back stage so the congregation sees trees, birds and squirrels. I enjoy it there. That said, being me brings out “things” in people I just patiently deal with because, I guess, I’m just that different or exotic enough to bring out the quiet, closet racist in everyone. Things people say to me across the country is so jaw dropping that I’m putting it in an eBook. And while the lovely people in Houston weren’t mean this is exactly some of what I heard in the first ten minutes of walking into the church. And I quote:

“You look very, very……”

Me, “very what?”

“Very, very, very different. You look less Native American looking than last time. You look oriental, or Chinese or Asian. Your braid looks like a Chinaman”

“You don’t look as Chinese with your braid and hat (a very nice Kufi cap) but you look like Kung Fu. But you look Mongolian, hello. Anyone just has to look at you and know you look Mongolian. Or Japanese.”

“I should have brought my drum too. I should have brought my flute too. I guess I didn’t listen to my guides today. I should have. Are you affiliated with a tribe? Which one? Do you believe in god? Do you follow or are you influence by your tribe? Do you practice the Indian religion or spirituality? What do they call it? Do you make your own drums? Flutes? Do you……”

I cut her short after answering only one of those questions. I said, “You have reached your limit of questions I’m going to even consider. You can read my website like everyone else.”

She left and returned with my cd’s in hands and asked which was my favorite CD. I said all of them. She replied, “you’re lying. You’re just trying to get rid of me.” You think?

I replied that I found people without filters often can’t handle the same back. I told her she should decide “after” she heard my music what she wanted.

It went on. But my point here is that just because someone is an entertainer, celebrity, on stage does not allow you the right to use him or her to get attention or flirt with or whatever people think they are doing. We are real, actual people and also professionals with boundaries and usually accommodating personalities that can be mistaken for your therapist. My friends tell me, “oh Randy, they are just lonely and you’re so nice and approachable.” Maybe so, but I’m not a therapist and certainly not in the profession of caring for the lonely. Compassion is one thing, but not even the Dalai Lama could do it. I’m just an inspired musician who feels everything deeply, actually listens and only says something after I’ve thought about it.

I know we are a shallow species concerned with looks. It's in our 250,000,000 or whatever genetic code in the chapter called mate finding. But, at some point, the work has to matter more. We can't all be perpetual teenagers. 

 That people connect with my music is a gift and privilege. That some want all your attention when you are working is not fair and crosses boundaries I no longer want to entertain. I’ve had actual, real stalkers. They are scary. When you meet a musician or writer you admire just be cool. Tell them you like their work and say thank for coming etc. Understand his or her time is being shared with everyone present and once again, we are only human.  Realize that they hear everyone’s personal stories over and over and over and no one can handle that. Unless, that is, they are a professional listener.

Thank you and I look forward to chatting with you. You really want to endear yourself, show up with coffee.

Peace and blessings to you all.

Randy

http://randygranger.net   

Why some musicians Hate facebook 

I am that musicians who hates facebook. Join my support group only IF you are another musician, have had to promote and beat the social media bushes to get people to attend anything and if have ever had people post that Amanda Palmer Ted Talk, “The Art of Asking” on your wall. Feel me? More on her ruinment of this later.

I have other musician friends, gratefully. Like me they spend ALL their time, except for the two hours we actually perform, booking, soliciting and promoting gigs. It is a non-paying, full-time job. Not whining. Those are the actual facts. No alternative facts here y’all. Once the gig is inked we commence to create a facebook event page, a poster/flyer (I still don’t know the difference), post it on minuscule, our “Fan” page (I know what a joke right?), on every single radio, newspaper, magazine, weekly, online everything, create an email blast, send reminders, messages, beg for interviews, send out press releases and packets….yeah you get the point. We pimp ourselves out just to get you to maybe not just scroll over and actually consider coming to the show.

Then we hear:

Don’t you have a show or something? Did it already happen? When is the show? Where is the show? How much is the show? Oh, I ignore those facebook invites. I was too busy doing (insert anything) to pay attention. I don’t really spend much time on facebook. (right, which is why I see your name on every like above and below my gig.)

Point being, the clamor for attention is fierce online. I mean fierce. I have researched the hell out of all this. I have too. Adult spend over 20 hours a week online. Way conservative in my experience. Website visitors spend between 3-5 seconds on your website before leaving. If people have to leave facebook to view your event, poster, info 99% will not do it. In other words—here’s the shocker—people are Reverberation addicted to facebook. I’ve read more research than you’d think exists about this subject. It is an actual release of hormones seated deep in our approval centers that rush through the person seeing a “like” on their post and equally when someone they think should be liking, doesn’t.

We are addicted to both hormonal rushes. Don’t think so? Just be with those who can’t let 45 seconds go without checking their phone or facebook. I’ve been with them. Trust me.

So for the indie musician just working to get “butts in seats” as we call it, we are not offering anything “feel good hormone” worthy so people don’t click, like, comment. Once I experimented and thanked every single person who liked a post. The response was tremendous. They saw that “they” were special. But that, as Amanda Palmer, exampled can lead to a weird cultish, frenzied, fanzatical following I’ve no interest in cultivating. I’ve already had real stalkers and it is scary. Palmer herself experienced that before finally turning her attention volume to 10 from 11.

We, the musician who must promote promote promote constantly are seen as “ugh, just shameless self promotion again, god what an ego.” I’ve had that said to me many times by friends. Well, no friends any longer but you get the point. What the civilian sees as ego, because they would have an ego if they had talent, couldn’t be further from the truth for most of us musicians. There are musicians, like Palmer, more of a 24/7 performer in my opinion, who promote “themselves” constantly as opposed to their work and gigs. Those are indeed annoying but it eventually becomes effective. A recent study discovered a strong connection between Facebook and the brain’s reward center, called the nucleus accumbens. This area processes rewarding feelings about things like food, sex, money and social acceptance.

See if you can live with the  caricature you create for yourself, people eventually buy into it. I’ve done it to shorter extent and the attention I received along with the really persona, uncomfortable phone calls, messages, emails, mail, etc. made me realize that indeed, I am a musician first and foremost. An actual, trained, disciplined, very hard working musician who wants people to hear my music and to come to my live shows. Beyond that I need to make a living at this to keep doing it. Capiche?

Recently, I had the flu. I posted a humorous account of it saying how I was getting abs again from coughing so much and only all of my ached so I was good. The comments of unsolicited advice I received as well as facebook messages caused me more stress than being sick. People told me to stick garlic cloves in my ears, put garlic and oil and chili paste in a netti pot up my nose, drink a box of baking soda, take this herb, stand on my head, smudge, ask forgiveness, snort capsicum etc. For some reason my persona is one people think they need to give advice too. Only when I’m asking for it folks, which is about .00001% of the time. I had to laugh.

Why? Because when I post a new video I will see it has 1500 views and 6 likes. Gig notices? Even less. NPR feature? Less. Print interview or article. Less.

My conclusions are that people don’t notice anything you promote unless it has something to do with them. Period. You must hold their hand through what you need them to do. You must promote everything, all the time, constantly, without ever letting up. I calculated I have to do about 5 hours worth of promotional work for every 1 seat filled at my gig. Think about that.

When Amanda Palmer’s book and ted talk came out the link was shared on my wall and in messages over 100 times. All women. They were telling me see she knows how to ask for help. They thought they were being helpful bless them. If you know her story you know she is a performer who’s “..rise to increased public visibility has come largely care of her willingness to treat the world as part piggy bank, part personal assistant. She stonewalls in the face of criticism. She’s got a large, vocal, and aggressively evangelistic fanbase;” as Wired put it.

She also constantly and I mean constantly was screaming (yes men scream too) for the media especially to “look at me. Look at me. I am not giving up until you LOOK AT ME.” They did, she then went on attack saying quite scrutinizing me you meanies. You get what you ask for. She asked musicians to famously work for “Beer and hugs.” Ahhhh That’s like when I used to play bars and they would say at least you got some gas money. Yeah I’ll tell that to my car loan company, my insurance agent, my utilities, my etc.

For me though, what really hurt we indie musician, and those of use who have used crowd funding, that Palmer’s over the top persona was this: She forced people to deal with her persona. She is a street performer y’all don’t forget that. When she got the world looking at her they said whatcha got? It was as if she said, oh I didn’t think that far through. So then she quits her major record label deal. Let me say that again, she quits her major record label deal, something I don’t have. She said look how easy it is for me to ask my rabid, millions of fans to support my 1.2 million kickstarter. Oh gosh y’all I only asked for $100,000. Yeah uh huh. I barely squeaked my $3500.00 Kickstarter campaign and had to sell couple thousand worth of instruments to make up just the CD productions costs after that.

I’m very grateful for my fan base. It is minuscule by comparison. I work just as hard as Ms. Palmer, oops I don’t know if she took literary luminary Neil Gaiman’s last name or not. I’d take the Kardashian’s last name if they would help me get a record deal. But I’m easy. So I do have some really wonderful and generous fans that help me with House Concerts, shows, booking and offer me a place to stay on the road. I simply could not do it otherwise. That is an actual fact. But, to tell me look what Palmer did. Yeah, it is well intentioned but not thought out. Nuff said before I just get all truthy.

I had a phone call last night from someone wanting to know the information on my House Concert tomorrow? First off. My phone number isn’t on my website nor on the event or poster. Yeah if you look hard enough you could find it. No matter I don’t answer it unless I recognize the number. Anyway my House Concert was March 5th and this gig is March 18th. But the caller wanted all the information because they didn’t recognize the House or street name. It is a church called St. Andrews…..yeah I don’t get it either. Point being, I know not everyone is facebook savvy, but really this is someone, like so many, wanting personal attention and hand-holding so they will feel special. And that, like I said earlier, is what Everyone wants and expects on social media. When I get a staff of more than one, as in me, I will appoint someone to do just that with every YouTube message, email, phone call, post, comment I receive daily. Until then I’ll suck it up and do my best to remind every single listener and potential concert attendee they are indeed very special to me and I couldn’t do anything without them.

Also, that I do have a website calendar with all the information. But then again, you might have leave facebook. Dang.

 

Smiles all around and much love. Thank you my great fans. 

Randy

 

 

"Somewhere on the way from ethnic specialty music to the therapeutic edge of popular culture, the Native American flute took on a new mission. Originally used only by a few southwestern tribes like the Anasazi and the Lakota Sioux, the buttery tone and serene energy of these soft cedar instruments opened up a new audience for meditation and stress reduction.

For a few years in the 1980s and 90s, the Native flute found itself within the then-burgeoning new age genre, but as new age faded became a specialty music once again. It's a story that helps separate musicians who are called to the instrument, from those who merely follow popular trends.

In the hands of a master, the cedar flute creates a world of sound that evokes the vast spaces of the American West, opens the heart and summons the spirit. On this transmission of Hearts of Space, another journey in the gentle world of the Native American flute, on a program called TWILIGHT MESA."

Featuring music from Coyote Odman, Randy Granger, Ann Licater, Scott August, Peter Kater & Carlos Nakai among others. Tune in online at www.hos.com or find where to listen in your area at https://www.hos.com/#stations

https://www.hos.com/#program/1089

LAST CHANCE TO VOTE! 
25,000 COMPLETED BALLOTS IN 2016 NAMMY’S WITH NOMINEES ONLY SINGLE VOTES AWAY FROM EACH OTHER!

YOUR VOTE COUNTS! VOTE NOW! 

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/VOTENAMA16

“Best Male Vocalist” - Randy Granger
“Flutist of the Year” - Randy Granger

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/VOTENAMA16

My EP Desert Dreaming under my project name Lone Granger had been nominated for two Indian Summer Music Awards, ISMA. Today at the awards ceremony it won best "Spiritual" album for "Shaman's Dancing" from Desert Dreaming. I really very honored. It is a juried awards that passes a jury of initial listeners then up to five finalists go to judges from the Native American Music Industry. That is a huge honor because it means professionals who hear a LOT of great music think enough of your music to vote on it. The one with the most votes from the panels wins. 

Desert Dreaming is my four-song EP of songs all written on the 3-string Cigar Box Guitar made for my by Frank Harter of Utah. He goes under RavenWingFlutes online and on Etsy I believe. Fantastically gifted instrument maker, musician and a great guy who works more than full-time at a day job occasionally cranking out amazing instruments. 

The NAMMY's are a different story and that's where I very much need your vote now! Please share with all of your friends and contacts. Here's the email from the NAMMY's this evening: 

LAST CHANCE TO VOTE!
25,000 COMPLETED BALLOTS IN 2016 NAMMY’S WITH NOMINEES ONLY SINGLE VOTES AWAY FROM EACH OTHER!

YOUR VOTE COUNTS! VOTE NOW!

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/VOTENAMA16

“Best Male Vocalist” - Randy Granger
“Flutist of the Year” - Randy Granger

2016 ISMA WINNER FOR "BEST SPIRITUAL ALBUM" DESERT DREAMING BY LONE GRANGER AKA RANDY GRANGER

http://www.indiansummer.org/isma/

 

I'm very honored to announce my EP Desert Dreaming under project name Lone Granger has received two Indian Summer Music Award nominations ISMA, for 2016. It also received a couple of New Mexico Music Awards nominations and is up in the preliminary NAMMY nominations. Awards, while nice, are like resume items. In fact recently I was having a conversation with a big festival organizer. I asked how the committee goes about choosing performers to perform. I was told they just looked at the awards and went from there. 100% truth. 

Awards matter to others, to fans, to festivals, to bookers, to everyone else but the musician it seems. That is my case anyway. I often forget or am on the road when the deadline for these awards come around and miss it. Plus it costs money to enter awards contests. Some more expensive than others. That being said I am still honored because ISMA send their entries out to experts in Native American music. Folks who are in the music industry listen and judge each one. That says a lot to me instead of the on-line popularity voting type of award that I'm not crazy about. I'm already introverted enough but to have to beg and hassle people to vote for you makes me feel like I'm pandering. I do enough begging in my music career as it is.

Below are the categories for my nominations: 

Central/South American Indigenous  - Lone Granger - "Shamans Dancing"

Spiritual - Lone Granger - "Shamans Dancing"

"Shaman's Dancing" is my favorite song on the EP Desert Dreaming. I would love to make a video for it with my friends all drumming and dancing. My ancestor was a seer, shaman, whatever you wish to call it, for a tribe in what is now Mexico. Since childhood I've had visions that I later understood were signs of a Shamanic Path. Shamans are just appointed. They must demonstrate understanding and then learn learn learn and apprentice many years. Of course Shamans are universal in every indigenous culture on the planet. 

When I wrote and recorded this song I was picturing Shamans dancing round a fire under the Milky Way in ceremony. Thy lyrics say, "Calling peace/Calling love/Calling Joy/Calling grace." If you want to get the song my website has various ways to buy it via my website store, iTunes, CDBaby or Amazon.com. Just please buy it and don't steal it. It's not exactly expensive. Thank you. And please share my news with others. 

I'm here in S. Elgin, IL again performing at the World of Faeries Festival on the Fox River under ancient Oak trees. I love it and look forward to seeing some of you again. If you know folks in the greater Chicago area please let them know. After this I'm to do shows in Iowa, Omaha and Lawrence, KS. All the dates are on my website calendar. 

Peace

Randy 


INDIAN SUMMER MUSIC AWARD NOMINATED

 

"This same person was at another show where I was in the audience. ..... and said, “I looked over at you during their play. It’s as if I could see music flowing out of you. You just exude music. It’s in your being. It was like the music that was in the play was coming from you.” He went on, but suffice to say I was so humbled and almost in tears. He was commenting on the melodies I composed for our play and I laughed saying compose was a kind word, but that actually I improvise the whole time. His face was a giant incredulous, open-mouthed “Wha???” and I loved it."

Hey folks. It's been several weeks since returning from my blitz of the Hug the Gulf Tour and I'm still glowing with the memories and buzzing from the road. Since then I've performed at Yankie Creek Coffee in historic Silver City New Mexico and last Sunday spoke and did music at the First Christian Church in Las Cruces, NM. When you are a creative artist you don't just explore one genre, but you are always open to new forums and venues. I enjoy it all and have always felt compelled and drawn to teach and offer inspirational messages, talks, hospice etc. 

Now I find myself in San Diego, CA. I am here for the San Diego International Fringe Festival with my actor cohort Algernon D'Ammassa together as Theatre Dojo. We are honored to be part of the show. It's an international show with 500 shows, 18 venues over 11 days. www.sdringe.org for info. Last year’s San Diego Fringe Festival was attended by 65,000 people and paid out more than $120,000 to artists. Very impressive stats y'all. 

We debuted our original show Killing Buddha at last year's Great Salt Lake Fringe Festival where we won "Pick of the Fringe" much to our surprise. We are excited. The acts here are just amazing and I feel humbled and inspired each time I take them in. That is a good thing to be sure. We do what we do which is story-telling much in the tradition of the troubadours and bards of old all the way to the times around the campfire. 

Next month we return as honored guests to the Salt Lake Fringe Festival with a new piece called Songs of Uncreation which we have been working on while here and on the long 11-hour drive through 113f temps.  

 I compose music while the actor acts out the story. Think of it like a movie soundtrack done in real time. It's very challenging and exciting and requires It calls upon all my years of study, training, practice and experience as a musician. I must be extremely present and listen fully. Here is a short video of my process.

 

 

For more information on tickets, dates, times etc here it is: 

 

DETAILS:

 

San Diego International Fringe Festival

 

When: Thursday through July 3. (Check schedule for specific performance times.)

 

Where: 17 venues around San Diego.

 

Tickets: $10 for most shows (one-time purchase of $5 Fringe tag also required); $27-$72 for multi-show passes.

 

Online: sdfringe.org

 

KILLING BUDDHA is the original play written by Theatre Dojo founder Algernon D'Ammassa with Randy Granger. Algernon and Randy portraying two homeless storytellers who eat, pray, sing, and tell the audience an ancient story from Buddhist folklore in which a very human Buddha encounters a serial killer. The story presents a difficult moral problem about forgiveness and redemption.

 

San Diego International Fringe Festival 

 

www.sdfringe.org/ 

 

BUY TICKETS HERE:    https://sdfringe.ticketleap.com/killing-buddha/

 

 

 

http://www.theatre-dojo.org/#!September-11-performance-of-Killing-Buddha/m3mzb/5766fe0f0cf248f1d07d587b  

 

Here I am at the insane trail that leads down to Blacks Beach in San Diego on the Pacific Ocean. It's a treacherous 300ft, zig-zag of a goat trail from the hand-glider port to the beach below. There are huge bluffs and this is the "easy way" down as one local surfer told us when we finally asked him how to get down. I apologized for being "all touristy" but he was gracious about it.  The trail is fortified with huge wood planks, loose rocks and dirt. I think of it as natural selection, if you can make it down to the beach you are healthy enough to be there. Going up was equally brutal, surprisingly. Seeing the gliders above like as many birds was surreal and beautiful. It's mostly a clothing-optional beach which is cool with me as I always prefer that option being from the blazing deserts of New Mexico. 

Blacks Beach San Diego CA

 

 Randy at Blacks Beach trail Torrey Pines Park

 

 

Making my way back west along my Hug the Gulf tour. It’s beyond challenging to keep people’s attention on social media for more than a minute so I no longer post daily tour shots. It seems almost self-centered to think anyone is interested. When I do post photos I get comments that people are envious, jealous, with they had my life and how lucky I am. Those comments are like spiritual curses that return to the commenter and don’t really inspire me to post. What you output returns and continues to be present in your life. Nowhere in nature is their envy or jealousy except in the animal kingdom—and we should aspire to evolve. I don’t get social media because it’s not a virtual world I live in, but rather one of deep and real experiences with each conversation, experience, concert, interaction etc.

Driving along IH-10 what has struck me is how many rivers I cross. From the Rio Grande and Pecos near my homelands to the Brazos and Sabine now suffering catastrophic flooding in southeast Texas I’ve crossed historic and ancient waters. These waters have flowed from their headwaters down the countries back to other rivers, gulfs or oceans depending what side of the continental divide their flow. I’m aware of their original wildness and power. So many have used them for trade, life, migration, music, goods, freedom, war, peace that I am moved with each rattle of the bridges that span them. The rhythms of the rattle feel like a soundtrack and I want to stop and write songs.

Crossing the Mississippi I sang Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” to honor the late musician Jeff Buckley who drowned in the river on the evening of May 29, 1997, Buckley's band flew in intending to join him in his Memphis studio to work on the newly written material. That same evening, Buckley went swimming in Wolf River Harbor, a slackwater channel of the Mississippi River, while wearing boots, all of his clothing, and singing the chorus of the song "Whole Lotta Love" by Led Zeppelin. A roadie of Buckley's band, Keith Foti, remained ashore. After moving the radio and a guitar out of reach of the wake from a passing tugboat, Foti looked up to see that Buckley was gone. Despite a determined rescue effort that night, Buckley remained missing. On June 4, his body was spotted by a tourist on a riverboat and was brought ashore.

The autopsy to clarify the cause of Buckley's death confirmed Buckley had taken no illegal drugs before his swim and a drug overdose was therefore ruled out as cause of death. In order to clarify the situation of his death, this statement was released from the Buckley estate:

Jeff Buckley's death was not "mysterious," related to drugs, alcohol, or suicide. We have a police report, a medical examiner's report, and an eye witness to prove that it was an accidental drowning, and that Mr. Buckley was in a good frame of mind prior to the accident.

Sometimes these rivers not only carry songs but sadness of past lives or the land. Crossing the Lake Charles bridge, the long Atchafalaya swamp hiway, skirting lake Pontchartrain, Mobile bay the rivers grow as they get closer to merging with the gulf. The blues and jazz lapping at the shores. Of course the Suwannee River

Bridge has the notes of the famous melody on its sign. I camped along the tannin colored Withlacoochee River for a few days enjoying the cypress and oak trees. The birds of Florida are amazing to me and hawks and Swallow-tailed Kites kept me company. I met good people right away who gathered around my campfire each night trading stories and me songs. Great way to recharge from the tour, which has been splendid.

 

When I come off a tour it is not an easy transition to make. The energy output, thousands of miles, so many stories and listening puts you in another place. Friends ask me if I had fun, did I make money, was it fun (I don’t know why they ask that so much)? But really what an artist wants to hear are these questions: “What were the audiences like? The Venues? What did they say? Were they moved? Did you touch people? Did they cry? Did they laugh?”

 

Besides the whole needing to make a living to continue doing this aspect of being a touring musician, what matters most if is if you are touching others with your music and stories. I had a friend who saw I was back in town and we met for breakfast. He asked about my tour and I thought he meant it. Soon we were talking about the drama in his life. Point is no one actually wants to hear about it. It’s a lonely realization that I’m certain other artists have adjusted to.

 

Driving gives you lots of time to reflect on these things. I had a sold-out concert in Leesburg, FL and was just overcome with gratitude at the size and enthusiasm of the crowd. As I moved through my set I felt that connection that I live for. It was real as are any of those times. We were on this journey together. No one left at the intermission gladly and I had a standing ovation. Sold-out or not each concert/gig is I offering something real and deep to folks and weather they close their eyes or sing along my sense of appreciation and humility keeps me from ever being about ego.

 

So like those rivers I cross, I am a channel through which the song and stories of all the musicians and storytellers before me flows. Each heartbreak, joy, love, loss pours out through my music offering some respite, like a gentle canoe ride, for just a time.

 

I’m in Houston on Sunday at the Unitarian Fellowship of Houston. Check my calendar for details. Here is the info from their website: Thank you again to each of you for showing up, helping, organizing, promoting, buying a CD, applauding, laughing, crying, singing and sharing your stories with me:

 

Upcoming Sunday Programs

May 29, 2016

Adult and Youth Education programs at 9:45am

Sunday Service at 11:00 am

“Native American Wisdom: ‘Corn Mother,’ honoring the labor of ancestors” — A program about the Penobscot creation story of “Corn Mother” and its relevance to the world we’ve inherited and the world we are manifesting and leaving to future generations. Randy will tell this story with Native Drums and Native Flutes. Rev. Randy Granger is a Native American musician, spiritual teacher and speaker from Las Cruces, NM. He brings his Mayan/Apache ancestry to his music and teachings. In addition to leading Spiritual Journeys to Acoma Sky City and Canyon de Chelly, he leads meditation groups, Ecstatic Dance and is a regular speaker at the Center for Spiritual Living in Las Cruces, NM.

Please stay for coffee and fellowship after the service.

 

 

 

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