Upcoming Performances

  • Oct 22

    Eagles Lodge #306

    Lawrence

  • Nov 18

    Unitarian Universalist congregation of Lake County

    Eustis

  • Nov 19

    Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Lake County

    Eustis

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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.

 

 

 

Well I've been on the road a week now for my Hug the Gulf Tour. I left around 3AM last Friday for the gruelling 13.5hr drive to north Houston, the town of Spring. I was in town to do an all-day workshop and concert and it was a blast. I love teaching of course and performing is the reward. Had ten folks in my workshop and a great turnout of around 27 at my concert. On this tour I've had children, teenagers, graduate students etc as well as elders. I love it all. 

A friend of mine lost her sister recently and there was a memorial outside of Houston Sunday. Her sis in law was in home hospice too so it was a combo life celebration and living wake. I had met both of them. I wanted to say by to T and knew she was close to transitioning. It was a lovely day in the woods near a lake and forest land. We sat outside ate bbq chicken and potato salad. They were just ordinary folks like what I grew up around and I felt right at home. Even though I was a honored guest I downplayed my role and mostly asked questions. I prefer to never be the center of attention unless I am working. T passed a couple of days later. Before I left I picked up a dusty, out of tune guitar and sang "Hallelujah" for T from my record Pura Vida. Many tears and release. It's what music does. I was glad I could be there and had a down day.

It's been raining since I hit San Antonio and today as I sit in a cafe in Orange Park, FL it's about to rain again. Not fun to drive through the blinding rain. My friend Sandy and her husband, my hosts in Texas, took me to eat crawfish and grilled oysters and Jimmy G's and it was phenomenal. When I tour I make it a point to try and eat what is regional and local. I post photos on my Instagram account often to please go follow me there. https://www.instagram.com/lonegranger/ 

A friend from my high school showed up with his wife to the workshop and concert. It was great to see them as well as new friends and old. Wednesday night I did a house concert in Moselle, MS near Hattiesburg. It was a blast. Last time I did one there it rained and we had to move everything to the front covered porch. Whew. It rained on and off this time but cleared in time fortunately. My hosts are just the most awesome, generous people and the turnout was close to 45. All ages like I said. Last night I performed at Moosehaven City of Contentment in Orange Park, FL in their beautiful chapel to around 65 folks. It rained and rained and rained. But they bravely road their motorized bikes. I had a great time and the thunder and rain (same as in Spring) was a lovely soundtrack. A hawk was outside in the grass and I felt it was a confirmation as the Hawk is one of my totem animals.

I'm heading to Leesburg, FL for a workshop and concert at the Leesburg Center for the Arts. The Orlando Sentinel did an interview and story about it. They are Florida's most read paper online and in print. Impressive. Here is the story which is also included in my "Press" section of my website. http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/lake/os-lk-leesburg-center-arts-randy-granger-20160518-story.html  

The reporter started off asking me what I would say is the difference between spirituality and religiosity? I said I would prefer to talk about my music. I've been doing this a while and find that you really need to control the direction of interviews if you can, answer only what is asked and then shut up. Let me know what you think about the article. I haven't had a single moment to download photos from my gigs to my laptop but I will. Mostly, I've been driving and driving and driving. Yesterday I left Moselle at 5:45AM and arrived in Orange Lake around 4PM. I barely remembered there was a time change to EST. Yikes. 

Thank you for showing up to my shows. It is so rewarding to meet you and hear your stories. Thank you for sharing my stuff on social media too. 

Randy

Crowd filing into the chapel and Moosehaven City of Contentment. About 65 folks came in the rain.

 

As I'm on the road for a couple of weeks "hugging the Gulf coast" I stopped to finish a blog that's really an addendum to my last post. What I didn't mention that I feel so very, really fortunate to have friends peppered around the country who give me respite on the road. These have become friends who began as supporters of my music. If you can call a handful of people these kinds of friends you are really blessed. And, I am. 

Of course what happens is when you blast out on social media that you'll be traveling and would welcome a couch, floor, shower etc., well it can feel like crickets. People who said hey anytime you're coming through you have a place to stay somehow avoid you like a homeless hitchhiker. Who knows why. But, other touring musicians I've spoken to have similar experiences. It can feel beyond awkward to message people saying, "hey, erum remember that time when you said if I ever came through ......yada yada?" They say begging is good for the soul. And people wonder why traveling musicians have so much soul. 

The alternatives like AirBnB, Couchsurfing.com and countless so called "indie" musician groups and message boards rarely pan out. Trust me. My personal experience with AirBnB was so pathetic I gave up. Somewhere along the line when potential hosts would read I'm a musician or see I was of ambiguous ethnicity (American Indian) they would suddenly have a regular coming in or forgot the house was being fumigated etc. Seriously. There was a great show about it on NPR's Hidden Brain

So mostly I camp in state parks, on NFS land or sometimes KOA's. Camping allows you to sleep next to your gear and that is very important when touring. Otherwise you rent a sketchy hotel and have to take "everything" into the room and back out again. I stayed with a good friend in NOLA couple years back and me and my sherpa, Tony, emptied the car and stored it in the patio then got up at 3:30AM, loaded it all and were on the road to Florida by 4:15 sleepy as hell and as tired as a OTR driver. When your tour starts out you have to plan miserly because you've no idea how your gigs will go. Last summer I began by camping at Clayton Lake State Park in NM. A powerful thunderstorm started around 1AM and collapsed my new tent. (I hadn't set it up right) I ended up sleeping in my front seat. Sleeping is meant sarcastically. The next day I was setting up my tent at Lake Mead in Kansas to 55MPH winds thinking what the hell am I doing with my life? 

Civilians won't ever understand any of this and that's ok. People think hey you're a friggin musician who gets to travel around and play music. Dude, You Are So Lucky! I would kill to have your life. And you just smile and sit on your hands. Sometimes touring you gotta just have a sheer force of willpower to marshall through and laugh as much as you can. And, cry in your proverbial beer, just not around fans. (huge no no) Humility is something served or earned and you'll have plenty of both when you venture out to actually support yourself and your work as a musician Good luck!

Ok so I'm on my "Hug the Gulf" tour and I love me some gulf states, food and folks. Please check my website and share my dates (they are all over Facebook of course. Gotta be!) I'm teaching some all day workshops, doing a couple of house concerts, playing at the Leesburg Center for the Arts in Florida and a UU Fellowship in Houston. Scheduled for Moosehaven in Orange Lake, FL though having a little trouble confirming that. It will work out. When you see musicians post they are looking for a couch to surf, please believe them. You, the musician, go ahead and post and let folks know you're serious and that you don't actually have manners haha. Posting your green complexioned, hungover "Cinco de Drinko" pics probably not a plus. 

Details for my Gulf tour on my Calendar page. In Spring, TX, Mosele, MS (Near Hattiesburg), Leesburg, FL, Orange Lake, FL and again in Houston, TX. As always, I'm always looking for pick-up gigs and no venue too small for consideration. Just contact me.  

Randy Granger Tour Poster

It is always surprising that civilians (non-musicians) don't think that professional musicians don't have actual car payments, credit card debt, utilities, rent, mortgage, medical etc. I've had people argue with me that since I get to do what I love that I can't really have bills or problems. I'm being serious. It's a symptom of how we've objectified and idealized those we consider celebrities, famous or popular. Yes, we have real bills, expenses and no safety net, nest egg, giant safe filled with gold bars hidden in our yards somewhere. I wish. 

As I walked through it was as if I could hear every story at once. Each piece, clothing, instrument, pot, Katsinas, jewelry all were talking to me and I felt such strong emotion. Mostly, wistful and sadness as I walked through giving silent acknowledgments. I think my dreams were premonitions and the ancestors came through with anticipation that I was going there. Often people will tell me they see my ancestors with me when I perform and they are open to seeing it.

 

I hear from listeners frequently how they use my music as their loved ones are passing or going through chemo like this recent Facebook post. "I am a counselor. Client's last visit today before hospice. Your music on Pandora in my office. She says those are the sounds i want to take me to Heaven. :)).

“Part of the adventure was to create adjectives for your music. After looking at the photo I came (of the dancers) the adjective I found most descriptive was ‘magical," said choreographer Mei Ling McKay. 

Granger “is a native New Mexican of indigenous ancestry,” according to the website. “He is a master of various instruments, combining Native American flute with musical traditions encompassing rock, jazz, mariachi, and more. Based in Las Cruces, he tours the U.S. as a solo musician and teacher.”

 

Granger is his shadow, giving color and flavor to the story with a cigar-box guitar, a double flute, bowls, bottles and many other wind and percussion instruments – and silence. Separately and together, they weave a rich tapestry that is wonder and magic for the eye, the ear and the heart.

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