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  • Jun 3

    Albuquerque Folk Festival

    Albuquerque

  • Jun 17

    Black Range Lodge

    Kingston

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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.

Whether you’re a new performing musician running your own sound through a battery operated amp, a seasoned touring pro with a crew or, like myself, a touring seasoned pro who mostly runs his own sound, one thing is for certain—you must have a good sound check! The actual engineering of a thorough sound check could fill a book, and it does, I want to offer a few tips from my decades of experience.

 

"...Within each performance, there is incredible stillness and reflection and yet, the album is deeply inspired and threaded with sincere feeling. If you have enjoyed and followed the work of R. Carlos Nakai, Marina Raye or Mark Holland, this is a must-have seasonal gem." 
"Tamara Turner, CD Baby


Starting November 30, 2015 (Cyber Monday) at 12AM and running through December 4th at 11:59PM, we’ll take the hit on shipping costs to encourage my fans to buy more of my CDs from my distributor, CD Baby. It doesn’t matter if you order 1 CD or 100, standard shipping — domestic AND international — will be  TOTAL. And of course, we’ll still be shipping these CDs for you to get them in time for the holidays!

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