Upcoming Performances

  • Jun 3

    Albuquerque Folk Festival

    Albuquerque

  • Jun 17

    Black Range Lodge

    Kingston

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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 on HWY US-54 north of Carrrizozo, NM I was driving through a construction zone that drops to 45mph. In NM the speed zone is in effect 24/7 and fines are doubled. A truck with a Turquoise cab comes up behind me suddenly speeding upThey 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. It was a 2000 mile journey to play three times. It's what I do. 

 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. Personal experiences lend credence to those feelings. 

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 turquoise 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   

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