From the recording Strong Medicine
Title track from the album Strong Medicine a successfully funded Kickstarter project. Thank you fans.
Strong Medicine album notes and press release:
Contemporary Southwest musician Randy Granger, and Las Cruces resident, went online to fund his new album Strong Medicine. Using an on-line “crowd funding” source called Kickstarter he promised backers signed CD’s, music lessons via Skype and even an enchilada dinner/house concert. There were no backers for the dinner, but as much as he is on the road it could have easily worked. The album was released September 13th and as the promotion begins he has performed music from the CD to strong, sometimes overwhelming reactions. “Cathartically Joyous” is how Granger describes the album and the process of writing the songs. It was another way for him to process caring for then losing his loved one to pancreatic cancer in March 2011. The title track begins with an actual recording of the chemotherapy pumps at the now closed Texas Oncology clinic in Las Cruces. As he was recording the sounds with a keen composer’s ear the album began to gestate in his mind. His partner, the late poet Wayne Crawford, looked at him and said, “At least love, you’re gonna write some songs out of this.” This line found its way into the song too. As poets they both knew the best work comes from transmuting life’s pain into art and making the personal into the universal. In the song, the chemo pump rhythm’s and beeps transform into American Indian flutes and Buffalo drum eventually into a full out, driving song.
The songs are about beauty, unconditional love, peace, loss, acceptance and end with a cover of the Rolling Stone’s “Wild Horses.” Granger, a multi-instrumentalist, draws upon the instruments he’s been exploring in recent albums like the American Indian and Bansuri flutes, Pan drums like the Hang and Halo, world percussion and guitar, bass and vocals. His roots as a singer-songwriter for decades before discovering the American Indian flute in 2004 are in full display on this album. He invited Las Cruces musician Donny Prosise to sing harmony vocals and Alison Reynolds of La Cella Bella string quartet to offer their gifts on the album. Artists and photographers from around the country offered their images to use once they heard about the project. At live show listeners have shared their own stories of surviving cancer or helping a loved one through it. Their stories are personal and often they become overwhelmed with emotion as if hearing the songs has given them permission to release.