Live recording Tara Hill Blues night

I always bring my portable H4N to record my performances. I use mostly for my own archives. Since I'm taking a break I thought you'd enjoy hearing this performance of mine at Tara Hill Tavern. thanks to Sid Moskowitz for putting together these gigs.  

 image by Leonard Eisenberg

image by Leonard Eisenberg

Tara Hill Tavern April 28, 2015 Here is the list of songs I performed, including a fun spontaneous jam with accordionist Curtis Becraft, on my song Easy come Easy Go.

Little By Little - Junior Wells

What Fools Do - Cathy Grier

Down On My Knees - Cathy Grier

Raised On Robbery - Joni Mitchell

Easy Come Easy Go - Cathy Grier, (special guest Curtis on accordion)

Good Thing - Cathy Grier

 me and Curtis image by  Carla Lynne Hall

me and Curtis image by Carla Lynne Hall


25 Years after Tiananmen Square; I'm Still a Witness

Last week marked the 25 year anniversary of the Tiananmen Square uprising in China. It was a heroic demonstration of the people taking a public space in protest of a totalitarian regime. In the 25 years since that uprising and the use of armed forces to suppress civil disobedience, there have been more and more widely broadcasted protests against nations near and far. 

A defunct and corrupt government in Egypt. 

Civil unrest against election results and media control in Iran.

An uprising against Wall Street bailouts in our own country. 

And so on...

Through these many demonstrations have come hundreds of news stories. Sometimes the distance is too far for me to reach physically, and in those moments, I am solely a witness. 

As a singer and songwriter, I use my voice to witness these incidents to others and to ensure the memories of the oppressed and the murdered stay alive. I continue to be a witness in the vein of folk-singers past, like Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger. No matter the distance between myself and the awful stories on the 24-hour news cycle, I am still a witness, and I keep on witnessing to those who can still hear. 

I wrote a song entitled "Witness," inspired by the courageous protestors who were at TIananmen Square. This song is for those lost in the fight for freedom. I first released it on my "Retracing" CD recorded in Key West, FL in 1998. It is available to you as a free download. And here are the lyrics.

As a songwriter I write to express my reaction to events like Tiananmen, through song I am relieved at the same time that I am outraged. In reality I continue to allow events to inform my creative world and in that world I can find solace. 25 years ago there was no such thing as "social media" and the internet as we know it. Today I use it as another path to share with you.

Sign up for my newsletter today to find out about more free downloads.

 

 

 

#Rise4Justice Feb 14th

Since 1998 on February 14th V-Day has championed ending violence around the globe, bringing millions-billions together in support. This year the One Billion Rising movement is reaching out for justice. #Rise4Justice. I wrote a song for last years 1st One Billion Rising campaign and have an updated version made especially for 2014.  Here's a free download of my song Rise UP that I wrote for V-Day + Eve Ensler.  rise Up For Justice!

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New Recording session

I spent a very long Sunday at Degraw sound on January 19th with engineer Harper James. I recorded 22 songs live. it was kind of a marathon monstor recording session.  I have always wanted to get a good recording sound out of my thin bodied Guild Songbird. It's a great performance guitar, but I've found it lacking in the studio. Harper did a great job of mixing in the mics along with the direct out from the guitar and we put it through a fender amp for a bit of a springy sound.

Once we got the room sound like I wanted, I just sang and played for 7 hours straight. Guess singing in the subway has been a great way to keep my stamina up. My whole creative energy is about performing, (and why it was important to record voice and guitar at the same time), and I was happy to have friends Carter McElroy and Nousha Salami come to support, which was really comforting.

I wanted to record newer versions of some of my favorite older songs, and also interpretations of songs that fans and commuters often ask me if I have recorded.  I returned to the studio last Sunday and Harper and I mixed 15 songs.  I've been listening to them and trying to decide which ones to choose and what to do next….stay tuned for how I plan to get them out to you. but first here's a little listen. 

top row is from my iPad, and bottom row by Nousha Salami

Earth Day free song Jungle

Earth Day is every day in my world, but this week and especially today Monday April 22nd is the 'official' Earth Day, now 43 years in existence.  I remember the first one back in the 1970's and thank my Mom for opening my eyes to being more mindful and earth friendly. 

Why bother with Earth Day? Living a life with consideration for our planet's sustainability takes time, takes conscious effort and intent.  My take is the effort is well worth the time well spent, it’s good to feel good about caring about our world!!

In time, even one thing done to help make a difference, does make a difference.

 

In thoughtful celebration, here's a free Download of my song Jungle  

words + music C. Grier SESAC Singerfish publishing

 

Below are 10 actions for My Earth Day is Every Day: Call it sacrifice, learn to embrace it, or better yet, find a solution. But….Doing nothing is the wrong option.

!0 Actions to consider: it's not if but when you...

1) ...will decide it's too expensive to drive alone for one trip you could easily consolidate with other trips.  Rethink your relationship with your car and consider some kind of commuter transportation.

2) ...unplug all the electronics in your home when not in use, and do anything you can to truly understand your energy consumption.  Then make adjustments.

3) ...reduce, reuse and recycle.  How many bags do you throw away,  how many items could you reuse but find too time consuming to do anything about.  What do you do with all your now obsolete gadgets?  Find an e-waste depot near you.

4) ...ask local and national government to consider next generations, not next election cycles. If you find resistance, vote for change.

5) ...switch to homemade or non-petroleum based cleaning products (yes most household products from dish detergent to shampoo use petroleum).  And no fooling, switching is much healthier for your home environment.

6) ...support your local economy.  There is a reason you can get cheap goods at big box stores-off shore corporations pay labor cents per hour and get huge tax breaks to do so.  

7) ...eat out less and use what you have in your cupboard more.

8) ...update appliances and recycle the old (do not reuse those energy guzzlers). 

9) ...take advantage of state and national tax credits for updating your energy systems and home weatherizing.

10) ...teach a child to care about the environment and they will carry it with them throughout their lives.  It's their future.

 

One thing is certain: the world of today will be different tomorrow - and the day after that, and on and on ad infinitum. The question is not whether we must learn to live sustainably, but how fast we can do so. from University of North Dakota 

Fallen Friends for cousin Peter

Fallen Friends for my cousin Peter

On April 4th 1989 my cousin Peter VanderPutten lost his life to AIDS.  I lived with him in his wonderful guest house The Cypress House in Key West.  Like so many of the people around me, we were all consumed with the loss and devastation.  Today I especially like to remember Peter and want to share my song Fallen Friends with you. As we remember let's not forget that AIDS is still ravaging the world. 

It's a free download.

Fallen Friends_Cathy_Grier.mP3 

FALLEN FRIENDS words and music by Cathy Grier SESAC singerfish publishing 

 

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Fallen Friends Words/Music-C. Grier Sesac Singerfish Publishing

Where Have My Friends Gone

They Have All Fallen

Where Are My Many Fallen Friends

I keep Thinking

I Hope They Are Somewhere

Where No Anger Resides And There's No Hate

Where No One Decides What's Wrong Or Right

Before Its Too Late

 

Where Have My Friends Gone

Last I Looked They Were Healthy And Funny, But

Where Are My Many Fallen Friends

I Keep Looking Again

 

And They're Falling

My Falling, Falling Friends

My Falling, Falling Friends

 

Some Saw Denial

And Their Lifestyles On Trial

Some Tried To Say

Why Has The Government Looked Far Away

Numbered Days Are All Gone

 

And They're Falling

Falling Falling Lovers, Falling Men

Falling Women, My Falling Friends

 

And What We Are Missing

By Not Taking A Stand

Are The Many Numbers Too Afraid To Lend A Hand

And There's Such A Demand

Lives That Are Cut Short

And It Doesn't Make Sense

Why Can't We, Why Can't We Rise Up

And Help Find A Cure, Others Aren't Sure

 

And They're Falling, Falling Lovers, Falling Men

Falling Women, My Falling Friends 

And They're Falling Children

Falling Lovers, Falling Men, Falling Women, My Falling Friends

 

Will The Falling Ever End

10 years ago

10 years ago today we went to war in Iraq.  Under false pretenses, under fear of weapons of mass destruction, since proven never existed as a threat.  I was against it all, still am.  I wrote, I sang, I joined New Yorkers Say NO To War.  I marched.

Today even through my cynical and sad eyes, I can still honor all the fallen, all the victims on all sides, all the heros. men, women, the National Guard members who were swept up into the non-debate of a non-draft country and government which remembered what happened when it's citizens rose up against another misbegotten war in Vietnam. I saw through the slick, tricky, slippery slope creation of "Military Contractors" who were making more money in 1 year than countless US soldiers combined.  And the corporations who really are the  financial "winners" in this human tragedy never could be won war.

I still believe our US entitlement throughout the world is hurting us all.  I continue to support efforts of diplomacy in the name of peace.  You may say I'm a dreamer, but without dreams what's life for?

Here's a song for today.  My song "Dedicate"

10 years ago today peace was still an option, download free Dedicate,  I dedicate my life to peace. Can you dedicate? 

 

Rise Up One Billion Rising song

I wrote this song about Eve Ensler and the One Billion Rising movement Thursday February 14th

  • Breaking news I'll be performing onstage at Hammerstein Ballroom for the One Billion Rising event Thursday link to tickets

You can listen and download here

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Rise Up, One Billion Rising words and music by Cathy Grier

Join me Thursday in NYC and in Hudson NY on Friday 15th where I'll be the musical guest at Stageworks + REACH Production of Eve Ensler's Vagina Monologues

Megan Sparkman - logo - I_love_NY.jpeg

 logo by Megan Sparkman

One Billion Rising February 14th! What's it all about?  

Song request Stand Tall

Here I am in front of my computer, snow is falling, I'm in upstate NY until Monday when I return to subway gigs in NYC. I'm checking my social media and James Campbell a friend on Facebook wanted to hear me sing my song Stand Tall live. Hmm I thought, my guitar is right here, nothing precious about a live song, so I turned on my laptop recording and voila. here it is. Quicker than traveling to Canada. Happy listening James

Stand Tall MP3 

Why not request one yourself? I'm happy to oblige.

click on post a comment below. and request a song you'd like me to sing.  For copyright reasons I prefer it being one of my own compositions. I'll link to an MP3 file, even email it to you, OR if you'd like to be annoymous, send me a private request here

You don't know my songs? check them out on itunescdbaby you can also listen right here on my site

Request song setup 0 00 15-10.jpg

recording, pretty relaxed

Happy Holiday's

Wishing everyone a happy and festive Holiday.

Some years back while in seasonably warm Key West, Florida, I recorded a version of "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus," it was featured on an NPR affiliate radio program called "Do You Hear What I Hear? A Holiday Folk Tour" with Judy Collins hosting and produced by Paul Ingles of KUNM, Albuquerque, NM

 

Here's a free MP3 of I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus, enjoy (and yes that's me whistling!) recorded at Private Ear Studio Key West, Dan Simpson engineer

As the end of the year approaches, I divvy up some of my subway earnings and make contributions to non-profit organizations I feel are making a difference in this world, like Peace Talks Radio, Playing For Change, Pete Seeger's Clearwater, or Eve Enslers V-Day to name a few.  I have a section on this site called The Champions I Support, with links. Maybe you'll consider joining me. 

Fallen Friends

April 4th has had a huge significance in my life.

On April 4, 1965  Richard Grier, my father slipped into a coma, and lost his battle with cancer on April 25th in Middletown, CT age 33 

On April 4, 1968 Martin Luther King was gunned down in Memphis, TN age 39

and On April 4, 1989 Peter VanderPutten lost his fight with AIDS in Key West, FL at The Cypress House the guest house he owned.  I was by his side. Peter my cousin, my teacher age 48

I wrote a song called "Fallen Friends" for Peter and for all those lost to AIDS so many, so quickly in the 1980's. We haven't forgotten, now more than ever.

listen to an MP3 Fallen Friends 

Lyrics

Fallen Friends Words/Music-C. Grier Sesac Singerfish Publishing 

Where Have My Friends Gone

They Have All Fallen

Where Are My Many Fallen Friends

 

I Hope They Are Somewhere

Where No Anger Resides And There's No Hate

Where No One Decides What's Wrong Or Right

Before Its Too Late

 

Where Have My Friends Gone

Last I Looked They Were Healthy And Funny

But Where Are My Many Fallen Friends

I Keep Looking Again

 

Chorus:

And They're Falling

My Falling, Falling Friends

My Falling, Falling Friends

 

Some Saw Denial

And There Lifestyles On Trial

Some Tried To Say

Why Has The Government Looked Far Away

Number Days Are All Gone

 

Chorus

 

And What We Are Missing

By Not Taking A Stand

Are The Many Numbers Too Afraid To Lend A Hand

And There's Such A Demand

 

Lives That Are Cut Short

It Doesn't Make Sense

Why Can't We, Why Can't We Rise Up

And Help Find A Cure, Others Aren't Sure

And They're Falling Falling Lovers, Falling Men

Falling Women, My Falling Friends And They're Falling Children

Falling Lovers, Falling Men, Falling Women, My Falling Friends

Will The Falling Ever End