Artist Interview: Michael Gracy – ArtistPR.com
Tell us about yourself and your music
I’m 69 years young. I was born in Enid Oklahoma and raised on a farming-ranching operation in Southern Kansas. My mother’s dad was fiddler and influenced my love for music. I was always making up songs while riding my horse while checking our cattle. So my music has a Country Western Cowboy flavor to it.
My dad bought me a Gibson guitar when I was 14 years old (which I still have), and I took lessons off and on for two years. Some friends of mine and I started a band in high school and played for 3 years all over our county and even played on TV once. I received a football scholarship at a Jr. College, and met some football players that were into music. So we started up a band and were together for 2 years.
After Jr. College my beautiful wife, Sandy and I were married and started a family and a working career. I gave guitar lessons for a few years and then hung it up until I was 50 years old. I had a bad drinking problem, so entered and Alcohol Treatment Center at 51 years old and had a spiritual awakening. I started singing in Church and my Pastor said, “I should write my own lyrics, and tell how God has affected my life.” People liked what they heard and said I should record my music. Long story short; I was heard by a fellow who had Nashville connections. I went to Nashville and recorded an album and played in different venues for 6 months. That didn’t work well so settled in to a Music Ministry. Now I play in Cowboy Churches, Mainstream Churches, Assisted Livings, Nursing Homes, Coffee Shops and Music Festivals.
Talk to us more about your latest release
My latest release is an album named, “He Writes the Song”. I wrote all the songs and recorded in In Mustang, Oklahoma at Tate Music Studios. It has some great sound tracks. One of the songs, “Your Memory Will Never Fade”, (a song I wrote on an airplane flying home from Oregon to my Mother’s funeral), has been played all over the world, and has been on a couple of charts, and was #7 on a small chart in Canada. The songs are mostly about farm life and some of the hardships and good times we face on the Family Farm and Ranching operations in the Country.
The title song “He Writes the Song” is a song title that was suggested by my Pastor, and the song “Grace Took Place”, is a song I wrote about this Pastor. He was diagnosed with terminal cancer the week end I wrote this 2 songs. I was living in Kansas City, Kansas at the time and drove 400 miles out to Western Kansas to sing these two songs to him before he passed. He thought they were great! He passed 3 days later. This was one of the saddest and one of the happiest times of my Life. Letting him go was hard, however knowing he was going home was a day of great joy.
What inspired you to write this release?
I want people to know that no matter where you come from whatever your background. There is room in your life for God. He Loves us all !!! Yes, we all have our own brand of problems and try to deal with them all our own. God is there for us to lean on and to give us wisdom to deal with all of our trouble that we have here in the chaotic world.
Any plans to release a video?
No plans to do a video. They are high dollar. I thing they are effective and help promote the songs. People like to watch movies put to music.
Any plans to hit the road?
My wife, Sandy and I were on the road for 8 years. We sold our home and bought a 5th wheel travel trailer and a used Dually Ford Pickup. We traveled from Nashville to California, up the Oregon Coast, across the Rocky Mountains and the Mountain States, to the Hill Country of Texas, and the Southern Tip of Texas.
Our truck broke down and was going to cost more than we could afford. So we settled in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Now we travel in our car and try to stay closer to home so we can sleep in our own bed. We spend a lot of long days and nights trying to get back home. Although we are in our late 60’s we have a lot of energy, and we recover pretty fast from the hardships and tiring pace of entertaining on the road.
As an indie artist, how do you brand yourself and your music to stand out from the rest of the artists out there?
I feel my music is different and I try to stick to the Traditional side of Country Music. The roots of it that has stood the test of time. My music is honest and true, and has a good story line and it has a moral to it and has scriptural base to it.
I feel I have a personality that is straight forward and honest. I think we need a lot of honesty and truth in the world today.
Who have you been listening to lately?
I listen a lot to Merle Haggard, Willy Nelson, Randy Travis, and a new kid on the block by the name of Willi Dakota. Willi Dakota for a youngster, sure has a way with lyrics. I like his writing. Of course Merle Haggard has a way of writing one line that reads like a whole paragraph. I try to condense my thoughts into nice tight lyrics like he does. I haven’t mastered it, however I am striving to improve myself in that area.
Tell us about your passions
Life gets me up. I love the life I have. I don’t have any big money or investments to fall back on. However I have the love of a great Wife, Sandy. We have 2 Children, a son and daughter. Between those two we have 10 grand kids and 5 great grand kids. If that don’t keep you young and broke I don’t know what will. LOL
I also have a good horse that I keep out at my son-in-laws farm, and I ride her 2-3 times a week. I still put shoes on her, and do some roping and dragging with her. I’m not as good as I used to be, but I’m as good once as I ever was! i.e. Toby Keith song that I sure identify with.
Of Course God. Without him I am nothing. He is what really gets me movin’ and grovin’!!!
What else is happening next in your world?
Right now God only knows. I have my name in the hat for a Pastorate at a couple of churches. I have a Cowboy Church Service coming up May 7th at Caldwell, Kansas. Caldwell in the 1870’s was a shipping point of cattle on the Chishlom Trail. Caldwell is celebrating her 150th Anniversary of the Chishom Trail by having a 3 day Festival, ending on Sunday morning with a Cowboy Church Service. I will be the Head Liner and sing some old Cowboy Gospel Songs and do and little preaching along with my Dad. He is a 91 year old Cowboy and is still very active, and a pretty good Preacher of the common sense of the Gospel.
Thanks for an awesome interview, Michael!
Connect with Michael Gracy
This article first appeared on ArtistPR.com