“Music has been a source of information and love.” – Angela Luna Grano
Angela quite literally had me at, “Hello”, and for two good reasons. One, her “Hello” is the smoky, smoldering breathy kind of many a man’s dreams, as well as a few open minded women, and two, she was holding a vocal baby turkey whose little voice could be heard in tandem with hers. That’s right, a baby turkey. Because, not only is Angela an accomplished singer, she is a passionate and federally registered wildlife rescuer and bird rehabilitator; something Robert C. Fullerton didn’t know when he approached her to sing with him on his song about a bird, Phoebe, on his soon to be released second album, Let it Rain.
“I thought Phoebe was about a woman but it’s actually about a bird. I love that Robert called me in on a song that is about a bird and he didn’t know that I rehabilitate them,” Grano shares. “I think that speaks directly to his intuition as an artist.” Grano adds, “Robert is, in my mind, of the true blue echelon, that blue collar music, the real coal miner mentality. You work hard and it’s not easy and you may not get recognition but you make heat for a lot of people.”
Grano is, in her own right, a proficient singer. She was with the Jamie Strange Band and was voted Top Vocalist in the Hartford Advocate poll for five years running. The band also won Best Original Band and made the cover. Grano was in the band for ten years and felt it was time to move to California because each time she went there she felt a connection to its beauty and freedom. So, at the age of 33, Grano packed up her child and the family dog moved out west where she made some beautiful records. “It’s very different in LA,” says Grano, “you think you’re in a land everyone flocks to but it’s nothing to what I found in Hartford, CT.”
After some time in LA, Grano moved back to Connecticut which is where she met Robert at an event. “Robert approached me and felt a kinship with me. He wrote a song for me about an angel dressed in black and it was set to Spanish music. He later asked me to participate on his album, Let it Rain. When I walked into the first session, I was blown away. There was a bunch of people all in head phones but at one mic, and it was like the 60’s, like six people were in the room and they were changing places in the room and around that mic. I learned something new that night, that you can change blocks of vocals by shifting people around the room.”
When asked about what it was like working with Robert in the studio, Grano replied, “It was very casual, so family like and very professional. Robert had a vision, he knew what he wanted and what to do, but he also allowed my experience to add to the music.” Grano adds, “Robert was very open minded and respectful of the other musicians.”
As we discussed the local music scene, Grano points out that Connecticut has few remaining joints that support local artists like Robert and herself, naming Black Eyed Sally’s and Sully’s Pub, both in Hartford, among them. Grano is currently singing back up for Klokwize, a 25 year old hip hop artist who she says is hip hope to her. “Acoustic Americana, like Robert, and James Maple, who will melt you to the core, or hip hop like Klokwize, these are the only places I feel where originality is being appreciated,” says Grano.
Grano’s own musical influences vary from Earth, Wind and Fire to Ann Wilson, Nina Simone, and Janis Joplin. “I knew by the age of eight that I wanted to be a singer,” she says. “First I wanted to be a veterinarian and then something dawned on me when I was eight and did a talent show with my sister on our own. Music was brought to me to bring a voice to those who don’t have one. Music isn’t about fame and fortune. I’ve been blessed, I’ve made a lot of the most beautiful songs and videos, but right now, I have an orphaned baby turkey in my hands and only reason I want to succeed in music is to preserve the children of the earth, human or animals.”
Robert and Angela are planning to gig together soon and details will be made available. In the meantime, be sure to check out Grano’s new video: Easy – Offical Music Video, and her new CD, Lullabies for Monsters, available on Amazon: Lullabyes for Monsters. More Conversations are coming as well.
© 2014 Sharon Elizabeth