Legend has it that if you drink the water from Matrimony Spring, you will always come back to Moab, and such is the case for Chauncy Crandall, a musician from Colorado who now lives in Florida.
“I used to drink the water (from Matrimony) all the time with my friend Will,” Crandall said.
Crandall will be returning to Moab this weekend to perform two 21-and-over shows at The Blu Pig, 811 S. Main St., at 7 p.m., on Friday, Aug. 18, and Saturday, Aug. 19.
He previously lived in Moab in 2007 and 2008, when he worked at the Cunnington sheep farm in Spanish Valley. Although he spent more than two years in town, Crandall said he has never performed here.
“When I lived in Moab, I had really just started dabbling and I was watching Stonefed play, but I was nowhere in the realm where I could play shows.” Crandall said. “I did play one night at the (Moab) Brewery because my friend was having a party, but this will really be my first time playing in Moab.”
Crandall grew up on a farm in rural eastern Colorado.
“We were always just getting by,” he said. “My parents were kind of self-sufficient, but my mother would be furious if I called us hippies. We had a milk cow, and four to five pigs that we would raise for food. My grandfather had a few steer and we always had a big garden.”
According to his online bio, Crandall developed his love for music through attending the local church and participating in family sing-alongs. His songwriting is influenced by old church hymns and his parents’ record collection, which included artists such as Marty Robbins, Creedence Clearwater Revival and Hank Williams.
“Crandall’s style is a synthesis of Americana, gospel, and Roots-Rock infused with modern sentiments,” his bio says.
Crandall’s background influences his music, and his upbringing was very rural.
“Pritchett (Colorado) was where I went to school,” he said. “I drove 36 miles on a dirt road to get to my school and there were about four houses on the way. There would have been 12 kids graduating in my class, but I dropped out and got my GED to leave a tiny little town and go to work.”
Crandall said that being in a small community is part of what he liked about Moab.
“I was always surprised by how much community there is in Moab,” he said. “With such a diverse group of people that you would think would conflict, but there are so many parallel beliefs, especially regarding self-sufficiency.”
For the next month or so, Crandall is a traveling artist. In order to help promote his third album, “Daily News,” he is on tour with his wife, Amanda, whom he met while she was serving tables in Manitou Springs, Colorado, after being released from duty at Ft. Carson.
“She is my booking agent and manager-slash wife,” he said. “So she decided to book places that we wanted to go to, like Moab and Northern California, since we are on our way to Seattle for a wedding.”
Speaking about his new album, Crandall referenced a quote from his bio: “Our universal desire to learn and share is the inspiration and driving force behind ‘Daily News.’ Acknowledging the potential that’s created by just opening up is an act in itself, but the realization that I can instill change and solve problems through my melodies and lyrics changes my outlook entirely.”
Crandall said that “Daily News” is about ordinary people experiencing extraordinary lives, trading comfort for prosperity, and searching for truth, not a “paid-for” suggestion.
“That’s the most important story I can tell,” his bio says.
If you can’t make it to Crandall’s shows, you can still catch live music any night of the week at The Blu Pig, according to Jake Tanner, one of its partners and its scheduling manager for live music.
“It’s free music, but the catch is that you have to be 21 to get in the bar,” he said.
According to Tanner, one of the main questions that the Moab Information Center gets is, “What is there to do at night in Moab?”
“There’s no question that if you’re looking for something to do, you can always come down here and catch some live music,” he said.
Every Wednesday, The Blu Pig stages an open-mic community music night with Scott Ibex. It also hosts members from Stonefed two nights a week.
“Jon O plays Monday, Jasper plays Tuesday.” Tanner said. “Thursday night is Lost Buffalo. He used to play in front of Slick Rock Cafe before it was The Spoke.”
Jonathan Olschewski of Stonefed said he likes the fact that The Blu Pig is supporting local musicians, and he said the owners treat the artists well.
“In turn, we are bringing the whole restaurant a live entertainment atmosphere where tourists can take home a musical memory, as opposed to just happy, full bellies,” Olschewski said.
Friday, Saturday and Sunday night performances at The Blu Pig vary, with traveling artists often performing.
“I was always surprised by how much community there is in Moab … With such a diverse group of people that you would think would conflict, but there are so many parallel beliefs, especially regarding self-sufficiency.”
When: Friday, Aug. 18, and Saturday, Aug. 19, at 7 p.m.
Where: The Blu Pig, 811 S. Main St.
Cost: Free; both shows are 21 and over
For more information, call 435-259-3333, or go to: www.blupigbbq.com