10/19/2009

Lake Highland welcomes home Granger Smith

The LHHS Wildcat Wranglers Dance Team is welcoming home Lake Highlands' own Granger Smith.

On Sunday, November 1st, the country western singer and his band will perform at Lake Highlands High School "B" field in a benefit concert at 5:00 p.m.

Funds raised from the performance will benefit the LHHS academic booster fund "Wild for Cats" and the Wrangler Scholarship Fund.

In preparation for the upcoming event, LH Today visits with Granger about his Lake Highlands history, the band, and his recent success in the country music industry.

Back in 1997, as a student at Lake Highlands High School, Granger Smith made a decision that would help shape his future.

Along with a number of his teammates from the LHHS football team, Granger decided to try out for a newly-formed country western dance team, originally modeled after the Aggie Wranglers at Texas A&M University.

Three quarters of the football players earned a spot on the Lake Highlands Wildcat Wranglers, including Granger.

Next stop for the group? The Clinton Inauguration in Washington, DC.

"During my junior year, my experience with the Wranglers provided some of my best memories," says Granger.

"Playing football and dancing in front of thousands of people kept us all pretty busy," he says. "I truly enjoyed my time performing with the Wranglers that year."

"I owe a lot to the experience I gained as a Wrangler and the confidence it provided me. There's nothing like performing in front of 3,000 people as a junior in high school to give you a little training in Stage Presence 101."

Following his graduation from LHHS in 1998, Granger was off to College Station to attend Texas A&M. As a member of the Corps of Cadets his freshman year, there was little time left for any musical endeavors.

"I tried to keep writing songs, but it wasn't until my sophomore year that I was able to find time to dedicate to my music again," he says. Once he did, however, it didn't take long for EMI Music Publishing out of Nashville to find him.

Granger signed on as a singer-songwriter and spent 5 years writing and producing. But, two things were bothering him.

He missed playing live and he really wanted to finish college. So he headed back to Texas, re-enrolled in school and got busy performing.

Album releases followed in 2005, 2006 and 2007, including the hit We Bleed Maroon CD featuring the song of the same name - a tribute to the university he loves and his fellow Aggies.

Following a lot of time on the road, trips overseas to perform for the troops in Iraq, and building a band made up of guys he calls "some of his best friends," Granger has put in the work that now finds him at the top of the Texas Music Charts.

"Being a performer is more than a full-time job," says Granger. "But the compatibility among the band members is as important to us as our music - the guys are great to travel with."

Granger now calls Austin home, along with his fiance and a number of his fellow musicians. "There's a great energy in Austin for musicians," he says. "Other than to tour, I don't see myself leaving Texas anytime soon."

Between now and his Lake Highlands performance, Granger and the band have a tour schedule that takes them all over Texas and Oklahoma. In the new year, they're heading to Colorado to perform at the Steamboat Music Fest.

All the more reason LH is grateful to have him back home next month.

"I will always love Lake Highlands," says Granger. "I remain so proud of my school, my community and hold dear the many memories I have of growing up here."

"Lake Highlands was my school - my town," he says. "I'm looking forward to coming back and putting on a great show!"

Tickets for the performance are now on sale at www.lhhswranglers.org. For just $10, it's a deal that can't be beat.

So, mark your calendars and join Granger and the Wranglers on Sunday, November 1st as they "Welcome Home, Lake Highlands' Own!"

In the meantime, check out his newest single "Gypsy Rain" off the album, Don't Listen to the Radio.

Read the article from Lakehighlandstoday.com here.

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