Peaceful Currents Radio is pleased to welcome Raphael Groten to our music rotation, debuting his first album release ever, Journey Home. It doesn’t take long, after listening to this album, that one becomes surprised that this would be a debut release. There is a clear familiarity between Raphael and his music, evident in his expressive, and oftentimes emotional style of acoustic guitar.
It may be because Raphael has been playing guitar for 30 years, since he was 13 years old. By the time be entered college at the University of Vermont, he had written over 100 songs. After graduation, he launched his own ten-piece Latin/jazz/funk ensemble, Saudade. The group performed extensively during the late ’90s in Burlington, Vermont, and released two albums of Raphael’s own compositions.
It would be several years later in Raphael’s life when he would find is true musical “calling.” His four-and-a-half month-old son would suffer a near fatal accident. As his son recovered in the hospital he would play his guitar, and listen as a therapeutic harpist played for the both of them in his son’s hospital room. He would go on to become a therapeutic instrumentalist himself, and teach music to children.
In one particular meditative moment, while Raphael was playing guitar, he became inspired to email one of his recorded tracks to Will Ackerman, Windham Hill label founder and now owner of Imaginary Road Studios in Vermont. Two months later, Groten’s debut, Journey Home, was recorded in just two days at Imaginary Road.
Listening to Journey Home it becomes obvious these songs represent the story of Raphael’s life – from the musical influences of his family growing up and the quiet, yet emotional moments with his son in the hospital, to his fascination with the cycle of life itself and his own place in it today.
Telling a story through music without words is perhaps one of the most challenging tasks a composer of music can take on. Those who do it well are indeed masters in their field. Raphael Groten is one such person. It is a pleasure to feature music from his debut album, Journey Home on Peaceful Currents Radio.