7pm, seats have been found; happy chattering between rows…the lights of the auditorium dim and a voice is heard from behind the stage. “Here I lay, at night, watching the stars on fire...” and out strolls Stan Bronson, singing the title song from his first album, “Down From the Mountain”. The audience erupts with hoots, hollers and hand clapping; Stan Bronson is a much loved son of San Juan County.
|Stan Still Has the Original Hat from the Album Cover Photo
In between lyrics, or between songs, Stan would give joking comments and the audience would wholeheartedly laugh. He reminded us of the stories behind the lyrics; events that actually took place in San Juan’s historic past, or slightly embellished. For the song, “Posey”, two women and a young child, from White Mesa, came up on stage to sing with Stan. The oldest of the women was the granddaughter of Posey himself! With many songs, the audience sang along; sometimes tears were wiped from eyes as the words hit the heart. I must admit, I’ve listened to Stan’s albums, love the songs, and wiped a few tears myself as I knew the stories well from my travel blog research. Strange coming from a woman who believes that listening to heavy metal music is relaxing. Requests were asked for, and I gladly yelled out, “Cowboys, Indians and Mormons” which he played, along with “Navajo Eyes”, “The Hunter” and a few more.
|Posey's Granddaughter - Woman in Green Shirt
Stan played to all sides of the auditorium; you would swear that he looked directly into your eyes and he was singing a song just for you. He admitted that the stage lighting was keeping him from seeing the audience well, but you would never have known it. His eyes are piercing, but there is a gentle, kind, sweet soul emanating from them. As Blanding resident, Terry Hatfield, told me later on, “He was that even in school, even though I was an underclassman and he was in high school, he knew my name and always said hello when we met. Just an all-around nice guy.” My good friend, Amy Watkins Kensley, introduced me to Stan’s music by giving me a great present, the double album “Songs of Old San Juan” (Down From the Mountain/Cowboys, Indians and Mormons).
Afterwards was the meet and greet; CDs purchased were autographed by Stan; I even got one of his handkerchiefs autographed…going to frame this for sure! Photos were taken, hugs; it was great…sorry Bruce Springsteen, you’ve got nothing on Stan Bronson. Totally a most awesome night of music, storytelling and overall enjoyment.
|Amy Watkins Kensley with Stan Bronson
|Me with Stan Bronson