Features / News

February 19, 2013
 

Ranchers 4 Peace Mark Trayvon Martin Anniversary, Ready 2nd EP

Ranchers 4 Peace Charles Duncan and daughter Ray Duncan: ‘while our ranch ain’t exactly a real place you can find on a map, or travel to and see for yourself, you can often hear it plain enough.’

Ranchers 4 Peace Charles Duncan and daughter Ray Duncan: ‘while our ranch ain’t exactly a real place you can find on a map, or travel to and see for yourself, you can often hear it plain enough.’

As they head for a showcase at the International Folk Alliance on February 23 in Toronto, the father-daughter duo of Charles and Ray Duncan, known professionally as Ranchers For Peace, is marking the February 26 first anniversary of the fatal shooting of black teenager Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida, by offering their song “Walking Around Black” as a free download to Deep Roots readers. Composed immediately after news of Martin’s death broke in the national news, the song was recorded in the Ranchers’ home studio.

Click here to go to the R4P website for a free download of “Walking Around Black.”

Ranchers 4 Peace are ranchers in name only. And on their website, the duo explains further that the “Peace” part of their identity requires some explanation as well, lest it be misunderstood.

From the website:

Ranchers For Peace are not actually involved in the livestock business. We manage no acreage other than whatever square footage of stage we happen to occupy at any given moment. Our kind of ranching is done in the same dimly lit, borderless region where songs come from–an intentional kind of space, where worldly concerns combine with empathy and, on a good day, become audible.  In other words: while our ranch ain’t exactly a real place you can find on a map, or travel to and see for yourself, you can often hear it plain enough–now at many locations on the interwebs, or live-and-in-person on a stage near you.

From their first EP, Tell All the World, Ranchers 4 Peace perform ‘Hobby Horse’

And sorry, but the “peace” we’re “for” isn’t exactly real either, in the sense that no such thing actually exists. But it is more than merely metaphorical: it’s a conceptual reference point, like north or east, toward which we can steer. How this works on our ranch is best described by a bumper-sticker we saw not long ago on the back of some veggie-oil van crossing our western pasture at twilight in a driving rain: “If you want peace, work for justice.” This reminds us that peace, like happiness, is not something that can be directly invoked, but is instead a by-product that only arises in the presence of other favorable conditions. Our mission on this here ranch is to advocate for such conditions, and to join our noise with the long tradition of folksingers, bards, and troubadours who have done the same.

The Ranchers’ first EP, Tell All the World, was released last year and is available for download at the group’s website. Another self-produced R4P seven-song collection is in production and will be released this coming spring.