Frank Zuniga

Doing some reflection on how music has evolved in my life and what role music plays in my life right now could be summed up in one statement. Music has been my Saving Grace!

When I was a child I grew up in a family that loved to have family gatherings. I was 7 years old and it seemed like not just family, but everybody and anybody was welcome. We would be in my Grandma and Grandpa's basement which had hardwood floors, a bar and serving area. They would put out these long tables for all to sit, talk, eat and and OH MY, the music would play. Hot off the record player. Chubby Checkers "Twist and Shout", the Beach Boys, Beatles and on and on. As a kid we would dance until exhaustion. On my dad's radio in the car he would have Roberta Flacks "Killing Me Softly with Your Song", and at home he knew when there were good musicians playing.

My first exposure to blues harmonica was a special on KQED with Sonny Terry & Brownie McGee. It was then, around 9 years old, i knew i wanted to be a Harmonica player. My parents bought me my first harmonica at a Barnum and Bailey Circus event in Santa Clara, sometime around 1966. It was more like a glorified Kazoo but i played that thing till my lips bled. I bought my first real harmonica for $4.25. Now the same one is $42.75!

I have been playing since 9 years old and have never looked back. Through the rain and the hail blown out on the trail i played music. When i can't pray, and the silence screams, I play.

In 1978 i was in a serious, almost life ending car accident, and had a come-to-Jesus experience. He has held onto me ever since and been ever faithful. I now continue to play the blues and proclaim the Gospel through music. Its what i do. I (we) Prodigal Sons have resolved to keep it real. Our songs might not have all the pretty Christian cliches woven through them but i can assure you our words and music are for those who really have lived through broken relationships, loss and trauma, only to realize through trials we have become stronger, and now have become wounded healers ready to go make a difference in this world. There is redemption through this man Jesus. If I can communicate this through the songs I write and the music we play then truly i can say "Music is my Saving Grace".

I hope to see you all at our next event. All are welcome.

10 Questions with Frank

While waiting for a vacuum tube mic to warm up in the studio so Frank could record his vocal on "Bleeding Blue", I cornered him and asked 10 questions.

1. What were your best/worst subjects in school?

Best: English. I really liked the writing and poetry.

Worst: Math. I could never understand why five times zero equals zero. Five zeros should be more than one zero!

2. What is your favorite movie? 

"The Green Mile." I've watched that twice in the last couple of months. The redemptive suffering that underlies the story speaks to me.

3. If you could be a super hero, what would be your one super power?

Flying, definitely flying. I'd fly to New York, because that's where super heroes go.

4. What's your favorite holiday?

Fourth of July. Why? I live in the greatest country on earth.

5. What's your favorite place to eat?

St. John's. Don't ask why.

6. What is the best advice you've been given? 

"Ring the bells that still can ring, forget your perfect offering. There's a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in." (Leonard Cohen)

7. What's the last book you read? 

"The Shack." The story is chilling. It's a story of a kidnapping and forgiveness.

8. What is the best gift you've ever received? 

My wife and daughter! My favorite surprise gift was a harmonica made by Bob Dylan. My daughter and son-in-law went through a lot to acquire that for me as a gift.

9. What is one thing you wish you'd known when you were younger?

That drugs kill. I might have saved myself a lot of unneeded struggle.

10. What was the question you were hoping I'd ask?

"Who's my favorite harmonica player?"

Note: It was clear that Frank wanted to answer the question I hadn't asked. But I didn't let him -- the mic was all warmed up. So you should ask him about his favorite harmonica player when you see him. It will make his day!