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“What are you supposed to do … do the same thing your whole life until you croak? I’m not doing that.”
Grant Woods is talking about his second act.
The former Arizona Attorney General is getting in touch with his creative side. After spending years in the courtroom as a successful trial attorney, he is now spending time writing and creating music.
“I think that is
one of the downfalls of a civilization, if you stop respecting or learning from music, painting, dance, theater, or film.”
Woods started writing a diverse collection of songs and attracting well known singers. Then it turned into something more than music. Grant’s collection of music turned into “The Project”.
Woods was encouraged by some to take his mix of blues, rock, jazz, country and folk music and make an album in NYC or LA. Instead, he stayed true to his roots, reaching out to musicians in Arizona and compiling a body of work to benefit The Arizona School For The Arts.
Woods likes to tell students, “You live in a place where we still value the arts. We respect the arts. If you respect the arts that means you respect each other. We are not a narrow minded bigoted place.”
“Not just in Arizona but across the country we see the arts devalued,” Woods told us when he visited our studios in Old Town Scottsdale.
Music and the arts are two of his great passions — politics is another. Woods has been deeply involved in politics for a long time. He has a close relationship with Senator John McCain, having served as his Chief Of Staff when McCain was a Congressman.
“I’ve been a Republican my whole life and I guess for the last 20 years or so I wonder why,” he says. “We don’t attract the best and brightest anymore. It is a bloodsport. Normal people, very talented people who should be running the country have no interest because who needs it.”
Woods advocates for less government but says when government does do something, they should do it well. Citing public education, infrastructure, national defense as examples.
We asked for his reaction to comments made by Donald Trump questioning whether or not Senator McCain is a war hero. “He was totally dismissive of it,” Woods says of his phone call with McCain when the controversy broke this past summer, “But the rest of us were pretty pissed. When you start questioning John McCain’s heroism, that is offensive to me.”
During our 20 minute Podcast, Woods talked about how he put the exploration of his creative self on hold earlier in his life so that he could focus on courtroom litigation and politics.
“Politics is almost antithetical to the creative process,” he says, “negative, confrontational, and combative — that is not great space for you to be able to create.”
About that second act he says, “If you’ve had success in the first act, it is a challenge to start at the bottom.”
On the other hand, if you get yourself out of the box, who knows what you can create. Grant Woods is a perfect example.
Artists featured on The Project include Michael Nitro, Lawrence Zubia, Alice Tatum, Nils Lofgren and Francine Reed, Walt Richardson, Blaine Long, Mindy Harris, Hans Olson, Ray Herndon, Al Ortiz.
For more go to Theprojectaz.com or search Grant Woods The Project on iTunes.