Michael "Cougar" Reddy is a long-time singer-songwriter and twelve-string guitarist. He has produced two CDs of original music which, as one reviewer put it, "touch many deep human chords." He has a strong voice and creates intense lyrics. Cougar was raised Catholic, practiced Zen Buddhism and martial arts in his twenties, but eventually found spiritual home during a decade of study with North American shamans. He calls his worldview "neo-animism" because its varied roots and cultural context make it different from indigenous animism. Cougar reminds all that the spirituality he teaches through his music is his own, and should not be mistaken for ethnic Native American.
Cougar's most recent CD is called "A Fork In The Trail." The 12 songs on this disc raise questions about the kind of planet we're creating. They tell some dramatic stories about world events. One or two may make you laugh or cry. A melody might just creep up on you, after a couple of hearings, and linger in your head. But above all, these songs want to make you stop and think more often about what we're doing.
Not so long ago, we understood that the purpose of better art was to illuminate and help solve our deeper human problems. It was called "legitimate" art. Nowadays, on the other hand, the great bulk of the most finely crafted art is commercial. It is focused on sales, not truth. Advancing the interests of narrowly-defined, but usually very wealthy corporations, it has little to do with the beliefs or best perceptions of any human artists. Okay, but how then do we address our real problems? That is the question with which we must grapple.