On the road | SummitDaily.com

On the road

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Preston Utley/Vail Daily

BRECKENRIDGE ” Texas singer and songwriter Kristy Kruger only wrote one song specifically about her big brother, who passed away less than six months ago in Iraq.

“Goodbye Brother” was written in the two-week period it took the body of the soldier to return to the United States for his funeral at Arlington National Cemetery. She performed the song there, and is now on tour of all 50 states in the name of her fallen sibling, Lt. Col. Eric Kruger, who died on his third tour of duty, on his second day in Baghdad.

The rest of her songs “she’s touring on her latest release “Songs from a Dead’s Couch” which was recorded before her brother’s death ” have gained more meaning.

“I have a lot of songs about sadness in general ” I approach it with personality instead of draining “but I address depression and sadness,” she said. “It’s a juxtaposition of dark lyrics with happy music. Some of the material like that, some of the songs I’d written before he died, took on a different meaning after he died.”

It’s also changed her perspective on her career.

“Before my brother died, I carried a lot of weight in terms of expectation with music as a profession. If I went to a show and there were not a lot of people, it was disappointing,” she said. And now it’s “totally different.”

“I’m happy to have those seven people there. I’m happy to tell them about my brother and let them know who he was,” she said.

And so far, she’s told her story in seven states; her show in Breckenridge tonight will make it eight. She describes the journey as important to her grieving, where she is continuously meeting other people who have lost someone.

Kruger’s tour of the U.S. is symbolic of what her brother fought for, but the singer makes a point that the show is not political.

She cites the goal of her shows is to make a space where “liberals and conservatives can sit in the same room, as compassionate people.”

Leslie Brefeld can be reached at (970) 668-4626 or lbrefeld@summitdaily.com.

– What: Texan singer/songwriter on tour of all 50 states in honor of her brother who was recently killed in Iraq. With openers, Leslie and the Badgers.

– When: 9 p.m. Wednesday

– Where: The MotherLoaded Tavern, Breckenridge

– Website: Find information on how to donate to The Memorial Fund for Children of LTC Eric Kruger at http://www.kristykruger.com.

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