Monday, August 17, 2009

Reviews:: Bradleyboy Rock/Wood

A few weeks ago I talked briefly about Orono’s resident bluegrass badass, Bradleyboy. The swampy blues and Cash like influence was evident, but now that I’ve spent some quality time with his latest release, Rock/Wood, I’m even more impressed. He’s more than a growlin’ beast with a flair for catchy, picked riffs. No, this Orono man is a born story teller, one that offers up a modern take on one of the most tried and true styles of music.

The record starts with the steady as a freight train chug of 40 Days, but the next twelve songs offer up emotion and surprises. Sure, you expect the suitcase bass drum kick and bluesy swagger of tracks like If You Left Here, Montagné and Knock On The Door, but the it’s the little things like the tenderness of the intro to Workin’ or how the picked banjo mixes with the fuzz of Carpenter’s Daughter to cloud the song with tension and darkness that really grab you.

Unlike a lot of howling, harmonica heavy pickers, Bradleyboy put together an album that fits whatever emotion you are feeling. He isn't just foot stomps and tear in your beer regrets. He infuses the classic picking and energy we all love with more modern elements, experiments with song structure and changes tempo constantly. He never lets the listener completely settle into the listen, opting to push his boundaries and challenge us to expand ours.

The banjo on Diving Bell takes a supporting role to the fuzz that covers the track like a dense fog, and they way he softens his vocals completely transforms the feel of his music. Don’t You Cry is a straight ahead acoustic rocker with some nice backing guitar and bass and while these moments might seem trivial, they completely refocus the listen. Diversity is not something you expect (and even when it's promised, it's rarely delivered) from an artist like Bradleyboy, but its exactly what makes Rock/Wood demands multiple listens.

MP3:: Bradleyboy – If You Left Here

MP3:: Bradleyboy – Livin Between The Lines


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Posted at 8:47 AM by ack :: 1 comments

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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Saturday Morning Blackgrass:: BRADLEY BOY

In my head, I remember thinking I should volunteer to help AutopsyIV out while he was at Deep Blues this year (note: he's a bastard for seeing all those acts) and throw up a guest post showcasing some of Canada's best swampy blues playing, whiskey drinking bad asses.

Obviously, the italics I put on should means I didn't get around to it, but if I had the pages of ninebullets would have been graced by Orono, Ontario's BRADLEY BOY. With his suitcase bass drum, single high hat, gruff vocals and ripping harmonica he's tailor made for anyone that digs on one-man acts like Seasick Steve.

But the Orono resident has more to offer than just the swampy blues and riding the rails type tales. He's got the steady as a freight train, Cash like guitar strums on tracks like 40 Days and the ability to transform his foot stomping energy into some remarkably tender moments.

His new record - Rock/Wood - is out soon on Get Bent records, but they are giving away the lead single for free.

MP3:: BRADLEY BOY - If You Left Here

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Posted at 9:41 AM by ack :: 0 comments

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