Brad James’ love for music began at an early age, when an older cousin came to visit and brought along a couple of records, The Allman Brothers Band & Eric Clapton 461 Ocean Blvd.
Brad began playing guitar upon arriving in Stillwater, OK as a freshman at OSU, where he was quickly immersed in what would become the Red Dirt Music family tree.
As a founding member of Medicine Show, the popular Stillwater/Tulsa based band, Brad wrote, toured and recorded with that group from 1990-98. Medicine Show built a strong following in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Colorado and Texas, often playing shows with the likes of Gov’t Mule, Zero, Cate Brothers Band and more. After Medicine Show, Brad played with Steve Pryor Band, toured with Brandon Jenkins and Stoney LaRue and began a residency with Tom Skinner’s Science Project.
The Brad James Band was founded in 2010, with its main influences being the melting pot of genres that is Tulsa Rock-n-Roll. Strong strains of JJ Cale, Leon Russell, Derek and the Dominoes, The Band, The Grateful Dead, the Allman Brothers Band, and other tasty nuggets can be heard in their live performances. Their original music reveals all of those same influences, stirred up in a big ole pot of Mid-American music gumbo.
On August 9th this consummate sideman and Red Dirt Royalty will finally release his debut album, At Fellowship Hall, via Horton Records. Tulsa composer, musician and member of the Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey, Chris Combs produced the LP. At Fellowship Hall boasts eight originals and features playing by some of Tulsa’s greatest, including producer Chris Combs.
Today Glide is excited to premiere “No Dress Rehearsal”, a fittingly titled track considering Brad’s laid back approach to making music. The tune is the first of the album and serves as a proper kick-off with its bluesy Memphis strut meets Southern rock boogie meets Tulsa sound. The loose, jammy vibe to the music is reminiscent of the Grateful Dead and Little Feat as Brad and the background vocalist/hammond player Andrea Kyle play off of each other, clearly having a fine time. There is also no shortage of swaggering blues guitar solos and slinky, soulful organ. This is the kind of music to accompany a night on the town with plenty of drinking and dancing as the song ebbs and flows along, bouncing around with plenty of New Orleans piano flavor.
Brad James explains the inspiration behind the tune:
“This is a song my friend David Tanner gave me some years ago. He was a great Tulsa piano player in the style of Dr. John and James Booker. After Tanner passed away we wanted to keep this song alive and dedicate it to him on the album. We love to play this song. It’s so fun to do the flying groove change, from that Memphis strut into the Tulsa shuffle and back again. Richie Lawrence, an old friend of Tanner’s, played the great piano part with us. I really love the simplicity and truth of the lyric, ‘it might be alright now but things can always get worse.”
For more music and info visit the Brad James Band on Facebook.
Photo credit: Phil Clarkin