Brad Meador
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Nov 23

Broken Wings at the Hotel Utah

It only took me 12 years in the neighborhood to do it, but I finally played the open mic at the Hotel Utah last week.  They posted the performance online here

I’m planning on going back tonight.  If you’re in need of a beer, stop by and say hi.

Oct 29

Simple Pleasures Cafe Friday Night, Oct. 30th

Stop by Simple Pleasures Cafe on Friday night for some pre-Halloween acoustic music (and to wish me a belated birthday!).  Erston Pearcy and I will be trading sets from 7 – 10.

Simple Pleasures Cafe – Friday, October 30th
Time: 7pm
Address: 3434 Balboa St., San Francisco CA 94121

Simple Pleasures is a very intimate space with good coffee and beer on draft.  I might even sneak in a cover song or two at this one.  See you there!

Sep 24

Bazaar Cafe with Mary Elizabeth – Tues, Sept. 29

I’ve got another gig with Mary Elizabeth Beckman next week:

Tuesday, September 29 from 7:00 – 9:30 PM
Bazaar Café
5927 California Street, between 21st & 22nd Avenues
San Francisco, CA 94121

As usual, we’ll be playing all acoustic, all original music.  If you need a music break as badly as I do, come out to the show.  And try a delicious slice of pie while you’re there!

Aug 24

Chris Isaak @ the Mountain Winery

In 1991 I had a transformative experience at the Tower Theater.  I sat on the second row and watched, in awe, a concert by Chris Isaak and Silvertone.  After that show, I HAD to learn guitar, so I borrowed one and taught myself Blue Spanish Sky

For the next several years I was practically a one man Chris Isaak cover band (a few old covers posted here).   The joy the guitar has brought to my life can be traced straight back to that magical moment in Houston.

I have seen the show many many times since then trying to recapture that experience.  Last night at the Mountain Winery came awfully close.  The highlights included a gospel version of Don’t Make Me Dream About You:

Bass player Roly Salley singing his original, Killing the Blues (a near perfect song that has been covered by Shawn Colvin, John Prine, Alison Kraus and Robert Plant and many others):

And a story about playing the streets of Santa Cruz with his brother (a girl watching whispered to her boyfriend “Is that Chris Isaak” and he said “Yeah, and he used to be BIG!”):

Thanks, Chris, for the inspiration over the last 18 years!  See you next year at the Mountain Winery.

Aug 05

John Mayer on Songwriting

I tried not to post this video (largely because of Mayer’s smug comment at the end) but it stuck with me.  See how John writes a new song by taking three other popular melodies and riffing on the:

That’s pretty much how I write music – start playing a rhythm\chord progression and sing some vowel sounds over them until words emerge.  Hope that the lyrics eventually make sense.  That’s also why I’m having a tough time bringing three new songs to closure – they’re lyrics only and no melody is presenting itself.  I’ll figure it out eventually, I guess…

Jul 28

Bazaar Cafe with Erston Pearcy – Sat, Aug 8

In addition to Tuesday’s gig with Mary Elizabeth, I’ve got a gig on Saturday with pop troubadour, Erston Pearcy:

Saturday, August 8 from 7:00 – 9:30 PM
Bazaar Café
5927 California Street, between 21st & 22nd Avenues
San Francisco, CA 94121

It’s always a pleasure to play with Erston.  As before, we’ll be trading sets of all original, all acoustic music.  Stop by on Saturday and say hello.

Jul 28

Bazaar Cafe with Mary Elizabeth Beckman – Tues, Aug. 4

In a slight scheduling snafu of my own making, I’ve got two gigs coming up at the Bazaar Cafe.  The first one is with Mary Elizabeth Beckman:

Tuesday, August 4 from 7:00 – 9:30 PM
Bazaar Café
5927 California Street, between 21st & 22nd Avenues
San Francisco, CA 94121

If you haven’t heard M.E. yet, you are in for a treat.  We’ll be trading sets of all original, all acoustic music.  If you miss this one, check Erston and me out on the 8th

Jul 17

Simple Pleasures Cafe – Saturday, July 18

If you’re not going to the Kenny Chesney\Sugarland concert at AT&T Park on Saturday, come by Simple Pleasures Cafe to See Robin, Eric and Me:

Simple Pleasures Cafe – Saturday, July 18th
Time: 8pm
Address: 3434 Balboa St., San Francisco CA 94121

Simple Pleasures is very casual.  In addition to coffee, they’ve got beer, wine and snacks.  Stop by if you want to relax to some all acoustic, all original music.

And a quick story about Sugarland…

Eddie’s Attic is the premiere acoustic venue in the Southeast.  When I lived in Atlanta, they had Open Mic every Monday and picked a winner who came back for a shootout later in the year.  It was at one of these shootouts that I saw Jennifer Nettles – now part of Sugarland – win as part of a duo called Soul Miner’s Daughter.  They were awesome, so I went to catch them every chance that I could before I moved to the West Coast.

In the final round, they were up against a guy who was a perfect technician on the guitar.  He played first – a very sweet, intricate, all acoustic arrangement of Rubber Ducky from Sesame Street – and brought the house down.  Soul Miner’s Daughter got up and said something like “there’s no way we can compete on guitar, so here’s an acapella song about sex.”  The guitarist never had a chance.  I found the song on YouTube:

See you guys tomorrow night at Simple Pleasures!

Jul 08

Recording Project Off to a Slow Start

Meh.  Critiques wanted!

A couple of weeks ago I started the new recording project in earnest.  I tinkered for three days with mic placement, various recording techniques and a TON of takes on two songs.  Net net, I don’t think I have any stuff that will make the final cut, but the mix is below.  I am hoping that you will listen with a critical ear and give advice on what’s working and what’s not.  These are big, lossless WMA files, so you’ll probably want to download to your hard drive first and play from there:

Nothing Left to Lose
It’s Not You It’s Me

Both started as live takes with acoustic guitar and lead vocals.  I used a couple of C1 Studio Project Mics, close mic-ing the vox and setting the guitar mic about 36 inches back.  This led to a lot of bleed in both mics, but I greatly prefer the live takes over tracking.  The mix includes some EQ and slight reverb to compensate for the dead room.  No other effects added.  My goal is a warm, intimate sound.  Note that this isn’t mastered, so it will sound softer when compared to a normal commercial track.

Feel free to post feedback here or drop me a note.  Thanks!

Jun 30

Spring Concerts – How’d I Do?

In March I posted a list of upcoming concerts.  I missed Rupa, Cory and Clem but added Dr. Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys, Justin Townes Earle, Steve Earle, Jenny Lewis and the Sadies, a second Neko Case show and Gary Louris \ Mark Olson.  Great music all around!  The highlights:

  • Ralph Stanley is 82 years old and a bluegrass legend.  He walked out on stage with a big bandage over his forehead from an early morning fall, but he still put on a great show.  It reminded me of the music we saw at the Mountain View folk festival when I was a kid.
  • Justin Townes Earle’s show was polished – he obviously picked up some great experience touring with his dad.  I like the latest album, too.
  • I still think the Fleet Foxes’ encore was one of the coolest I have seen.
  • Neko Case can do no wrong with me, but I definitely think the experience on the floor of the Warfield is superior to the balcony.
  • I almost skipped Junior Brown show and that would have been a big mistake.  Don’t let the hat fool you, he’s a spectacular blues guitarist.
  • I really hope that Gary Louris and Mark Olson continue to make music together.
  • The Patty Griffin show was actually Patty, Emmylou Harris, Shawn Colvin and Buddy Miller trading mostly acoustic songs.  Highly emotional concert at the Mountain Winery – I love this stuff!

I don’t have many shows planned for the summer, but I’m very excited about the Old 97’s Family Show at the Fillmore in July.  More on that later…