My new album ‘American Echoes’ is now available. Writing in No Depression Frank Gutch Jr said: “Some of Bradshaw's songs are immediate classics in my mind. The kind of songs songwriters and musicians listen to. The kind of songs which become part of your DNA.” Bill Bentley of the Morton Report wrote: "In a year full of albums that sound like they'll live forever, Bob Bradshaw has made one of the best." The Sunday Express (UK) called it “… a frequently spellbinding blend of country and nuanced rock with a winning lushness in the instrumentation and backing vocals, showcasing a highly original talent.” John Amer in Red Guitar called ‘American Echoes’ a “rich melting pot of collated ideas and signals” and Music Riot said the album is “packed with great lyrical and musical ideas and gets better with repeated plays.” Maximum Volume Music wrote: “Like all great songwriters, Bradshaw can mould experiences into something illuminating and give them universal quality. There is something of the dark Tom Waits world about Exotic Dancers Wanted.” “With inspiration pulled from country and folk, bluegrass and blues, a soupcon of jazz and barrel-loads of Americana," Tom Franks of Folkwords writes, “it’s a collection of songs written with a deep understanding of it’s subjects.” And Midwest Record writes: “A first rate recording that raises the songwriting bar, all I can say is Bradshaw has the shining and knows how to capture lightning in a bottle.”

 

Some reviews of 'American Echoes'

 

from NO DEPRESSION 11/16/17:

It is hard to call Bob Bradshaw a folkie but even the rockers on American Echoes scream folk. Bob Bradshaw must be one of the musicians who forced the whole Americana genre--- those who fit into various categories depending upon song because he certainly does not fit a mold. Forget that his voice and writing styles reflect a cross between Jeff Finlin and Paul Curreri, two singer/songwriters of immense talent. Forget that he delves into territory seldom entered--- that of emotional and lyrical gold. Forget that he is from Cork, Ireland but sounds much more like he is from Boston, a city he has lived in since 2003. Forget everything. You listen to American Echoes and you hear Bob Bradshaw, musician/poet, and for those moments, that's all you need.

Bradshaw has a hand in every song on the album but only claims the opener and closer for himself: “Exotic Dancers Wanted,” a look at the dark personal side of strippers and their followers, so to speak, and “Old Soldiers” who never die because they just fade away. Sandwiched between those songs are ten written in collaboration with others, a few which could easily be called classic. “Call It What You Will” (video above), a moody, bumpy, rhythmic ride through the chafe of relationships; “The Assumptions We Make,” a mixture of folk and rock produced to perfection; “Working On My Protest Song,” a bit of jazzy folk dissonance between major chord progressions (a song well within the Paul Curreri wheelhouse); “Weight of the World,” the one real rocker on the album (pure rock 'n' roll); “My Double and I,” a slinky, jazzy and humorous comparison of doppelganger personalities (very Randy Newman); and “Oh Brother,” a song I am still processing and a song I am loving while doing it.

I could see this one slipping through the cracks just because Bradshaw is so varied in his approach to each song, but it could also easily be a Sleeper. One of those albums you never give its just due until you realize that you have been playing it more than anything else in your collection. I give it the status of Paul Curreri's The Big Shitty, a collection of songs so unique I doubt I will ever hear their like again. Some of Bradshaw's songs are immediate classics in my mind. The kind of songs songwriters and musicians listen to. The kind of songs which become part of your DNA.

Songwriting: A+. Performance: A. Production: A. That goes for everyone involved. - Frank Gutch JR.

From Real Roots Cafe - 12/9/16
A more than excellent singer-songwriter, the born Irishman Bob Bradshaw, who now resides for about 15 years in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. The fact that making music is taken seriously proves the fact that he graduated - many years older than his classmates - in 2009 at the famous Berklee College of Music (in Boston). As sources of inspiration he mentions the Americana giants Guy Clark, Townes van Zandt, John Hiatt, Steve Earle and John Prine. Listening to the song 'Workin' on my protest song 'of the beautiful new CD, I want to add Paul Simon to this list. On the occasion of his previous CD, Whatever You Wanted (2015), I wrote: 'Bradshaw brings a lot of variation on his new CD. A cross-pollination of pop, rock, country, soul and you name it! Great CD, good songs, great voice, great accompaniment! "And I think he has only gotten better on this 'American Echoes'. Bob treats a dozen fine songs, in which he again discusses all the angles of the Americana. Important in the accompaniment is guitarist (electric) Andrew Stern, in addition there is James Rohr on various keys and accordion (and vocals) and of course more guitars, bass and drums / percussion. Occasionally we hear fiddle (Chad Manning !!), lap steel, glockenspiel, and banjo. In his texts, Bob - like many of his colleagues, draws from his own experiences with events and encounters with others. The bar life is discussed in 'Exotic Dancers Wanted' and 'Meet Me' (at the bar like the westside on eleventh). Nice is his subtle ode to 'Old soldiers never die': 'Old soldiers never die, they fade away. It's written in their DNA, no need to ask me why old soldiers never die ', nicely enlivened by fiddle and banjo. Wonderful CD, this seventh from Bradshaw. Go listen and be enchanted by this great songwriter. Great CD, this seventh by Bob Bradshaw. Take a listen and let him enchant you with his songs and stories. - Fred Schmale

 

 

 

From The Morton Report, 11/3/17:

There are most likely hundreds of strong singer-songwriters lurking in America, playing shows where they live, recording albums the best they can and believing in themselves enough to keep going. Some have even come here from other countries, knowing they need to be in the land where rock & roll started, and where it still finds its most welcoming home. Bob Bradshaw moved to America from Ireland, and eventually made his way to Boston, where he went to the Berklee College of Music in classes with students half his age. That was okay, because he was driven to learn and then write songs that deserved to be heard. After a handful of albums and bands, Bradshaw has made the album to define his life. That an Irishman would use the word "American" in the title shows how strong he wants to express how things are now. These are songs that crawl up the back and wrap themselves around the neck, sending feelings to places that aren't easy to find. The man is clearly in thrall of writers like Jack Kerouac and Nelson Algren, but at the same time he has forged his own language. That's what matters most, along with a voice that is inspired in its intercontinental flavor and enquiring eye. In a year full of albums that sound like they'll live forever, Bob Bradshaw has made one of the best. Emeralds for all - Bill Bentley.

 

 

From SundayExpress UK, 10/22/17

Irish-born Bradshaw based himself in America, enrolling in the Berklee College Of Music to hone his songwriting craft. 

The result, on this seventh album, is a frequently spellbinding blend of country and nuanced rock with a winning lushness in the instrumentation and backing vocals.

The opening Exotic Dancers Wanted owes more than a nod to Tom Waits but A Bird Never Flew On Just One Wing and the genuinely funny My Double And I showcase a highly original talent.

 

from Red Line Roots 10/23/17:

"Bob Bradshaw walks a fine line. The tone of his voice floating over the arrangements of his songs is familiar and inviting, but still incredibly unique in the landscape of music we are all currently dwelling in. His songs roll off his lips and into a listeners ears in a seemingly effortless fashion, but if you know the songwriter on any sort of personal level you realize the dedication and persistence that went into each recorded note in the studio or each word that hit the page. This month sees a new record from the Irish born singer called “American Echoes” and from the press rolling already, it promises to be Bradshaw’s most prolific and introspective album to date.

Bradshaw’s 2015 release, “Whatever You Wanted” encompassed a real atmospheric vibe and this latest effort offers up a bit of the same. A keen focus on penning a song that will stick and bringing in some of the most renowned studio musicians that the Northeast has to offer, no element goes without careful consideration on this new one…not that we would expect anything less from Bob." - Brian Carroll.

 

from FATEA 10;25/17:

Born in Ireland but, currently living in Boston, Bradshaw's seventh album pays tribute to the music and experiences absorbed from 25 years in America with a dozen songs that variously take in the blues, country, folk and bluegrass. He has an easy on the ear, relaxed style, perfectly illustrated by opening track, 'Exotic Dancers Wanted', a bittersweet sketch of life inside a pole dancing bar, of the clients and the dancers, variously seeking thrills, escape and "pockets filled with dollar bills."

Taking the tempo up a notch, the catchily melodic 'Meet Me' , an ode to New York with a touch of Sleepless in Seattle about it, finds the narrator suggesting a series of possible lovers' trysts, from the coffee shop near Lexington and forty seventh to the Staten Island ferry or the viewing platform on the Empire State. Underpinned by piano, keys and lap steel, 'Call It What You Will', on the other hand, has a more downbeat note to its smoky, late night Manhattan bluesy vibe and lyrics about a relationship at the tipping point and words you can't take back. On the other hand, 'The Assumptions We Make' is the flip side of 'Meet Me', the optimism replaced by disappointment over a date that never shows.

'Workin' On My Protest Song' takes a musical leaf out of Paul Simon's Gracebook musical notebook, an Afro-Americana shuffle with a wry lyric about protest singers who reckon their songs will change world. There isn't actually a Keystone Bar & Grill (the name of a restaurant chain in Cincinnati as it happens) at the end of as Union Hill as mentioned in the Celtic-Americana tinged 'A Bird Never Flew On Just One Wing', but it sounds as there should be as, featuring Chad Manning on fiddle, it finds the narrator dropping by in the afternoon to kill time with a couple of drinks, just him, the bartender and some guy spouting such drunken wisdom as the song title.

Andrew Stern punching up the electric guitar, 'Weight of the World' shifts the mood for a Southern boogie rock n roll guitar riff track though you might also hear some Beatles touches there. By contrast, it's followed by the shuffling waltz of 'Stella' which, with Stern's resonator guitar break, is strikingly reminiscent of Elvis Costello's more romantic side.

He rings the changes again with the jazzy blues and wah wah guitar work of the witty Jekyll & Hyde lyric of a "cosmic double cross" 'My Double And I', the mood shifting to melancholy with the 'Material For The Blues' with its theme about preferring loneliness ("there are no marks, you see no bruise") to the abusive relationship the (male) narrator appears to be in.

Stern's slide adds muscle to the vocally powered-up 'O Brother', another song that deals with aspects of relationships, here the fear of commitment on the part of the singer when faced with a one night encounter who wants more.

It ends with a melancholic shade, Andy Santospago's banjo and Manning's fiddle providing the textures for the sepia-toned, old-time feel of 'Old Soldiers' ("never die, they fade away") with Mike Connors suitably underpinning with a military drum beat, a haunting finale to an album that, like its title, continues to echo long after the last note fades.

Mike Davies

 

 

From Red Guitar  10/19/17:

 

I have recently taken up photography as a hobby, not digital, but on film. I am shunning “Auto” and taking time to compose each shot, being choosy about what I take, as the roll is not infinite. As such, each shot becomes treasured, even if it does not come out as expected. Bob Bradshaw’s new album, ‘American Echoes’, has the feeling of a treasured photo album crammed with fond memories and experiences. Indeed, Bradshaw started his journey in America, which has led to the content of ‘American Echoes’, way back in 1989. It is a product of the people, places and venues he has visited and the experiences he has had in his adopted homeland. It draws on classic American genres ranging from country and folk to bluegrass and the blues. The album is a celebration and a document of the dreamers, poets and sinners that he has met on his journey across the nation’s landscape.

 

Bradshaw, an Irish born singer/songwriter, is a graduate of the prestigious Berklee College of Music, gaining his degree of Professional Music in 2009. This “official” accreditation of his abilities is underpinned by years of experience as a self-taught player performing in the streets of Europe as well as in U.S. cover bands, bar bands, and in his own San Francisco Band, Resident Aliens. Evidence of this experience on the road and as a graduate professional, feeds into the sound and lyrics found on ‘American Echoes’. The new album follows critical acclaim for the predecessors ‘Home’ in 2013 and 2015’s ‘Whatever You Wanted’, which was named by the Telegraph as one of the best Americana/Country albums of the year. It was credited as “a wonderful paced example of how he has lifted the sights, sounds and moods if America and sparkled them with originality” (Pennyblack Music). ‘American Echoes’ is a compelling development of this theme.

 

The album’s atmospheric opener, ‘Exotic Dancers Wanted’ is a perfect example of the aforementioned theme. The title itself conjures the image of a badly pinned advert on the outside of a slightly drab dancing club. Elements of Bruce Springsteen’s ‘The Wrestler’ and the poetic storytelling of Bob Dylan can be found here. Bradshaw’s lyrical camera drifts from punter to punter as their mini biographies are laid before the listener. The gentle, lapping almost lazy summer's day rhythm and tinkling piano provides the light backdrop for the sordid stories within. Parallels are drawn between the club and the world outside, from which the clientele are desperate to escape, if only for a few hours. The heady, alcohol soaked ambience is captured in the lyric: “Freddie in the front row, not quite yet a man, got the hots for Dixie, he’s drinkin’ it all in. Wonders: will I ever get to tell the dancers from the dance?” Bradshaw is sympathetic to the dancers, though candid about the reality of the club that they need the punters as much as the punters need the dancers “Her pockets filled with dollar bills a flask of whiskey and some pills. Hell, even she can’t tell the dancers from the dance…”

 

‘Meet me’ shares territory with Richard Hawley’s ‘Coles Corner’, albeit a different take on a similar theme - the heartbreaking search for companionship in the faceless metropolis. The endless list of meeting locations, suggesting new dates each time, indicates each one in turn has failed to develop to anything more than a one off encounter. “...meet me downtown, any place, anytime…” The heartfelt lyric is given greater gravitas by Andrew Stern’s sweeping guitar. The eagerness for intimacy and self sacrifice to find it is all too evident “I’ll be waiting for you, don’t you worry. I’ll be there before you if I hurry...Eastside, Westside, anyplace you got in mind. Tell me when, tell me where. I’ll be there.”

‘Call It What You Will’ opens with a drumbeat reminiscent of Michael Jackson’s take on ‘Ain’t No Sunshine’. This track would not sound out of place on Sting’s seminal ‘Ten Summoner’s Tales’. A haunting and standout track, there are shades of John Martyn to Bradshaw’s vocal which is backed by beautiful harmonies from Britt Connors and the gentle tumbling piano solo of James Rohr. “Things got a little stormy up in the sky…” the turbulent relationship laid bare in the lyrics is metaphorically represented by the moon (she) and the sun (he) and the unravelling of a once harmonious union. As with the timeless battle between the moon and the sun for precedence, she has been exhausted by the relentless challenge of the partnership “The moon is sad and frazzled, she’s not the fightin’ kind. She’s worn out by his cruel and fiery ways...”. While the conflict seems inescapable the moon (she) longs for release “You can call it what you will, but I can’t wait until it’s over.”

 

‘Assumptions’ shares some of its DNA with Pete Droge and the Sinners “Beautiful Girl”, with Bradshaw’s vocal recalling Guy Garvey at his most tender. It is a companion piece to ‘Meet Me’ yet, rather than the self sacrifice seen in that song, here our protagonist has more self preservation. “And you won’t understand how meticulous plans come to nothing, how assumptions are made, and how you must go on alone.” The close harmonies in the chorus give way to a glorious guitar solo in the bridge. It is an ode to lost love and what could have been. “Here’s to the journey, that was not ours to take…” Gently moving, profound and will have fans searching out the repeat button, time and again.

 

‘Weight of the World’ opens with a Beatle-esque ‘Day Tripper’ guitar solo; full throttle rock with Mark Knopfler echoed in Bradshaw’s effortlessly commanding vocal. A foot tapping, jukebox favourite celebrating truckers, a love affair with insomnia and the wee hours of the morning. “Clock tells me it’s three o three, and I’ve been lyin’ here prayin’ I’d see the daylight...I’m carrying the weight, ferrying the freight, carrying the weight of the world.” It is dancefloor friendly and no doubt the staple of live sets with searing electric guitar and infectious drumming of Mike Connors. Only thing is at only 2.32 it is over much too soon!

 

In stark contrast, it is followed by the beautiful ‘Stella’. Again, there are hints of Richard Hawley here and the lush teenage dream of Rick Nelson’s ‘Lonesome Town’. It is an unapologetically romantic serenade to the lady of the title and the impact she has had on our protagonist; “I came outta’ my shell for ya, now you see I am dancin’ too.” The lyric encompasses giving all of yourself to one person and falling hopelessly in love. “Feelin’ light on my feet ‘round ya, Stella. Maybe we can find the beat together, one step away, Stella. What do you say, Stella. Take my hand and lead me there where you are.” This track is shortly followed by its bookend - ‘Material For The Blues’. It is a lullaby marking the creativity sparked by solitude, yet is similarly romantic. The storyteller hides the unfulfilled relationships and half forgotten dates behind a firm exterior and draws on this emotional fuel for his craft. “There are no marks, you see no bruise, my world’s a silent house filled with material for the blues.”

 

Regarding the album’s title Bradshaw himself states: “[As echoes] these songs travel forwards and backwards at the same time...backwards to the folk and country music that first inspired me to sing and write songs, and forwards into more complex, layered sounds I encountered in Berklee.” ‘American Echoes’ is an important crossroads for Bradshaw; like a well thumbed journal, it lays down a rich melting pot of collated ideas and signals the beginning of a new stage in his musical journey. Based on this remarkable collection of songs, fans of Americana and Country should watch Bradshaw’s next step with great anticipation.

 

Review by Jon Amer.

 

 

from Blues And More Again 10/12/17:

Albums where every track is of estimable quality, with no filler don’t come along too often, but American Echoes more than satisfies these enjoyment criteria.

On this, his seventh studio album, Bob Bradshaw corrals together the diverse human experiences of misfits and everyday blue-collar protagonists, well-crafted insightful lyrics and memorable melodies, entirely from the mere eleven notes available to him. All the while, he demonstrates that he has mastered the songwriter’s art of narrating personal, or imagined personal dramas that resonate with recognisable universal experience.

We share his tale of a reluctant but resourceful entertainer and her detachment from the sleazy clientele, in ‘Exotic Dancers Wanted’, and experience the finely-tooled radio-friendly pop of 'Meet Me’ and 'The Assumptions We Make'. And whilst there is thoughtful minor key brooding in 'Call It What You Will', Bradshaw’s wry sentiment comes to the fore in 'Material For The Blues', ‘My Double And I’ and 'Workin' On My Protest Song’, the latter’s swinging chorus an infectious sing-along.

And if the earworm ‘Oh Brother’ and waltz-time ‘Stella’ aren’t written from personal experience, Bradshaw has the well-developed dramatic gift of making the listener believe that they most definitely are.

There’s a deliberate spaciousness about the recording, Bradshaw’s own production allowing the songs the air needed to be heard with welcome clarity. A word of praise too for his studio band. Little flourishes like Andy Santospago’s baritone guitar on 'The Assumptions We Make', and understated rock out as 'Workin' On My Protest Song’ concludes, add depth and flavour, as does James Rohr’s perfectly-structured and executed piano coda as ‘Call It What You Will’ edges to its glorious fade.

Contemporary troubadours such as Tom Russell, Ben Rogers and Nathan Bell excel in the creation and performance of such narratives, and the recorded legacy of the great Greg Trooper comforts us that we lived in his time. Bob Bradshaw deserves to be mentioned in that company.

 

From 'Maximum Volume Music'  10/10/17:

Reviewing the recent – and brilliant – Tom Russell record, MV was struck by how exciting his life was compared to our own. The same is true of Bob Bradshaw. An Irishman who moved to America a quarter of a century ago, he was a self-taught player who decided in his 40s to enrol in the Berklee School of music (from where he graduated with a degree in Professional Music in 2009). These songs amount to his observations on life for the last 25 years.

Like all the great songwriters, Bradshaw can mould these experiences into something illuminating and give them a universal quality. There is something of the dark Tom Waits world about “Exotic Dancers Wanted” which opens this in suitably sparse and laid-back manner. Allied to this, although we might not be in that bar, then there is someone in every bar in the world who is a “sad daddy with a bad case of lonely, checking out the field, maybe find himself a honey.”

An attention to imagery is all important here. The acoustic based “I’ll Be Waiting” shimmers on the back of a catchy hook, but still dots the I’s and crosses the t’s: “meet me at the Staten Island ferry, bring your heavy coat.” Somehow gives this a more personal side than most can manage.

“Call It What You Will” occupies some darker back alley, while “The Assumptions That We Make” is reminiscent of the work of the wonderful Stephen Fearing, but bursts into life with a quite superb – and unexpected – guitar solo.

There is a real skill and flourish in these words. “Workin’ On My Protest Song” is full of Paul Simon-isms and is an erudite critique of those that think a song can change the world these days: “A few more hours and I’ll take my banjo out” offers its hook, “mark my words I’ll show them what its all about – I’ll stop them in their tracks”. It is a fine example of the different angle that Bradshaw finds for his music.

It is striking too, just how many styles Bradshaw finds time for in the 12 songs. “A Bird Never Flew On Just One Wing” is a mighty slab of Americana, with its violin adding a mournful quality. “The Weight Of The World” on the other hand is riotous and full on Southern Rock n Roll, and “Stella” is a stripped down and gorgeous love song.

It is when Bradshaw really lets himself go that “….Echoes” is at its best. “My Double And I” is bluesy jazz with a nod to his fellow Irishman Paul Brady with genuinely funny lyrics, and there is some deep-rooted sadness about “Material For The Blues” which is perfect for those moments when you are scrolling through your phone book looking for anyone who might be awake at 2am.

The guest musicians that Bradshaw is able to use on the album do a fine job too. Andrew Stern’s slide guitar skill elevates “O Brother” to some other plain, and “Old Soldiers” similarly benefits from the wonderfully picked out banjo of Andy Santospago.

It is fitting that an album that begins in a seedy bar ends on the battlefield, because all human life and beyond is here on a diverse and fine record. As much as these are Bradshaw’s own “American Echoes” from his time over the pond, they have resonance for everyone, wherever they may be.

Rating 8/10

 

 From 'Music Riot' 10/10/17:

It’s a musical ‘all you can eat’ buffet; a long-time outsider’s view of American popular music exploring some of the high protein meat dishes, but meandering through some of the more delicately flavoured and textured dishes as well. To add to the complexity, it’s a set of songs created by a self-taught musician who also happens to have studied for a popular music degree. Sophistication and raw rock power are both on the menu for this musical feast. On his previous album, “Whatever You Wanted”, Bob Bradshaw saved the best (in my opinion) for last, closing the album with the wonderful road song, “The Long Ride Home”. On “American Echoes”, he opens with the lovely, acutely-observed “Exotic Dancers Wanted”; all of smalltown America is there as he melds Tom Waits with Bob Seger’s “Mainstreet” to create a quiet classic of a song about desperation, drugs, booze and pole-dancing. He even throws in a W.B. Yeats reference.

To keep the culinary metaphor on the boil, “American Echoes” is a smorgasbord of musical stylings, or a pick ‘n’ mix if prosaic is your preference. It ranges all the way from the out and out rocker “Weight of the World”, with its huge riff, two guitars and The Who stylings to the acoustic ballad “Stella” with a Chris Isaak guitar sound and a vocal that’s a dead ringer for Elvis Costello in lower-register ballad mode.

There’s a bit of lyrical invention as well, to match the musical melange. “My Double and I” is a modern take on the Jekyll and Hyde theme matched up with a laid-back New Orleans jazz groove (with a nod towards Steely Dan’s “East St Louis Toodle-oo”), while “Working on My Protest Song” combines the kind of rhythms Paul Simon discovered in Africa with a mildly sarcastic dig at musicians who opportunistically appropriate protest movements for their ends. And the list goes on.

The bottom line is that Bob Bradshaw has produced another very fine album indeed. “American Echoes” is packed with great lyrical and musical ideas and gets better with repeated plays. 

from Folkwords 8/16/16

"I’ll come clean right at the start, ever since I first heard that sparse minimalist music and those distinctive, laid back rangy vocals, I’ve been an admirer of Bob Bradshaw’s songs. So when ‘American Echoes’ (his seventh studio album) arrived it was bound to hold my attention. With inspiration pulled from country and folk, bluegrass and blues, a soupcon of jazz and barrel-loads of Americana understanding, it’s a collection of songs written with a deep understanding of its subjects with the clarity of a foreigner in his adopted country. That’s the skill-set of this Irish-born, Boston-based singer-songwriter.american-echoes album cover

The themes run through the amalgam of hopes and dreams, losers and winners, realistic views on love and perceptive self-appraisal. As with all Bradshaw’s albums the longer you engage the more you identify with his observations and share in his world view. Opening with ‘Exotic Dancers Wanted’ the hook is in from the first, then he reels you further in through ‘The Assumptions We Make’ and the perceptive ‘A Bird Never Flew On Just One Wing’. The ‘rootsy’ feel is something you could reach out and touch in songs like ‘Weight of the World’ and ‘My Double and I’, while the mournful cry of ‘O Brother’ hits it perfectly." - Tom Franks

great review in Dutch but Isn't find a way to translate it coherently: from Rootstime NL, 9/1/17 (as far as I can tell “voortreffelijke nieuwe plaat” means “outstanding new album”...)

Op de foto die het ingesloten tekstboekje van de cd “American Echoes” van Bob Bradshaw siert, lijkt deze folkrockzanger en songschrijver gewoon een ‘boy next door’ of ‘jongen van hiernaast’ te zijn. Met bluejeans en een zwart T-shirt zit hij op een krukje en tokkelt hij wat op een akoestische gitaar. Misschien is deze in het Ierse Cork geboren muzikant ook een gewone, eenvoudige kerel die intussen al een mid-vijftiger is, graag liedjes schrijft en zingt en verder met rust gelaten wil worden.

Vier jaar geleden hoorden wij bij ‘Rootstime’ voor het eerst van deze Bob Bradshaw via zijn toen uitgebrachte soloplaat “Home”, een album dat hij in de Amerikaanse stad Boston opnam waar hij zich sinds 2003 heeft gevestigd. Voorafgaand had hij in 2008 echter nog een akoestisch album “Bag Of Knives” samen met Chad Manning opgenomen en in 2015 volgde ook nog zijn meest recente soloplaat “Whatever You Wanted”.

Over “Whatever You Wanted “schreven we in 2015 dat de muziek van Bob Bradshaw voornamelijk Americana-liedjes waren die referentiepunten hebben naar de country soul, western swing, rootsrock en folkballads. Zijn eind oktober verschijnende nieuwste album “American Echoes” kan met eenzelfde definitie door het leven gaan. Twaalf nieuwe eigen composities nemen de luisteraars mee in de verhalen die Bob Bradshaw als een echte troubadour in deze liedjes wil vertellen. Zijn verleden als journalist in Ierland zou hiervoor wel eens de directe aanleiding geweest kunnen zijn.

Tijdens de beluistering van deze overigens voortreffelijke nieuwe plaat moeten we toch een aantal keren denken aan vergelijkbare artiesten als Randy Newman, John Hiatt, John Prine of Townes Van Zandt, stuk voor stuk muzikanten die ook altijd op rustige ‘laid back’-wijze hun verhaal via een song vertellen. Openingstrack “Exotic Dancers Wanted” grijpt meteen nadrukkelijk naar uw aandacht en die blijft Bob Bradshaw behouden doorheen de resterende elf liedjes op “American Echoes”. Het op bijgaande video te beluisteren liedje “Meet Me” zal u duidelijk maken wat we hiermee bedoelen.

“The Assumptions We Make”, de in duetvorm met zangeres Annie Lynch gebrachte songs “Workin’ On My Protest Song” en “A Bird Never Flew On Just One Wing” en de minimalistisch georkestreerde ballads “Stella”, “Material For The Blues”, “O Brother” en “Old Soldiers” zijn onze favoriete tracks. Maar u mag van ons gerust alle twaalf nummers uit “American Echoes” van Bob Bradshaw nog eens opnieuw via de boxen laten weerklinken, hoor.

great review in Flemish but I can't find a way to translate it properly. Put it in Google Translate and have fun with it: from Altcountry Belgium, (4.5 out of 5 stars) 9/13/17 ( “ronduit sublieme drinklied” = “absolutely sublime drinking song” I gather, while “superknappe plaat” is either a “super knock-out record” or a “super-handsome plate”...)

Onder de tray van het Bob Bradshaws nieuwe album omhullende digipack prijkt er een knappe zwart-witfoto van een door een aardig desolaat ogend uitgestrekt landschap lopende spoorweg. En dat blijkt op de keper beschouwd helemaal geen toeval. Op zijn inmiddels toch ook al zevende studioplaat trakteert de al een kleine eeuwigheid in de States residerende Ier ons immers op een dozijn verhalen die hem door de jaren heen bijbleven van zijn vele trips doorheen zijn wahlheimat. “American Echoes” dus.

En die brengt de beste man in beurtelings met ingrediënten uit genres als onder meer pop, folk, country, bluegrass en blues ontleende Americanadeunen. Veelal (maar zeker niet uitsluitend) van het eerder zachtere type. Van het soort dat je kameraadschappelijk onder de arm neemt en vraagt om even te gaan zitten en te luisteren. Zoals ook al op voorgangers “Home” (2013) en “Whatever You Wanted” (2015) eigenlijk. Als je al één van die beide platen in huis zou hebben, dan kan je eigenlijk gewoon blind overgaan tot een aanschaf van “American Echoes”. Ook dat album zal je dan immers niet ontgoochelen.

Van het ronduit sublieme drinklied “A Bird Never Flew On Just One Wing” over het pittig rockende “Weight Of The World” tot love song “Stella”, van het Waitsiaans jazzy “My Double And I” over het met een snuif exotica gekruide “Workin’ On My Protest Song” tot de old-timey afsluiter “Old Soldiers” en dan vergeten we er nog wel enkele, dit zijn echt wel topsongs! En “American Echoes” al bij al gewoon ook een superknappe plaat. Van harte aan te bevelen wat ons betreft aan liefhebbers van het materiaal van enigszins vergelijkbare artiesten als een Darden Smith, een Robert Earl Keen, een Fred Eaglesmith en een Joe Henry in zijn beginjaren.

from DonAnd Sheryls Bluesblog 9/11/1I

Irish-born Bob Bradshaw has been a Boston resident since 2003, but, he’s been everywhere, man, busking on the streets of Europe, as well as NYC and Frisco before finally settling in Massachusetts.  Obviously, he’s seen a lot, and, thru his studies at Berklee, he’s honed his songwriting to make his characters people that we can all relate to.  This is especially true on his seventh studio album, “American Echoes,” for Fluke Records.  This all-original album combines his passion for folk, blues, and bluegrass with that innate ability to tell a cool story in five minutes’ time.

His characters are all of us–hopeless dreamers, lovers, saints, and sinners, and everyone in between.  “Meet Me” name-checks many NYC landmarks and turns them into places for a romantic rendezvous, for “anyplace, anytime, I’ll be there!”  The denizens of The Keystone Bar And Grill offer up the sage advice, over a few pints, that “a cup of tea won’t make you sing, and A Bird Never Flew On Just One Wing.”  “Stella” is a story of true love between aging lovers set to waltz time, while the set closes on a “marching beat,”  with the story of the bravery and chivalry of Civil War soldiers, “Old Soldiers never die–they just fade away.”  This one has fiddle from Chad Manning and banjo from Andy Santospago, and the traditional instruments add to the ambience of this cut.

We had two favorites, too.  The set starts with “Exotic Dancers Wanted,” and you can almost see the grainy, black-and-white film noir of the ladies and their clientele,  as the longer they ply their trade, the more they become unable to “tell the dancers from the dance.”  And, a tongue-in-cheek nod to Dylan and the Sixties finds Bob ducking “mushroom clouds” and “tommy guns,” all the while “Workin’ On My Protest Song!”   This one has a rich, Garcia-era Dead vibe, set over a quirky time pattern that woulda been right at home during the folk boom.

On “American Echoes,” Bob Bradshaw comes full-circle.  These songs trace the history of the music that first inspired Bob, and evolve into the layered arrangements he studied at Berklee.  This is indeed an aural treat!

from Blogcritics.org 8/16/17

"When William Butler Yeats wrote the poem “Among School Children,” I wonder if he imagined how deeply its closing line “How can we know the dancer from the dance?” would percolate into the wider culture. I do feel fairly safe in assuming he didn’t imagine it in a strip-club context. But that’s where Bob Bradshaw references the line in “Exotic Dancers Wanted,” the opening track of his thoughtful seventh album American Echoes.

The song sets an easygoing tone for this collection of deeply imagined folk-pop tunes, most charged with a deceptively hazy, lazy vibe that suggests the cloudy strains of the early ’70s. There’s a little psychedelia, a little California country-western, a little roots-rock (“Weight of the World”), a spadeful of New York City grit. But there’s also a European flavor in the way the melody sneaks in to “Meet Me,” one of the album’s stellar tracks. And the lyrics of the barroom ditty “A Bird Never Flew on Just One Wing” feel right at home sung by an Irish-born, Boston-based singer-songwriter, while the music evokes the Brit-folk of Richard Thompson.

Bradshaw sounds a bit like Elvis Costello on the silvery folk-waltz “Stella” and on the bluesy, old-timey “My Double and I,” the latter echoing Costello’s “Let ’em Dangle.” Hendrix-esque slide guitar and wry, minimalist lyrics help make “O Brother” a compact gem.

Comparisons are fun for a reviewer to come up with. But Bradshaw has developed a distinctive voice of his own over an extensive career. American Echoes shows a singer, songwriter, and bandleader in full command of his muse." - Jon Sobel

from Midwest Record 8/11/17

"Some people have it and some people don't. A charming album of songs about life's loveable losers as told by a mature and foreign born eye, this set of left field Americana is musically on point in a most pleasing way providing the setting for lyrics that you often times don't believe you're hearing. A first rate recording that raises the songwriter bar, all I can say is Bradshaw has the shining and knows how to capture lightening in a bottle. Well done."

COMING SOON!!!

COMING SOON!!!

 

Airplay for 'American Echoes' in late 2017:

Exotic Dancers Wanted – Folk Renaissance Radio Show, w/Abby Parks 11/12/17

The Assumptions We Make - Folk Renaissance Radio Show, w/Abby Parks, 10/15/17

Exotic Dancers Wanted - Kippenvel, RTV Katwijk (NL), 11/7/17

Meet Me – AmericanRadio NL, Paul Van Gelder, 11/12/17

Material For The Blues – Country & Roots Show w/Michael Hingston, Radio Verulam, 11/13/17

Exotic Dancers Wanted – Ralph On The Radio, Crystal FM, 11/7/17

Workin’ On My Protest Song, Tiompan, BBC Radio nan Gaidheal, 11/3/17

My Double And I – WorldBeatUK w/Glyn Phillips, 10/2317

The Assumptions We Make – Inernational Americana Music Show (Michael Park), 10/24/17

Weight Of The World – Lost Highway (Doug Gesler), WMBR, 10/21/17

Workin' On My Protest Song – WorldBeatUK (Glyn Phillips) Brum Radio/Mixcloud, 10/16/17

Call It What You Will – An Ghaelach Ghorm, RTE Raidio Na Gaeltachta, 10/21/17

Meet Me – Acoustic Blues Club Podcast/Kansas Online Radio, 10/18/17

The Assumptions We Make – Jason Titley Radio Show UK, 10/17/17

My Double And I – BluesNRoots Corner, Radio Duivenstraat (NL), 10/8/17

Call It What You Will – FolkRoots Show (Martin Bridgeman) KCLR Ireland, 10/17/17

Stella – Music Routes, Radio Summerhall (Edinburgh), 10/16/17

Material For The Blues – After Midnight (Noel Casey), Dublin City FM, 10/16/17

Meet Me – Landslide, RTV Purmerend (NL), 10/22/17

A Bird Never Flew On Just One Wing – Roots Freeway, RTE Radio 1, 8/26/17

Old Soldiers – Songriver, 104.1FM, NL, 10/13/17

Weight Of The World – Music Routes, Radio Summerhill (Edinburgh), 10/11/17

O Brother – Diana Schad/The Night Nurse Show, Glasgow, 10/11/17

The Assumptions We Make - Music Routes, Radio Summerhill (Edinburgh), 10/4/17

Exotic Dancers Wanted - Songriver, 104.1FM, NL, 10/6/17

Old Soldiers – For Folk's Sake, Drive 105.3FM, Derry, 10/3/17

Exotic Dancers Wanted - After Midnight (Noel Casey), Dublin City FM, 10/2/17

Old Soldiers – Blues and Friends, Baarn FM (NL), 10/2/17

Weight Of The World – Russell Hill's Country Music Show, Express FM, 10/1/17

A Bird Never Flew On Just One Wing - Blues & Root Radio, 9/27/17

Call It What You Will - Music Routes, Radio Summerhall, Edinburgh, 9/27.17

Material For The Blues - Criffel Creek Alive Radio, Dumfries and Chesire, UK, 10/1/17

Workin' On My Protest Song - The Country Music Show, BCFM Radio, Bristol, UK, 9/28/17

Old Soldiers, O Brother – For Folk's Sake, Drive 105.3 (N. Ireland) 9/26/17

Exotic Dancers Wanted – CountryFile, Havenstad Fm (NL), 9/24/17

A Bird Never Flew On Just One Wing – Roots & Fusion, Pure Radio 107.8FM (UK), 8/23/17

Weight Of The World – Hillbilly Rockhouse, Berlin, 8/31/17

Meet Me – Landslide, (NL) 9/21, 9/24, 9/27/17

Call It What You Will – NightTrain, Dublin City FM, 9/13/17

Workin' On My Protest Song – Gonzo's Return, 40Up Radio, (NL), 9/25/17

Workin' On My Protest Song – Roots, Radio Ems-Vechte-Welle, Germany, 9/12/17

Workin' On My Protest Song, My Double and I, O Brother – TheBluesHour, Severn FM, UK, 9/25/17

Stella - Harky In English (Paul Van Gelder) NL, 9/3/17

A Bird Never Flew On Just One Wing - After Midnight, Dublin FM, 9/18/17

Workin' On My Protest Song - The Miller Tells Her Tale, Scotland, 9/17/17

Weight Of The World - Rolf's Pladdekaddong - Radio RheinWelle 92,5, Wiesbaden, Germany, 9/1/17

Exotic Dancers Wanted - Blueprint, Radio RTV1 (Netherlands), 9/17/17

Material For The Blues – For The Sake Of The Song, Omroep Vlaardingen (NL), 9/6/17

Exotic Dancers Wanted – NightTrain, Dublin City FM, 9/6/17

Exotic Dancers Wanted - Acoustic Blues Club, Kansas City Online Radio, 9/6/17

The Assumptions We Make – Thunder Road (Dolf Jansen) NPO Radio 2, (NL), 9/9/17

A Bird Never Flew On Just One Wing/Exotic Dancers Wanted – Celtic Heartbeat, BBC Radio Wales, 9/3/17

Exotic Dancers Wanted – Gonzo’s Return, 40Up Radio (NL), 9/7/17

Weight Of The World – Gonzo’s Return, 40Up Radio (NL), 8/31/17

A Bird never Flew on Just One Wing - Friends In Low Places, BeyondRadio UK, 8/27/17

Workin’ On My Protest Song – Thunder Road (Dolf Jansen) NPO Radio 2, (NL), 8/26/17

Meet Me – After Midnight, Dublin City FM, 9/4/17

Material For The Blues – Folkal Point, Blues and Roots Radio, 9/14/17

Material For the Blues – Beale Street, Radio Mol, Belgium, 8/3/17

The Assumptions We Make – Music Routes, Radio Summerhall, Edinburgh, 8/23/17

My Double and I, O Brother – BluesnRoots Corner, Netherlands, 8/27/17

Exotic Dancers Wanted – Gonzo's Return, 40Up Radio, Netherlands, 8/28/17

Workin' On My Protest Song – An Ghealach Ghorm, RTE, 8/26/17

Call It What You Will - Crooked Road, Swindon 105.5, UK, 8/31/17

Workin' On My Protest Song – AmericanRadioNl, Paul van Gelder, 8/23/17

Exotic Dancers Wanted – BBC Radio Scotland, Iain Anderson Show, 8/21/17

A Bird Never Flew On Just One Wing - Music Routes, Radio Summerhall, Edinburgh, 8/16/17

American echoes poster
Best album cover whatever you wanted

'Whatever You Wanted' named as one of the best Americana/Country albums of 2015 by the Telegraph UK!

Here's a look at some recent reviews of Whatever You Wanted: 

Lisa Torem, Pennyblackmusic.co.uk! 

Singer-songwriter Bob Bradshaw has spent twenty-five years perfecting his craft. His sixth album, ‘Whatever You Wanted’, is a wonderfully-paced example of how he has lifted the sights, sounds and moods of his adopted surroundings and sparkled them with originality. Bradshaw was raised in Ireland, though, and part of the allure is how his unarguable musical roots mesh so successfully with the bluegrass swing and soul of the dozen tracks. 

‘The Start of Nothin’ features subtle harmonies and spacious guitar fills. The ultimate payoff, though, is how this striking symbiosis of earnest vocals and anguished instrumentals drive this ballad of disillusionment upon which Bradshaw bares his soul: “I had something to tell you/Didn’t know what it was,” he repeats, letting us in on his confusion. 

Bradshaw’s voice has a bitter bite in the signature song and you’d be a fool not to hear him out. His voice is embraced by darkening strings and turbulent rhythm. 

“Whatever you came for, whatever makes you twist and shout/Well, I’m all out,” he sings, with an understandable sense of weariness. 

In ‘Crazy Heart’, Bradshaw weaves his left-on-the-vine remorse around a lush, Duane Eddy-esque backdrop, courtesy of guitarist Duke Levine. Levine makes an equally impressive appearance on the more truculent ‘Losing You’, joined by sharp organ and a fiercely independent bass. 

The strength of the song ‘Sparrow’ is derived from its complex, classical structure and unexpected nuance, which ranges from Duncan Wickel’s chest-pounding cello to light wind chimes in the otherwise brooding outro. 

‘Dream’ has a beguiling Everly Brothers’ feel to it. Bradshaw takes his time telling the engaging story and the outro, alone, holds its own kind of charm. A sharp, old timey piano rings out in ‘A Fool Who Cries’, which also benefits from Scott Aruda’s steamy trumpet and Joe Stewart’s forceful trombone — the two also spike up the already sincere ‘Before’. 

‘Go Get Along’ features Annalise Emerick’s lustful harmonies and Chad Manning’s frolicking pair of fiddles. ‘High’ – “as a satellite taking in the view –“ gives room for the entire rhythm section to shine, with percussionist Francisco Matas at the head of the class. You’ll lose yourself in its intoxicating instrumental as Bradshaw expresses his innermost feelings with no holds barred, while on ‘Sad Songs’, his extraordinary use of poetic device, such as repetition, celebrates the heartbeat. ‘The Long Ride Home’ is the closer and it benefits greatly from piano master James Rohr and Bradshaw’s truthful narrative. 

In ‘Whatever You Wanted’, Bob Bradshaw’s Americana-influenced stories are as solid as a boot-kicked tire. 

Red Line Roots, 6/24/16:
Bob Bradshaw has one of those voices that just grabs you when you hear it. The tone and timbre of his vocal is unique, but surprisingly comforting in a way. It eases you into it and the gent has a knack for telling a tell that grips you and hooks that sink their teeth into you and leave a residual ghosting in the  back of your mind long after hearing it. Like a fine furniture builder or luthier, Bradshaw is a craftsman and he carefully builds his songs with extreme care and detail. 

The singer-songwriter’s last release “Whatever You Wanted” was a collection of rich and full arrangements centered around the songwriter’s voice and storytelling. You can go deep into the cavernous layers of the songs on this record and “Crazy Heart” was a prime example of it. Mysterious and haunting in a way, it very well could have been licensed as the opening credit track for season 1 of True Detective. It just has that certain, spooky and reverberating vibe to it. 

From our review: “Personal favorite track from the record is the haunting and reverberating “Crazy Heart”. Like a basin filled with thoughts that plague the mind and heart of a man, but all the while reflecting on the things that make him who he is. Mistakes or triumphs. It has a very sepia tinged, empty barroom feel” 

Check out the video just recently released in which the tale unfolds in barrooms, deserts and empty, abandoned train cars only further adding to the mood of the tune.


From Sean Smith, Boston Irish Reporter, 3/31/16
(full piece in Review section):

On “Whatever You Wanted, “ Bradshaw shows a willingness to experiment with and expand on his blended country-rock/acoustic folk-pop style, incorporating brass on four of the tracks, for example, and trying out different time signatures. His lyrics are as economical as ever, conveying emotions and situations with understated eloquence here, sly wit there, and everywhere a long, appraising glance: “No medals for the souls who lay low/In quiet rooms to hide their eyes/Nobody’s gonna put a halo/On a fool who cries” (“A Fool Who Cries”); “Two days alone and I’m doin’ great/I take a jump to celebrate/Strapped into a parachute/I wait a while to pull to the cord” (“Losing You”); “Sparrow tells me: listen up/I’m tryin’ to tell you somethin’ good/Your garden’s got the sweetest worms/I like a juicy neighborhood” (“Sparrow”).   

Bradshaw doesn’t hesitate to credit his collaborators on “Whatever You Wanted,” like drummer Francisco Matas, fellow singer-songwriter Flynn, backing vocalist Annalise Emerick, keyboardist James Rohr, fiddler/cellist Duncan Wickel, horn players Scott Aruda and Joe Stewart, and longtime friends Scoop McGuire – who co-produced the album in addition to playing bass and guitar – and Duke Levine on electric and lap steel guitars.   

The credit is well deserved: “Whatever You Wanted” is Bradshaw’s most musically adventurous effort so far, yet there’s nothing that sounds like an overreach. The title track (co-written with Flynn, who also sings and plays guitar) is a blunt break-up song that has echoes of Tom Petty’s “Don’t Come Around Here No More,” but with more urgency, Emerick’s harmony and Wickel’s brusque cello on the chorus helping drive home the point: “Whatever you wanted/whatever you came here about/whatever you wanted/Well, I’m all out.”   

“Go Get Along” is another good-bye song and a delightful take on Western swing, Levine’s lap steel providing a Lefty Frizzell-like aura. Somewhat in the same vein is the charmingly ironic “Dream,” a veritable compendium of gauzy pop songs, Mike DeNiro’s vibes set alongside Levine’s surf-style guitar. “Crazy Heart” (more love-gone-wrong) is spare in its arrangement, Bradshaw’s acoustic guitar and Matas’ quiet drumming moving things along while Levine provides a gentle shower of chords and riffs; there’s no bass, as Bradshaw points out, which makes the song – much like the relationship it describes – “sound kind of open-ended.”   

 
Kevin Bourke, R2 (Rock n'Reel) magazine, Jan/Feb 2016:

"Much as any non-guitarist with flair will eventually find themselves tagged 'the Hendrix of the nose-flute' (or whatever), it's pretty much the law that any above-average song craftsman will find a publicist contriving to get their name in the same sentence as Guy Clark and/or Townes Van Zandt, more occasionally Randy Newman as that's a bit more high-risk. Mostly, of course, this is utter cat-tray residue, but there are exceptions to any rule and one just might be the splendid Bob Bradshaw. 

Raised in Ireland and educated in bar-rooms, clubs and honky-tonks across the United States (credit where it's due, some PR phrases are worth stealing), his sixth album is an earnest and inspiring exploration of the musics of his adopted country. Roots rock, Western swing, country-soul, acoustic ballads and, yes, all right, a very Newman-esque closer in the elegant and plaintive, piano-led shape of 'The Long Ride Home'. 

Proceedings get off to an exceptionally strong beginning with 'The Start Of Nothin', a song so well crafted and hauntingly delivered that I'm not even tempted tto make the obvious joke. Nor does the quality slip much after that, on an album chock-full of what Guy Clark himself would doubtless call keepers."


Fred Schmale, Real Roots Cafe, 12/17:
"Primo CD, great songs, great voice and perfect accompaniment!"

Martin Raybould, Whisperin' And Hollerin' - 12/15:
"The Americana tag more often than not denotes good driving tunes designed for the trucker and troubadour that dwell somewhere within us all. Bob Bradshaw's sixth album is a prime example of the genre at its best. Bradshaw grew up in Ireland but was educated in bars, clubs and honky tonks across the United States and at Boston's Berklee College of Music.  

His roving spirit is plain to hear and means that he's equally happy cruising to the bluesy Losing You or ambling along on the noirish Crazy Heart. On the journey he follows his hopes and dreams through twelve country-tinged tunes classily fleshed out with tasteful brass sections and well-judged string arrangements.  

Along the way the mood ranges from the jaunty title track to the melancholy of Sad Songs and includes a reviving detour into the Western swing of Go Get Along where he duets with Annalise Emerick. All in all it serves well as a soundtrack to an imaginary road movie about finding your true self that begins with a young boy running across open fields in The Start of Nothin’ and ends happily, if a little wistfully, with The Long Ride Home."


Martin Chilton, Telegraph UK - 12/18/15:
"Bob Bradshaw was raised in Ireland so there is a Celtic tinge to his sweet Americana singing on Whatever You Wanted. Crazy Heart is wonderfully atmospheric, with clever guitar work from Duke Levine. The album features songs co-written with bass player Scoop McGuire. A mention also for the fiddle work of Duncan Wickel and keyboard player James Rohr, who excels on the fine closing track The Long Ride Home. A very solid country record."

From 'Red Line Roots' - 12/8/16:
There is something that doesn’t quite fit into modern times about Bob Bradshaw's music…but, perhaps that is what makes it most perfect for modern day roots music. Bradshaw’s voice has a smooth, refined richness to its tone. It feels so familiar, but at the same time I have difficult times drawing comparisons to it. His songs are pensive and well thought out stories that contain deep and introspective views into the writer’s past. Perhaps the fact that Bradshaw looks back, as well as forward, is the key to what makes him an accomplished and engaging talent. A timeless quality that just simply stands out. 

“Whatever You Wanted” displays the songwriter stretching the boundaries of what you can put into a single record and have it considered one genre. The band that Bradshaw has chosen for this album is fantastic. There are hints of traditional folk songwriting, blues, rock n’ roll and country as the stories he spins are unfolded over a highway of sounds ranging from dirty blues guitar on ‘Losing You’ to the dark Americana vibes he pours out on “The Start of Nothin’”, dotted with carefully picked acoustic guitar parts and the drone of the expertly places notes of the electric ringing underneath the commentary. 

I was a young boy running / my shoes a blur 

I had something to tell you / Didn’t know where you were 

In ‘The Start of Nothin’ he manages to paint a portrait of a past relationship with simple phrasings that accumulate to tell a full story of a character running from something, inexplicably, but continuing on anyway. Each note of the picked acoustic is engaging, a flurry of notes that fit perfectly. Guitarist Duke Levine’s work on the track is like the glue that pulls everything together, long ringing notes and a solo that isn’t overly extravagant but fits the song absolutely brilliantly. Again, Bradshaw’s warm and mellow voice is the star of the show and one that I will never tire of listening to over and over again. 

Personal favorite track from the record is the haunting and reverberating “Crazy Heart”. Like a basin filled with thoughts that plague the mind and heart of a man, but all the while reflecting on the things that make him who he is. Mistakes or triumphs. It has a very sepia tinged, empty barroom feel. It could have been the opening credits for the True Detective season 1 credits…just really something else. It takes me to a place and washes over me with the whole aesthetic of the tune. That is something special, an experience to listen to. 

Bradshaw may just have one of the finest voices in modern day Americana music. It seems effortless but is always strong and seamless. His latest record further cements this songwriter as a talent within the Boston community and beyond and puts his keen ear for a great, catchy hook and clean, pleasing arrangements on full display. 

And from other recent reviews:
Michael Hingston writes in Country Music People's Americana Roundup that Whatever You Wanted has “carefully crafted songs” on a “superb album” and makes mention of Bradshaw's “soulful voice” and the “detailed and diverse arrangements of the songs.” 

Allan McKay of Musicriot UK says: “Bradshaw's voice is the real selling-point for the album: it’s warm and soulful and the close-miking creates a very intimate feel that shifts seamlessly from the silky, Chris Isaak-like Crazy Heart to the Bob Seger feel of the album’s perfect closing track, The Long Ride Home.” 

Vickye Fisher in a review in For The Country Record also writes of the “soulful” qualities of the album's “great songs.” She characterizes Crazy Heart as “country noir”, A Fool Who Cries as “punchy roots rock.” Losing You, she says, has “southern rock strut”, Dream is a “lovely lullaby”, and Sparrow is “intriguingly experimental folk.” 

Iain Patience, who reviewed the album in Fatea Records UK, writes of Bradshaw's “keen ear” for the “traditions of country music.” He says Bradshaw's lyrics ring “true and straight”, mentions “strong” vocals, and writes: “The songs themselves have a positively late sixties/early seventies side to them while remaining rooted in modern country/Americana with Bradshaw's lyricism at times hypnotically catchy. This is a guy who can sure write and play in the modern Americana tradition with complete ease, bags of quality and evocative confidence.” 

Dave Simpson in Puremzine says that the album is “full of feeling and fervour.” 

And Danny McCloskey writes in The Alternate Root: “Whatever You Wanted shows the benefits of reading, writing, and rambling as Bob Bradshaw picks melodies that offer dark Americana (The Start of Nothin'), meaty mountain music (Sparrow), Alt Country (Losing You), and Folk Rock on the title track. The album slides into Go Get Along duetting on a Country and Western break-up reel as Bob packs the van with memories of a job well done for The Long Ride Home.” 

It's often hard to make coherent translations of European reviews but here's a few key comments: 

Holland's AltCountry says Bradshaw is a “controlled singer-songwriter with soul in his thunder.” Germany's Hooked On Music calls Whatever You Wanted a 'rich, folky” album. Il Popolo Del Blues from Italy says Bradshaw's “style touches many strings between country, tex-mex, swing and soul.” AltCountry from Belgium calls Bradshaw a “songwriter of the better kind”, compares him to Ryan Adams, and singles out the “hypnotic” Crazy Heart. Belgium's Keys and Chords says that Bradshaw has a “very strong voice and is surrounded by magnificent musicians”, compares him to Chris Isaak and says that Bradshaw “travels with class across the contemporary musical landscape.” Rootstime from Belgium admires the “momentum” he has built up as an “interpreter of Americana”, compares him to Los Lobos, and singles out The Start Of Nothin' as a “sure-fire hit.”

SOME AIRPLAY AT THE BEGINNING ON THIS YEAR:
4/18/16 - Plastico Elastico w/Pacopepe Gil: Before
4/10/16 - Folk Renaissance Radio Show w/Abby Parks: Whatever You Wanted.
3/23/16 - Americana Music Show w/Corin Raymond: Sparrow.
3/15/16 - Kippenvel w/Ruud Heijjer, NL: Sad Songs
3/14/16 - Acoustic Routes :Whatever You Wanted
3/1/16 - Roots N'Offshoots w/Carol Courneen: Crazy Heart.
2/28/16 - After Midnight w/Noel Casey, Dublin City FM: Go Get Along.
2/27/16 - The Front Porch w/Baylen Leonard, AmazingRadioUK: Before.
2/17/16 - Americana Music Show w/Calvin Powers, WHUP: A Fool Who Cries.
2/13/16 - Local Folk w/Patrick Coman, WUMB: Crazy Heart.
2/10/16 - Americana Music Show w/Calvin Powers, WHUP: The Start Of Nothin'.
2/7/16 - Dark Side Of the Highway w/Johnny Timewarp, WHUS: Whatever You Wanted.
2/6/16 - Roots Freeway w/Niall Toner, RTE Radio 1: Whatever You wanted.
1/23/16 - The Front Porch w/Baylen Leonard, Amazing Tunes Radio, UK: A Fool Who Cries.
1/19/16 - Kippenvel w/Ruud Heijjer, NL: The Start Of Nothin', Sad Songs.
1/14/16 - Morning Maine w/Brother Al, WERU: Whatever You Wanted.
1/10/16 - Sunday Night Folk Festival w/Susan Forbes Hansen, WHUS: Losing You.
1/10/16 - Folk Renaissance Radio Show w/Abby Parks: Sparrow.
1/6/16 - Not Just Nashville, South Dublin F: Whatever You Wanted.
1/2/16 - The Front Porch w/Baylen Leonard, Amazing Radio, UK: Before.
12/31/15 - Freight Train Boogie w/Bill Frater: Go Get Along.
12/29/15 - Kippenvel w/Ruud Heijjer, NL: Sad Songs.
12/27/15 - Folk Renaissance w/Abby Parks: Whatever You Wanted.
12/24/15 - Christmas Music Miscellany w/Sean Brophy, Dublin City FM: Whatever You Wanted.
12/14/15 - Blues And Friends w/Bertwin Bijleveld, Baarn FM, NL: A Fool Who Cries.
12/10/15 - For Folk's Sake w/Dessie Fisher, NI: The Start Of Nothin'.
12/8/15 - Another Country w/Ricky Ross, BBC Scotland: The Start Of Nothin'.
12/8/15 - Folk and Blues Show w/Richard Harris, UK: Losing You.
12/8/15 - Plastico Elastico w/Pacopepe Gil, Spain: Losing You.
12/7/15 - After Midnight w/Noel Casey, Dublin City FM: The Long Ride Home.
12/6/15 - Country Music Show w/Russell Hill: Go Get Along.
12/5/15 - Honky Tonk Radio Show w/Jeremy Rees: A Fool Who Cries.
11/28/15 - Out Of the Woods w/Jon 
Concord: The Start Of Nothin'.
11/26/15 - Leader's American Pie w/Richard Leader: Crazy Heart.
11/25/15 - Northern Sky w/Allan Wilkinson: Whatever You Wanted.
11/25/15 - Off The Beaten Track w/Colin Bertram: Whatever You Wanted, Losing You.

11/23/15 - Amazing Radio w/Kathryn Tickell: 
Whatever You Wanted, Go Get Along.
11/23/15 - Radio Loco, Netherlands: The Start Of Nothin', The Long Ride Home, Crazy Heart.
11/22/15 - Acoustic and Eclectic Show w/Richard Penguin: Whatever You Wanted.
11/22/15 - Front Porch w/Dan Plaster, KLCC: Before.

11/21/15 - KRC w/Don Chisholm, Scotland: Losing You.
11/16/15 - Gilded Palace Radio Radio Hour w/Scorcher Shane: The Start Of Nothin'.

11/16/15 - International Americana Radio Show w/Michael Park: The Start Of Nothin'.
11/15/15 - Folk Renaissance Radio Show w/Abby Parks: Whatever You Wanted.
11/15/15 - Detour w/Paul Hartman, WTMD: The Start Of Nothin'.
11/15/15 - Front Porch w/Dan Plaster, KLCC: Losing You.

11/15/15 - Eclectic Chair w/Trish Lewis: Crazy Heart, Sparrow.
11/14/15 - Local Folk w/Patrick Coman, WUMB: Crazy Heart.
11/12/15 - The Country Music Show w/Phil Lyons: Whatever You Wanted.
11/13/15 - Late Show w/Cherrie McIlwaine, BBC Radio Ulster: The Start Of Nothin'.

11/10/15 - Kippenvel w/Ruud Heijjer, NL: The Start Of Nothin'.
11/8/15 - Front Porch w/Dan Plaster, KLCC: Losing You.

11/6/15 - Blues Before Midnight w/Ian McKenzie: Before.
11/4/15 - Not Just Nashville, Dublin South FM: A Fool Who Cries.
11/3/15 - Plastico Elastico w/Pacopepe Gil, Spain: Whatever You Wanted.

11/2/15 - After Midnight w/Noel Casey, Dublin City FM: The Start Of Nothin'.
11/2/15 - Gilded Palace Radio Show w/Scorcher Shane, UK: High.
11/1/15 - Front Porch w/Dan Plaster, KLCC: Go Get Along.
11/1/15 -  Blues Corner w/Tony Corner, UK: Whatever You Wanted.

10/31/15 - Local Folk w/Patrick Coman: Crazy Heart.
10/30/15 - Highway 61 w/Massimo Ferro, Radio Voce Spazio, Italy: Whatever You Wanted.
10/29/15 - The Country Music Show w/Phil Lyons: The Start Of Nothin'.
10/27/15 - Roots Paradise w/Paul Van Gelder, NL: Crazy Heart
10/27/15 - Gilded Palace Radio Show w/Scorcher Shane: Sparrow.

10/26/15 - Americana Music Show w/Calvin Powers: A Fool Who Cries.
10/25/15 - Acoustic Revival w/Jim Canales: Whatever You Wanted.
10/25/15 - Country File w/Roel Stabler, Havenstad FM, NL: Crazy Heart.
10/24/15 - Lost Highway w/Doug Gesler, WMBR: Go Get Along.

10/22/15 - Late Date w/ Alf McCarthy, RTE Radio 1: The Long Ride Home.
10/21/15 - Undercover w/Anita Luchies, Radio Capelle, NL: Losing You.

10/20/15 - Hillbilly Jukebox w/Rolf Hierath, Germany: Go Get Along
10/21/15 - Not Just Nashville, Dublin South FM: Crazy Heart.
10/19/15 - Peelgrass w/Rein Wortelboer, Venray, NL: Sad Songs.
10/19/15 - Plastico Elastico w/Pacopepe Gil, Spain: The Start Of Nothin'.
10/19/15 - Americana Radio Show w/Calvin Powers: Losing You.

10/19/15 – Kippenvel w/Ruud Heijjer, NL: The Start Of Nothin'.
10/18/15 - Zetland Country, Zetland FM, UK: A Fool Who Cries.
10/18/15 – Big Blues Bonanza w/Joe Singleton: Losing You, High.

10/18/15 - The Eclectic Chair w/Trish Lewis: Go Get Along, Losing You.
10/17/15 - Out Of The Woods w/Jon Colcord: Sparrow.
10/15/15 - Jacket's Americana Jukebox w/John Hawes: A Fool Who Cries.
10/15/15 - The Country Music Show w/Phil Lyons: A Fool Wo Cries.
10/15/15 - Rockin' The Country, Get Read To Rock! Radio, UK: Whatever You Wanted.
10/15/15 - Beale St, Radio Mol, Belgium: High
10/15/15 - Radio Verulam, The Country Hour w/Michael Hingston: Before.
10/14/15 - Americana Music Show w/Calvin Powers, WHUP: Sparrow.
10/13/15 - Kippenvel.net w/Ruud Keijjer, NL: Before.
10/12/15 - Leader's American Pie w/Richard Leader: Sparrow.
10/12/15 - The Blues Hour w/Wart Hoover, SevernFM, UK: Crazy Heart.
10/12/15 - Lost Music Saloon w/Garry Morse, WRIR: Whatever You Wanted.
10/12/15 - AmazingRadio w/Kathryn Tickell, UK: The Long Ride Home.
10/11/15 - Eclectic Chair w/Trish Lewis: The Start Of Nothin', Whatever You Wanted.
10/9/15 - Blues Before Midnight w/Ian McKenzie KCOR: Crazy Heart.
10/8/15 - Late Date w/Alf McCarthy, RTE Radio 1: Whatever You Wanted.
10/8/15 - Folkal Point w/Colin McDonald, Scotland: The Start Of Nothin'.
10/8/15 - BealeStreet, Radio Mol, Belgium: Go Get Along.
10/6/15 - Scattering The Roots w/Dan Ogus: The Start Of Nothin'.
10/5/15 - Peelgrass w/Rein Wortelboer, Venray, NL: Go Get Along
10/5/15 - Four Strong Winds w/John Rumsey, KVMR: The Start Of Nothin'.
10/4/15 - Mystery Train Radio Hour w/Alex Huskisson: The Start Of Nothin'.
10/3/15 - Lost Highway w/Doug Gesler, WMBR: Go Get Along.
10/3/15 - Out Of The Woods Radio w/ Jon Colcord: Whatever You Wanted.
10/2/15 - Honky Tonk Radio Hour w/Jeremy Rees: A Fool Who Cries.
10/1/15 - Rockin' the Country w/Stuart Hamilton, UK: The Long Ride Home.
10/1/15 - Folk Directions w/Gerry Goodfriend: Go Get Along.
10/1/15 - Grass, Roots & Jambalaya w/Frank Manigrasso: The Start Of Nothin'.
9/30/15 - Roots Paradise w/Paul Van Gelder, NL: Crazy Heart.
9/30/15 - Radio Isa w/Mike Penard, France: The Start Of Nothin', Crazy Heart, Losing You.
9/30/15 - Midnight Campfire w/Chris T: Crazy Heart.
9/30/15 - Undercover, Radio Capelle NL: A Fool Who Cries.
9/30/15 - Delta Rhythm w/Jan Willem Bos, Havenstad FM, NL: Sad Songs.
9/29/15 -  Roots w/Norbert Knape, Radio Ems-Vechte-Welle, Germany: Crazy Heart.
9/29/15 - Roots N'Offshoots with Carol Courneen: Crazy Heart
9/29/15 - MeridianFM.com Leader's American Pie w/Richard Leader: Whatever You Wanted
9/29/15 - Kipenvvel.net, Ruud Keijjer, NL: A Fool Who Cries.
9/29/15 - For Folk's Sake w/Dessie Fisher, N.I.: The Start Of Nothin'.
9/28/15 - Peelgrass w/Rein Wortelboer, Venray, NL: Whatever You Wanted.
9/28/15 - Americana Music Show w/Calvin Powers: The Start of Nothin', Losing You, Sparrow, A Fool Who Cries, Go Get Along.
9/28/15 - Country Programma w/Rein Wortelboer, NL: Whatever You Wanted.
9/27/15 - Americana Radio w/Paul van Gelder, Harky, NL: Crazy Heart. 
9/27/15- Folk Renaissance w/Abby Parks: Whatever You Wanted.
9/27/15 - Celtic Heartbeat w/Frank Hennessy, BBC Radio Wales: Go Get Along.
9/26/15 - Roots w/Norbert Knape, Ems-Vechte-Welle, Germany: Crazy Heart.

9/25/15 - Late Date w/Alf McCarthy, RTE Radio 1: The Start Of Nothin'.
9/24/15 - Folk Directions w/Gerry Goodfriend: The Start Of Nothin'.
9/23/15 - Almost Famous w/Brian Carroll, WADT: The Start Of Nothin'.
9/22/15 - Delta Rhythm w/Jan Willem Bos,  Havenstad FM, NL: Crazy Heart.
9/21/15 - PeelGrass - Radio Venray, NL: The Start Of Nothin'.

9/21/15 - Country Programma w/Rein Wortelboer, NL: The Start Of Nothin'.
9/18/15 - Crossroads - ZuidWest FM, NL: The Start Of Nothin'.

9/17/15 - Folkal Point w/Colin McDonald - Bluesandrootsradio.com: The Start of Nothin'.
9/16/15 - the Troubadour Show - Bluesandrootsradio.com: The Long Ride Home.
9/15/15 - Late Show w/Cherrie McIlwaine - BBC Radio Ulster: The Long Ride Home.

9/15/15 - Kippenvvel.net, Ruud Keijjer, NL: The Start Of Nothin'.
9/13/15 - The Miller Tells Her Tale Americana Radio: A Fool Who Cries.
9/13/15 - Blues Show w/Gary Grainger, UK: Losing You.

9/13/15 - Country File, the Americana zone, NL: Crazy Heart.
9/12/15 - Amazing Radio: The Front Porch, UK: Losing You.
9/9/15 - Late Show w/Cherrie McIlwaine - BBC Radio Ulster: Dream, The Start of Nothin'.

Americana songwriter and singer Bob Bradshaw has spent twenty-five years exploring the music of his adopted country, and it's all on display in his new album 'Whatever You Wanted'- roots-rock, western swing, country soul, and acoustic ballads reminiscent of the great songwriters who inspire him: John Hiatt, Guy Clark and Townes Van Zandt.

Raised in Ireland and educated in bar-rooms, clubs and honky tonks across the United States – and at Boston's Berklee College of Music from which he graduated in 2009. This new album, Bob's sixth, contains his characteristically earnest, evocative, cinematic songs - songs about relationships and identity, songs about loss and hope, songs about songs.

Produced by Bradshaw and main co-writer and bassist Scoop McGuire, 'Whatever You Wanted' is full of Bradshaw's soulful singing accompanied by some of the best musicians around. Highlights include Duke Levine's spooky, spare guitar on the noirish 'Crazy Heart' and his bluesy playing on the hard-driving 'Losing You'; Duncan Wickel's cello and fiddle on the mischievous, rhythmically playful 'Sparrow'; Annalise Emerick's sassy singing on the western-swing duet 'Go Get Along'; Scott Aruda's trumpet and Joe Stewart's trombone on the wry 'A Fool Who Cries' and on 'Before' a stately lament for a lost friend, which also features Duncan Wickel's haunting strings; Chad Manning's atmospheric twin fiddles on 'Go Get Along'; Flynn's acoustic guitar on the jaunty 'Whatever You Wanted'; James Rohr's elegaic piano on the album's wistful final track 'The Long Ride Home'; and Francisco Matas' inventive drumming and percussion-playing throughout. Not to mention the stellar ensemble playing on the yearning 'The Start of Nothin', the sweet, poignant 'Dream', and the 70's pensive soul of 'Sad Songs'

Previous reviews have praised Bradshaw's music as “spare yet abundant…. sometimes suddenly, startlingly nimble” (Sean Walsh, BIR) and singled out its “quiet symphony of ghostly and evanescent airs” (Mark Tucker, FAME). His songwriting has “more than enough beauty and inventiveness to lift the coldest heart” (David Kleiner, Minor 7th.com) and has “spare, engaging melodies, catchy hooks and inspired lyrics… however he lays down their content – swift or slow, abrupt or extended, exultant or heart-rending (Tom Franks, Folkwords UK). And Taxi Music has called Bradshaw “a cross between Ray Davies, Randy Newman and Ryan Adams.”

Available now: 'Whatever You Wanted' digital downloads - mp3s and WAV files. Just click the store button at the top of the page.
CD and digital downloads: CD Baby.
Available October 12th on iTunes in a special Mastered For iTunes version!
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Interview and songs with Doug Gesler on WMBR

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