OVER to America I go…
to speak with Mitch Bradford about his new tune, Come Meet Your Lover. I have been chatting with Bradford about his favourite music and which artists have driven him; why he took a job with Google; the influence of California to his career development – he chooses three albums that have played a big role in his life.
I learn whether there will be more material and gigs coming later in the year; whether he experiences a lot of classic songwriters growing up in Texas; which new artists we need to get involved with – he shares a favourite memory from his time in music.
Hi, Mitch. How are you? How has your week been?
Really good! Thank you.
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourself, please?
I’m Mitch Bradford, an Americana musician from Brownsville, TX. I live in Los Angeles.
Come Meet Your Lover is your latest single. Can you tell me about its story and background?
It’s about the excitement of romance; how the expectation of romance is often more exciting than romance itself. I think that’s what it’s about. But the songs take on a life of their own - your interpretation is as good as mine…
Are there going to be more songs coming later this year? What are you working on?
Yeah. We should have two-three more singles come out. Then, we’ll release the whole record and tour.
It seems like, growing up in Texas, you experienced classic songwriters like Joni Mitchell and Neil Young. How important were those early sounds to you?
Pretty important. I’ve tried to remake Neil Young’s Harvest a couple of times now. Haha! I think it was their mix of melody and lyrics that got to me. Those older songwriters worked hard to write songs that meant something…and that had an impact.
Is it true you worked for a time with Google?! What was the reason for that? Did you learn anything about yourself whilst there – or did it spur you to make more music?
Yes! I think it taught me to surround myself with great people: you’re only as good as the people you surround yourself with. I took that idea into the studio as well. The musicians we had on the record – guys like Matt Ross-Spang, Al Gamble; Ken Coomer, Dave Cousar; Dave Smith, Rick Steff; Scott Bomar, Susan Marshall; Reba Russell, Sam Shoup –were amazing. They elevated the work because they’re such good players.
I believe a sort of ‘epiphany’ moment happened when you were driving down the coast of California? Was that the moment you realised music was what you wanted to do?
No. Haha! It was the moment I knew I wanted to move to California, though...
Which artists do you take inspiration from when it comes to your own sounds?
All the folks mentioned; Jackson Browne, Van Morrison; Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell; Neil Young, Willie Nelson and Muddy Waters.
Can we see you tour this year? What gigs do you have coming along?
Yes. We’re planning as we speak.
What do you hope to achieve in 2018?
I hope to have this record, Love Is Kind, land well. I’m excited to get it out there.
Have you got a favourite memory from your time in music – the one that sticks in the mind?
I remember, on the second day we were recording at Sam Phillips, I kind of had a surreal moment. It had been a dream to work on a record with Matt Ross-Spang there. In that studio. It had all come true. It’s hard to describe, but it was powerful. A feeling of agency…and accomplishment.
Which three albums mean the most to you, would you say?
For Everyman by Jackson Browne; Prairie Wind by Neil Young; Modern Times by Bob Dylan.
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
Follow your heart.
IN THIS PHOTO: Peter Hochstedler
Are there any new artists you recommend we check out?
There’s a lot of good new artists I know. They don’t get much radio play, though. Bland Scott, out in West Texas, is great. My friend Peter Hochstedler has made some killer records. Twiga, a band in N.Y.C., are cool. There are lots of good folks out there playing music - you just need tune in.
IN THIS PHOTO: Twiga
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
I find it hard to relax…
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
Ready or Not by Jackson Browne
Follow Mitch Bradford