About a month ago, Darrin Bradbury sent me some songs he was thinking about releasing and wanted to know my opinion. So, I listened - cause when it comes to music well that is what I do - and when I was done I told him what I thought. Spoiler alert: he ended up releasing the album Motel Oatmeal on August 5 some seriously cool folks had good things to say about it, and it was trending as a bestselling "Folk" record on Bandcamp for a time. Darrin told me a few weeks back that my comments help convince him to release the record. I said at that time that I should tidy up those comments and post them as a review of the record. So, in my usual timely approach, I offer up what will serve as an official E2TG review of Motel Oatmeal - which is still the most current release from Mr. Bradbury.
So here (just slightly edited) are my original comments:
What I love about this collection of songs is the way it really pulled me into the situations. I think it struck me - particularly the first four songs - like a collection of well crafted short stories. In a short time, I knew the characters and the settings. And then, damn if you didn't write a straight up country song (in the best sense of the term). I'm not a musician, but I think when you live in Nashville for 20 years, it's just engrained in you to recognize a bridge when you here it. And Bad Habits is just a cool, fun summation of the whole damn thing. I like it. Well done.
The first four songs: Motel Oatmeal, Zoey, Sophie's Apartment, and Modela really are well-drawn stories that drew me into the stories right away. I think Sam Shepard could listen to these songs and write plays based on these characters. Hell, I think Joe Wolfe-Mazeres could hear these songs and write short stories based on these characters and maybe he should. I told Darrin later that I considered using the term "Redneck Noir" to describe some of the songs, but I resisted because I was afraid he would take that the wrong way.
Good Friends, Cheap Beer, and You has become the "Fran's Theme Song", and "Bad Habits" is a wonderfully fun Country song, and it's been amazing and wonderful to hear Darrin and Tim Carroll doing this song together at Fran's Eastside on Wednesday nights (subtle plug for Nashville folks).
Okay not so subtle
So head on over to Bandcamp (actually just use the widget thingy below) and download Darrin Bradbury's Motel Oatmeal today and tell them Ear to the Ground sent you. Don't forget despite what Homer Simpson says "Suggested Donation" doesn't have to mean "free". Pay what you can and support worthy artists like Darrin Bradbury.