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E2TG's connection to Darrin Bradbury goes back to 2012 when his old band Big Wilson River was a "Featured Artist". What I didn't know is that the band was in their final days, and I never really connected with them - although I had several mutual friends. Fast forward to late 2013 when one of those mutual friends Papa Tunes (who was a vital part of the early days of E2TG) sent me a message that Darrin was moving to Nashville and that I should keep an eye out for him. I immediately went out and found some music he had out on Bandcamp - mainly a collection of demos called The Almost Great Crepes. I was utterly blown away by his songwriting.
Darrin moved to Nashville with bassist Cameron Carrus (Buck N Stuff, Tim Carroll, Nikki Bluhm etc) and lived for a time in a car in the parking lot of a Wal Mart. He also started playing every open mic in town and meeting fellow musicians and songwriters.
Early 2014, Darrin went out on an extended tour and my life kind of fell apart. Meanwhile, his songs started showing up in my shuffle - like every day. Finally, in the Spring of 2014, I met Darrin in person. In the Fall of 2014, I followed Darrin to open mics of every kind imaginable. Through him, I met a bunch of people. I began to dig myself out of a personal hole and E2TG was revitalized.
We had a lot of late night, early morning conversations when he was working the back door at The 5 Spot.
Last night, on my birthday - no less - I learned (officially) that Darrin had signed to ANTI- Records out of L.A. - the home of Tom Waits, Mavis Staples, Wilco, and so many more. I could not be more proud of him. I claim no part in his success, but I am grateful to have been along for what has been an incredible journey.
As is always the case, the road ahead is filled with unknowns, but I will happily follow along and see where and how it goes.
I need to add - there is no formula for success and I do not consider myself to have any particular skill in assessing who will or will not be a "success" (whatever that term means). I simply write about music I like and love. In the 7 and a half years of E2TG, I have written about artists/bands who I thought were incredible who are now no longer making music. I knew Darrin Bradbury was something special, but I didn't know if anyone else would ever see and know that. I am happy that it appears that some have.
Back to the here and now. I am super-stoked about the variety and quality of the music in my new "Trending" playlist. It's Tuesday - so let's shuffle!