Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Brad Lyons. Ten Steps

It is one of my favorite stories. I was on the floor of the london-heathrow airport when I first met brad lyons. he was 17 years old, and was minding his own business.

"who is that asshole?" I remember thinking, as the handsome teenager sat there in the busy airport, guitar in hands, perfectly executing dave matthews song after dave matthews song. "can you play satellite? oh I LOVE SATELLITE!" I could hear the girls who were traveling with us, falling in love with him, every chord melted their young beating hearts. it was disgusting. I knew it then, I couldn't help it, I loved brad too. everyone did.

for a few years, brad and I went our own ways, both pursuing as much music as we possibly could. and in 2007, brad moved back to birmingham. I was delighted to hear he was back in town, and it seemed like immediately, we were making music together. at that time I was fortunate to have an amazing studio in downtown birmingham, and it seems like most nights I was there with brad and maybe a few other close friends, making music. we had a lot of things going on - and brad has helped me produce countless records, commercials, and soundtracks. brad has a gift. my favorite producer, daniel lanois, talks about people either having a musical gift, or not having a musical gift. brad feels and gets inside of music in ways that most people live their entire lives simply not understanding. brad has taught me a thousand new things about music, about how to make better music, about how to play better and think better, and he's encouraged me to keep working and to try and make every record better than the one before it. to make every sound count. I remember brad telling me that on my porch, years ago.

I heard some of brad's demos that he had been working on, new songs that were coming to life around that time, back in 2007, and I loved them. I've always been drawn to music like brad's - simple arrangements, honest lyrics, vulnerable vocals, life working itself out in a song. we played some shows around town and quietly got to work on this record, ten steps. its been a labor of love, 4 or 5 years in the making, constantly getting pushed aside as other projects came and went. and after many re-records, re-edits, conversations about starting over, etc., we decided to finish the record. brad drove to brooklyn in november 2011, and with a few friends, and 4 or 5 really busy days, we finished the final major recording here in NYC.

to say its been an honor to work on this record is really not quite putting it right. everything about this record makes me thankful. the songs are familiar to me now, different than how they started, and I really like where they landed. these songs remind me of where i came from, of the music that helped carry me along the way, and the amazing people who've been with me the entire time, the people who never let me go. these songs give me courage about talking about things, especially the things that change you.

brad and I have had many late nights. he's the rare kind of friend who will think nothing of forsaking a night of sleep to sit up with you. he's quiet and present in the best of ways. he feels moments with you and for you. his songs are honest, and his gifts to me are more than I can count. brad, thanks for letting me be apart of these songs, your story, for all of it. cheers to the music and the road ahead. I love you dude, but you know that.

to listen and download brad's new record, which came out today, go here. and if you have means, consider giving brad more than the $7 he's asking.

oh, and brad, not to make it weird or anything, but if I beat you to it, please play enduring chill at my funeral. ok.