Our Appalachian Fair ended last night. After six fantastic days, and seven shows, I just don’t have enough good things to say about it. Of course the fair had amusement rides, games and food on the midway; sheep and cows in the livestock exhibit area; commercial exhibitors; and a petting zoo in the barnyard nursery building. There were quilts, jams, home-grown vegetables to look at, and there were concerts.
I’ve already written about five of those concerts so far. And this morning, I’m going to tell you about Bradley Gaskin. Bradley did have an opening act last night, a young lady from the northeast Tennessee area, Jessica Nixon. I’ll tell you all about her tomorrow.
Yesterday afternoon, Bradley Gaskin walked out to the WXBQ tent for a very brief on-air interview. Just long enough to let all the listeners know that he would be back out under the tent at 5:20 p.m., and if they could get there in time to watch they should head on down to the fairgrounds. (Above, Bradley with WXBQ’s Marc Tragler). That was my first glimpse of Bradley. It was a glimpse that led to an introduction, that led to pictures, autographs, conversation, and anything the fans waiting to see him wanted.
When he came out for the 5:20 p.m. interview, it was more of the same. He’s friendly, and he loved meeting his fans. He didn’t mind autographs, and he didn’t mind pictures. He’s kind of quiet, and when you talk to him, you can’t help but be reminded of the kid in the house on the corner.
But what made this the best concert of the entire week for me, was the way Bradley took every one of his audience members by the hand, and took us on a trip back in time. We went immediately to the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. Back to the music I grew up with. Back to the day when it was just called country music. Not ‘traditional country’ or ‘classic country’. It was just country music. And it’s good music. Bradley continues to make it good country with his first single, “Mr. Bartender” being a song that would have been as popular in any one of those decades as it is in 2011.
I hope all of country radio will play Bradley’s music. Help us bring back this sound. This is country music. This is the country music I want to listen to, and sing along with. Bradley was good. His music is good. And I really hope he gets back to our area soon, because I know I don’t get to Nashville nearly often enough.
Bradley signed as many autographs as he could before the show and at the Meet & Greet, knowing he had to leave immediately after the concert and would not be able to stay and sign for waiting fans. I do understand 6 a.m. flights! But even with that, he did sign what he could from the stage before leaving for the night.
I have to introduce you to the guys in the band. All of them not only good musicians, but fun to watch. I’ll include some photos of them at the end of this post. Unfortunately, our drummer, Clark “CJ” James, is a little difficult to photograph – he has a big cymbal right in front of him most of the time. In addition to CJ, we have Paul Allen plays electric guitar, Ethan Pilzer is on bass, and Adam Stewart plays fiddle.
Going to close with a few more pictures of last night’s show.
I hope you all had a good weekend. Enjoy the rest of your Sunday!