Colerick's Album Worth The Wait By STEVEN WINE, Associate Press Somewhere along the way, whether it was as a club performer in Nebraska or in the music production business in California, Brad Colerick developed an ability to write engaging melodies. That makes "Cottonwood" a delight. On his first album in 19 years, Colerick offers up 11 original tunes that will soon have a listener singing along. The centerpiece is the sweet, beautiful "Time Away," which could have been a No. 1 radio hit in the days when Dan Fogelberg-types ruled the airwaves. "Cottonwood" is rooted in Colerick's native Nebraska but benefits from a slight California sheen, with such studio stalwarts as Chris Hillman and Herb Pedersen providing some of the picking. These songs are so good they'll likely be covered by artists better known than Colerick, but he does them justice himself. Here's hoping he doesn't wait another 19 years to record a follow-up. ********** Brad Colerick: Cottonwood By ATHONY DAVIS, Texarkana Gazette Odds are you have never heard of Brad Colerick, but it's high time you allowed him to introduce you to his gifted singing and songwriting. Most artists of his ability don't go 19 years between CDs, but life has a way of taking people where it wants to go. And with Cottonwood, Colerick has found his way back home. One also doesn't typically hear singer/songwriters from Nebraska either, but the flatlands and prairies serve as sources of inspiration for this very thoughtful and melodic effort. This is the thinking person's roots-folk-pop music that doesn't leave a saccharin taste and may bring a tear to the eye on occasion. Songs such as "Come What May," "'Til Something Better Comes Along," and the title cut, "Cottonwood," introduce the listener to a bare-bones acoustic masterpiece with understatement and professionalism as it's parameters. With help from Chris Hillman (of Byrds and Souther-Hillman-Furay) Colerick combines the sounds of Appalachian banjo with folk guitar in "'Til Something Better." And his lyrics are consistently story-telling authentic and heartfelt. "I drink from the well/because the water tastes like wine/ I live on this mountain/ and I call this mountain mine/ I keep on living/ like I'm living 'til I'm gone/ 'Til something better comes along." In "50 Miles," "Time Away," "Eve Ate The Apple," and "Every Single Day," the quality holds up and the stories these tunes tell are worth hearing." This is good road trip or party music for those long rides down Texas highways. ********** A Triumph of West Coast Sunshine Sounds by JOHN HINSHELWOOD, Americana-UK.com This is Brad Colerick's first album in 19 years, and it certainly seems to have been worth waiting for. It is a very impressive collection of songs, all written or co-written by Colerick, and all featuring simple, but exquisitely crafted melodies, and delivered in a voice that simply exudes California sunshine. Beautiful, soaring harmonies, and excellent playing from, among others, Chris Hillman, Herb Pedersen and Gabe Witcher combine to produce an almost faultless sounding CD. The predominant mood is acoustic, laid back country, with a strong bluegrass input, and Colerick's voice seems almost a perfect blend of his sidekicks Hillman and Pedersen. There is also a strong James Taylor influence in evidence in both his singing and songwriting style, and fans of 70s worthies such as Pure Prairie League, Dan Fogelberg and Jonathan Edwards will find much to admire in this collection. Highlights include the stunningly simple but effective 'Every Single Day', the slow, burning melody and haunting harmonies on 'Time Away', and the evocative title track. For those who appreciate quality country influenced songwriting, and playing that is the epitome of tastefulness, this comes into the essential listening category. ********** "Brad Colerick is one of the most refreshing new discoveries of the year. Cottonwood displays Colerick's rare gift for song-craft and storytelling. He is a commanding live performer who deftly pulls your ear until you hear only him, even in the toughest room." -BILLY BLOCK, Producer/Host - Western Beat Radio ********** Colerick's Musical Journey From Nebraska to Hollywood Heads Home With Cottonwood By PHIL SWEETLAND, Country Music Contributor, The New York Times The high-rise at 6255 Sunset Boulevard towers above the Sunset Strip, where countless LA music icons from Brian Wilson to Jim Morrison have worked, played and lived. It is in that building that the Hollywood side of music and advertising veteran Brad Colerick works, where Colerick co-founded DeepMix, now one of the hottest music supervision outfits in Los Angeles. But as with most everyone in Hollywood except Marilyn Monroe, Brad wasn't born there. He is a Nebraskan, a native of the small town of Valentine, and in his insightful, autobiographical Cottonwood CD (Back 9 Records), Colerick has taken a musical journey home in 11 magnificently understated, rootsy tracks that feature the likes of Herb Pedersen, ex-Byrd Chris Hillman, Dan Navarro, Rob Laufer, and album producer Ed Tree in supporting roles. In a phone interview from LA, Brad says: "I was driving back home across I-80. It was flat, straight, and long but for me a truly magnificent drive." I-80 is the interstate that runs from San Francisco in the west all the way east to Teaneck, N.J. The state with the longest stretch is, appropriately, Nebraska. "My parents are from western Nebraska, my Dad from a small town not far off I-80 and my Mother from a family of cattle ranchers. As I drove alongside the Platte River, I started to think about my roots and began to write the song that would eventually become the title cut." Most of the recording for Cottonwood took place in various LA studios, but other tracks were done in Nashville and in the Cornhusker State itself. In words and music, Brad has written and performed the story of his life here --the song "Fifty Miles," for instance, documents his parents' 50 years together. He wrote it last summer to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. No one in Colerick's immediate family was overly musical, but a grandfather had been a fiddle player and Brad was handed down the broken pieces of his fiddle. He eventually restored the vintage violin but guitar was the instrument he chose for himself. "I was interested in music early on, I started playing out in clubs while in college and was heavily influenced by James Taylor," he says. "What I loved more than anything was James's vocal delivery." Like JT, Brad sings with an ease and grace unusual in this day and age. Listen to a song like the opening track "Come What May," a fiddle-draped, drums-with-brushes acoustic number in which Colerick's voice calmly sails above the marvelous arrangement. The singer/songwriters -- Jackson Browne, Neil Young, the Eagles -- became huge influences on his songwriting and singing. He worked as a club musician for a time in Nebraska and released a formative solo record there. "When I moved to California I got a job with a music production company which was the perfect day job," he says. Colerick liked the money and the work was personally rewarding. He visited Nashville, where he recorded singer Amy Grant for a Target ad. He also did some recording with James Taylor's blonde-haired younger brother Livingston, who thought Brad's melodies were heavily influenced by the West coast country rockers. Colerick developed a real gift for writing lyrics and melodic hooks, talents that paid off big-time in his career of writing music for advertising. His work also was getting noticed: In 2002, he won a London International Advertising Award for a song he wrote and recorded with blues icon Buddy Guy. One of his favorite sessions came when Brad produced Johnny Cash for another commercial. "I actually had Johnny call my father from the studio because he was a huge fan," Colerick says. "I don't think any of his golfing buddies back in Nebraska believed it." At this point in his career, why did Brad decide to release Cottonwood? He pauses a moment and says: "That's a good question. Why do it? I'd been wanting to make another record for a long time, and couldn't imagine going 18 years between albums. But the career thing in LA got going. It's funny, I played a few gigs back in Nebraska recently and the Lincoln Journal Star did a story with a headline that said 'Sidetracked.' " But with Cottonwood, Brad Colerick's sidetracked days have ended. He's taken us on a musical journey back through his own life and that of his family, and back to the place that to a great extent will always be home - - - Nebraska.
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