Come on Over
Blind Dog Records are proud to announce the release of the debut album from Strause & Company. Over a year in the making, "Come on Over" was recorded at Acadia Recording in Portland Maine. The album features twelve original songs written by Brad Strause and arranged and produced by John Nunan. The songs cover a broad spectrum of sounds, from roots, Americana, old-time rock & roll, pre-war blues, folk tunes and country ballads. "It's a reflection of what I listened to growing up in the mid west and I hope that other people connect with the imagery and themes" Strause says. "These are songs about longing, loss and love and we hope that everyone can see a little of themselves in there somewhere". From the timeless country balladry of "Sometimes", the all-out blues belter "Freight Train Comin'" to the mournful folk of "Your Circle" this is an album that definitely takes you on a journey. "Come on Over" offers some of the brightest talent in the Northeast and elsewhere. The Company core of Strause on rhythm guitar & vocals, and Nunan on percussion & backing vocals, is completed by Dan Knight on bass, Mark McDonough on Lead guitar along with Joe Bloom on harmonica and Neal Shepherd on keyboards. Guests performances on the album include Kris Day and Jason Phelps from The Jerks of Grass on "Your Circle" as well as Louisiana protégés Matthew Doucet, Mark Meaux (Blue Runners), and Jimmy Breaux, Grammy nominated Accordion player with world renowned BeauSoleil on the Cajun inspired "Possum Stomp". " I was born and raised in the Detroit area but spent a lot of my childhood and youth in the country and on farms around the Midwest. Like a lot of kids back then I wanted to be a cowboy or an adventurer when I grew up." explains upcoming songwriter, vocalist and guitarist Brad Strause. "I actually got to do a bit of all that but then life took some other turns. I was getting along relatively happy and minding my own business when I started going blind in my late 30's and within the space of a year, I had lost my vision, my job, and my marriage. It was all like some old worn out blues song - only not as entertaining. As life was closing in on me, I turned to an old guitar I had. Since I couldn't drive anymore I became pretty much housebound and the only thing that seemed to sometimes keep the demons at bay was music. Days and days there on the couch, picking for hours at a time, I started to really learn how to play the guitar and about music". Strause had settled to being a dedicated lifelong "couch-picker" until an offer came to join Portland based Cajun band Douce that was being put together by Matthew Doucet, son of Grammy winner Michael Doucet of BeauSoleil, probably the most esteemed Cajun band in music. The apple certainly didn't fall far from the tree and with Matthew's guidance and driving fiddle playing, Douce went quickly from success to success. "Within a month I went from years of playing on my sofa to my dozing dog, to playing in front of crowds of up to 5000 people. What a ride, It was crazy!. I'll always love Matthew for having faith in me, for plucking me off the couch and plugging me in to real music". Sadly, after nearly two years, Doucet had to return to his life and home in Louisiana. Strause had quietly begun writing songs during the Douce days but had no idea if they were any good or what to do with them. Enter London born Producer/Drummer John Nunan. " I finally got to hear a couple of songs on tape and I was blown away. They were perfectly formed masterpieces. I told him to carry on doing what he was doing and to let me know when he had more material. "Oh, I have more" he said "...about fifty". The more I heard the deeper it got". The two quickly formed a solid partnership and Nunan set to the task of creating a band, arranging the songs and getting them on record. The result, "Come on Over" is a collective of some of the brightest talent the Northeast has to offer. Bass player Dan knight and harmonica maestro Joe Bloom joined the project early on and others soon followed. The live line up was completed by the addition of lead guitarist Mark McDonough and veteran piano man Neal Shephard. "My original intent was just to try to write songs for others. I never really saw my self as a performer." Strause continues "But with what John and these other exceptionally fine musicians have brought to the music I can't help but be compelled to play out with them. I'm continuously amazed and delighted at how each of them can shape and evolve the songs into something ever larger and better. I've become a firm believer in the whole making lemonade thing. Losing my vision has actually provided a lot of insights I might not otherwise have ever come to - like really learning to optimize and relish the things you have and not to worry much about the things you don't." Strause concludes "I have never been able to decide what to be if I grow up, so my songs seem to reflect that and run a wide eclectic, or just confused, gamut from Cajun, Americana, old-time rock & roll, pre-war blues to rockabilly, Motown, and mournful country ballads. They are all influenced by the music I listened to growing up in Detroit and the Midwest - and in the South, the Southwest, the Northeast, and all along the way. Basically, I write to explore and try to enrich my own thoughts and emotions. I feel very connected to others when they connect with the imagery and themes, the thoughts and feelings of my songs. I guess my dreams of being a cowboy have passed out of reach, but life sure seems to never lose it's great capacity to keep handing out adventures. You just gotta stick your hand out and hold on."