Bob Bradshaw

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American Echoes (set for release October 20) is a title 25 years in the making. The set marks Bob Bradshaw’s seventh studio recording, and is a tribute to the time this Irish-born singer/songwriter has spent absorbing the music of his adopted home, the United States.

Drawing from classic American genres ranging from country and folk to bluegrass and the blues, the twelve original compositions on American Echoes spin tales of the dreamers and pickers; the losers, poets, and sinners Bradshaw has encountered on his journeys across the nation’s landscape.

The album builds on the strong critical response to Bradshaw’s acclaimed 2013 release Home (“[A] rich mix of engaging melodies, catchy hooks and inspired lyrics” – Tom Franks, Folkwords) and 2015’s Whatever You Wanted, which was named as one of the best Americana/Country albums of the year by the Telegraph UK and was praised as “a wonderfully paced example of how he has lifted the sights, sounds and moods of America and sparkled them with originality”(Lisa Torem, PennyBlackMusic).

On American Echoes, Bradshaw masterfully adds touches of regional and historical sonic treats – from the Kansas City jazz of “My Double and I” to the Tom Waits-ian film-noir of “Exotic Dancers Wanted”; from the Paul Simon-ish Afro-Americana of “Workin’ On My Protest Song” to the old-timey Civil War flavored “Old Soldiers” with its fiddles and banjo.

Such experimentation is the focus of the album overall: “If an echo can be said to travel in two directions at once, then these songs travel forwards and backwards at the same time,” notes Bradshaw of the project’s title. “Backwards to the folk and country music that first inspired me to sing and write songs, and forwards to the more complex, layered sounds I encountered in Berklee.”

Bradshaw credits his time at the prestigious Berklee College of Music, enrolling in his 40s, as a key factor in his songwriting development. However, prior to receiving his degree in Professional Music in 2009, Bradshaw was a self-taught player – and he utilizes this aspect of his musical evolution as well, to create a unique blend of “high-low” on his songs.

Bradshaw honed his musical chops as a performer in the streets of Europe; as well as around the U.S. in cover bands, bar bands, and in his own San Francisco band, Resident Aliens. He began his American journey in 1989 in New York City, eventually moving to California and finally settling in Boston in 2003.

He is joined on American Echoes by guitarists Andrew Stern and Andy Santospago, keyboard maestro James Rohr, virtuoso fiddle player Chad Manning, bassist Ed Lucie, drummer Mike Connors. Britt Connors and Annie Lynch provide harmony vocals.

Bradshaw will be playing select dates in support of American Echoes; you can keep up with his schedule by visiting www.bobbradshaw.net.

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