Bradley Hathaway – Folky Americana from the Heart

I became a Bradley Hathaway fan in 2005 when a book of his writing “All The Hits so Far, But Don’t Expect Too Much: Poetry, Prose, and Other Sundry Items” was released.

I read his poems over and over, soaking in each word and often saying phrases out loud because of the way they felt to speak them. Included with that book was a CD that had a recording of him performing each of those poems, which were so filled with passion. And this guy was unafraid to make him self vulnerable. Check out his poem “Manly Man.”

What I loved was this dude was real, and honest, weaving profound thoughts and humourous lines together seamlessly. Hathaway inspired me a lot more than I realized. As I was rereading his collection years later, it became clear that he was where I got my notion that I’d die young at the age of 23 or something.

But he made me want to write. To put together words that would express was what lying deep on the bottom of my heart, just like Bradley could. To string together words that would play over and over in people’s heads long after reading them.

He soon picked up a guitar and added music to his spoken word, creating a brilliant folk-indie-acoustic result. At first I wasn’t really big on it. I think something about his voice put me off when he started signing, or I wasn’t digging the music too much.

But I came back to it. Of course I came back – his poetry, and his talent, they draw you back in. It’s not perfection, it’s not overly produced and polished, but that’s what makes it so attractive. There is a purity in this folky goodness that I had been craving.

Now I’m hooked all over again.

For an honest word, or a musing on love, life, God, or whatever else – beautifully expressed – and music that is always intriguing, Bradley Hathaway is my go-to guy.

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