Brad Hatfield review…March 20, 2015…

BRAD HATFIELD

FOR A CHANGE

SELF-RELEASED

THAT’S MY HOME–BACK DOOR SCRATCHIN’–BEHAVE YOURSELF–SMARTER THAN I WAS–DEVIL ON BOTH SHOULDERS–SO MUCH, SO LITTLE–NEVER FINISHED NOTHIN’–GOOD LOVE AFTER BAD–DRINK DRANK DRUNK–FOR A CHANGE–SWAMP POKER–BURBANK’S BOOGIE

In 2013, Brad Hatfield received a Blues Award nomination for Best New Artist, and he’s continued to build a strong career off of that success.  His latest album is a fine one, for sure.  Brad has teamed up with producer Tom Hambridge to release “For A Change.”  It’s twelve cuts of soulful blues written by Brad and some more of the best in the blues bidness, including Tom Hambridge, Richard Fleming, Scott Holt, and Gary Nicholson.  The backing band is a stout as they come, too.  Brad is on harp and vocals, Tom is on drums, Kevin McKendree is all over the keys, Tommy McDonald is on bass, and Etta’s husband Bob Britt adds great guitar.

This set puts the focus on Brad’s vocal strengths, and that gritty style he sings in.  Check out the leadoff cut, a groovin’ shuffle that pretty much describes the life of a traveling bluesman, “wherever I put down my suitcase, baby, That’s My Home.”  Bob’s slide is in overdrive as Brad sings of roadhouse women with a “Devil On Both Shoulders,” with “one speaking the truth, the other speaking in tongues,” while Brad’s harp intro leads into some fine barrelhouse piano from Kevin on the tale of a small-statured woman who “does So Much with So Little!”  Brad’s a man who’s had enough of a one-way love affair on the slow-burn of his original tune, “Never Finished Nothin,” while everybody has a good time with the ultimate party song, “Drink Drank Drunk.”

The title cut finds Brad asking a lover, who’s been the victim of many a “back door man,” “how would you like to be treated right For A Change,” and closes the set with a hard-drivin’ foot-stompin’ ode to that good ole barbecue, “Burbank’s Boogie.”

We had two favorites, too.  “Behave Yourself” lopes along at a sweet, Jimmy Reed pace, while “Smarter Than I Was” is its polar opposite.  Bob Britt’s slide comes right outta the dark Delta mists and grabs you as Brad sings that “it’s been nine cold, dark nights, and she ain’t comin’ home!”

Brad Hatfield has upped his game to the next level with “For A Change,” He’s got a great bluesman’s voice, is a killer harp man, and has a great supporting cast.  Here’s wishing him continued success with this set!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow.

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