A few years ago, when I was writing for Indie Vision Music, I once spent a few hours on the phone with Bradley Hathaway in advance of a review I did on his EP A Thousand Angry Panthers. We talked about the fact that he lived in a geolithic dome in The Middle of Nowhere, Arkansas, and how he was going to school and had been recognized for his music before.
But the thing that stood out to be most about my phoner with him was how humble and down to earth he was. We were just talking. Two humans separated by a thousand miles, chatting about music and life and domed structures and spotty cell phone service and community college. He was just another dude in this life who just so happened to have written a couple of songs, did a couple of tours, sold a few DVDs, and was now talking to a music journalist from the Internet.
Hathaway’s 2009 album A Mouth Full of Dust preceded the EP that was the catalyst for us talking by a year. It’s a smoky, down-home approach and response to gospel and acoustic-driven Judeo-Christian worship songs from a dude best known for writing and performing spoken-word poems. One in particular was about being a typical dude who listens to hardcore and punk music. Man, the early and mid-2000s were a weird time.
This album makes me miss Cornerstone, a lot. And on this, the last entry in what has been One Record Per Day, I’m allowing myself to feel something for once. Nostalgia is cool, and healthy, albeit in moderation.
I like musicians like Bradley Hathaway in the same way that I like musicians like Kevin Devine and the guys in Showbread. Anyone who can still be separated from their craft, and not allow it to define who they are, but rather enhance who they are as humans, and not be get a big ego or become arrogant for what they’ve accomplished… those are my people.
Hardworking musicians like BradHath and KevDev, deserving of abbreviation (one of my Nu Yr Resos for 2014), are never a dime a dozen. They’re a commodity meant to be appreciated, even if their fan base doesn’t reach the levels of the top 40.
My end of the year post awaits. Thank you for spending part of your 2013 reading what I’ve written.
From A Mouth Full of Dust, this is “Mary” –