My Kind of Country

Country music from a fan's point of view since 2008

Single Review: Bradley Gaskin – ‘Mr Bartender’

It’s quite a coincidence that just last week I wrote about “soundalike” artists. Little did I know that another was about to emerge. New Columbia artist Bradley Gaskin sounds very like Travis Tritt both in his general style and in his vocal inflections, although I think he has his own voice. On his MySpace he calls his music “Johnny Paycheck meets Keith Whitley”, and he is also influenced by Haggard and Jones – definitely a good basis.

He wrote the song himself with Vicky Walker, proving himself a fine songwriter as well as a great singer, and this is an extremely promising debut.

Opening a cappella, this is a very traditional broken-hearted honky-tonk ballad with some beef in the production. Gaskin is produced by John Rich, who discovered the Alabama-born singer when he won Rich’s Get Rich talent show, but Rich does a much better job than usual, providing a solid honky-tonk backing for Bradley’s rich baritone. The overall production is quite full at times, but it has light and shade, and Gaskin has the vocal power not to be overwhelmed. His expressive vocals ally that power with an emotionally convincing performance.

The lyrics offer a familiar picture of a heartbroken man hoping to kill the pain with a drink or two, but the song is very well put together, and the vocal delivery really sells the song. There’s just enough gloss to make it radio-friendly, in the vein of the early 90s and particularly the aforementioned Travis Tritt. I hope he can join Chris Young and Easton Corbin among the younger artists keeping country on country radio; he even has an advantage over them in his songwriting ability.

The label wasn’t actually planning to launch Bradley until May, but apparently he sang this song at the Country Radio Seminar in Nashville, brought the house down, and they decided to capitalize and have rush-released this to radio. Let’s hope it is as well received across the airwaves and launches a very talented artist to a successful career. I’ll certainly be keeping a keen eye out for more from this exciting new artist.

Grade: A+

Listen for yourself.

6 responses to “Single Review: Bradley Gaskin – ‘Mr Bartender’

  1. Ben Foster March 14, 2011 at 11:30 am

    Wow, he really does sound like Travis Tritt. I like this song too. It would be great to see country radio give it a chance.

  2. CountryMusicFan March 15, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    Now that’s country. I love it! I would say this is the best song I’ve heard released so far this year.

  3. CAROL March 18, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    WOW!!!!!! DOES HE HAVE A VOICE, KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK, LOVE THE OLD PURE COUNTRY SOUND

  4. May March 21, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    Love the change in country music! He will go far

  5. Michael August 6, 2011 at 3:49 pm

    If i want to hear Travis Tritt, I will listen to Travis Tritt 🙂

    Nashville turned their back on Tritt, while he gave them all a catalog of awesome country songs through the years.

    This boy can sing and I hope Tritt see’s it as a compliment. Hopefully this kid can shine some recognition on all Tritt’s achievements.

  6. Pingback: Single Review: Bradley Gaskin – ‘Diamonds Make Babies’ « My Kind Of Country

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