Mitch Bradford,
The TVD First Date

“Vinyl has always had a huge impact on me. There’s something about holding it. Looking at the cover art and design. It feels like a work of art. Almost like a book. And when you buy it—you buy it with intention. Even if it’s bad, you’re going to listen to that record front to back.”

“When I was a kid, there was one vinyl store in my hometown of Brownsville, TX. It opened and closed pretty quickly. And I can’t remember the name. “Wolf” something, I think. But while they were open I snagged the songs of Hank Williams, “Mr. Blue Sky” ELO’s Greatest Hits, and Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music by Ray Charles. This was also the time where vinyl was in a downturn so I inherited a lot of vinyl from my grandparents. I think everybody received Carole King’s Tapestry at this time. And Herb Alpert’s record with the famous “whipped cream” cover. Haha.

I’d play them on a cheap Crosley portable record player in my room. I didn’t know about turntables then (I’ve gotten more sophisticated since) but the sound and the warmth of the music meant a lot to me. It was all much more majestic than mp3s. And it felt real. Like the artist had taken time crafting the song structure and deciding which ones came first and last. They took you on a journey—a narrative.

Nowadays, I buy vinyl whenever I can. Monday through Friday I listen to a lot of rock n’ roll, country, or vinyl bootlegs. Willie Nelson’s live records are frequent. Willie and Family Live along with M.Ward’s Post-War. That’s a remarkable and underrated record.

Sundays I calm down with Miles Davis or classical. Anything conducted by Carlos Kleiber usually finds its way into rotation. I can’t go too frequently to Amoeba Music in L.A. because I end up spending all my money. Last time, I found a live bootleg of Jackson Browne doing a cover of Warren Zevon’s “Werewolves of London.” The find was epic. You can’t get that experience of “discovering something” anywhere else. It’s unique to vinyl and record stores.”
Mitch Bradford

“Love Is Kind” is the first single from Mitch Bradford’s forthcoming 2018 LP.

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PHOTO: MARGARET MURPHY

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