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The Vinyl Say: Rockabilly lifers Brady and the Bazookas 

Each edition of The Vinyl Say features a different local musician, with the interviews taking place at Graveface Records & Curiosities. All we have is a store full of albums to draw from; no gig or album to promote, and no pre-planned talking points. The idea is simple - walk around a record store and talk about albums, influences, and all things music.

Brady and the Bazookas are fronted by the band’s namesake, who came to Savannah with a mission to spread the good word of rockabilly. Of course, there’s Stray Cats everywhere in this band’s sound, but they’re also equally as influenced by Carl Perkins and Gene Vincent. And yes, Brady plays a Gretsch guitar!

Today, Brady of Brady and the Bazookas has The Vinyl Say.

click to enlarge brady1.jpg

Do you go record shopping a lot?

I do some record shopping. Most of the time it’s going to a place and saying, “Oh man, I’ve got to have that.” And then I buy it. I was listening to the first or second Zeppelin album, and I was like, “Oh, this sounds great!” And then I compared it to a digital version, which sounded like shit.

Obviously they did it specifically for the time, so when you transfer it to the digital world...

It loses an inherent quality.

I haven’t done this yet, but I’m going to go buy the Stray Cats 40 and I kind of wonder what it’ll sound like if you compare it side by side [with the earlier stuff].

Early Stray Cats stuff was all super clean. I don’t think the studio guys knew what to do with them. What do you mean you don’t distort your guitar? You know?

Absolutely.

(Points to a Merle Haggard record.)

I hung out in Texas one time and met up with a guy named Red Volkaert. He played with Merle Haggard, so I went back and listened to a lot of his stuff and Merle’s stuff—even though I’m not really a fan of country music. Just my personal taste.

When you come into a place like this, where do you immediately gravitate towards? Do you remember when you were young what you would’ve gravitated towards?

When I was growing up, my grandfather would go out and buy records by Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Elvis.

So the foundation that rockabilly was built on, essentially?

Yeah! So he’d go out and buy all of this stuff from Sun Records, and we’d listen to it on the way back and forth to Tennessee from Ohio. I didn’t realize until later that it started there. So now I go right to the bargain bin, because nobody cares about that stuff anymore so that’s where they hide it [laughs].

Well, let’s take a walk that way!

(We make our way to the back of the store to a bin of bargain-priced records,)

When I was meandering earlier, I found a Duane Eddy record and figured it must sound pretty cool.

Oh, yeah!

(Brady pulls out Duane Eddy’s 1965 album ‘Duane Eddy Water Skiing.)’

Are you familiar with this one?

Actually, no! I wasn’t aware of Duane Eddy’s water skiing album [laughs].

It’s a surf album!

I imagine it was! Would that’ve been in the 60s when the surf craze was happening? I’m guessing that’s what that was about [laughs].

So yeah, this would always be the first thing I’d do. I’d look for the Sun Records stuff on 45’s and stuff like that. What about you?

Honestly, my favorite band is R.E.M. so that was always my jam growing up when it came specifically to records. But I got into Motown when I was a kid as well, and concurrently a lot of the 50s and 60s pop stuff. I’m also a big jazz guy.

That’s cool!

I’ve asked this to everyone so far, but it’s something I think is fun to do—have you ever just walked into a record store and bought something based on the album cover?

I did that with movies! I’d walk into the store when VHS was still a thing, and I’d pick up a few tapes. I wound up with some really great movies. The horror section was where I’d end up.

That makes sense. So, in the rockabilly vein, I think the first time I heard anything that was remotely classified as such was Reverend Horton Heat’s “Psychobilly Freakout.” But that album cover actually drew me before anything.

One of my favorites would’ve been Lucky Seven. It just happens to be a great album, but it also has casino artwork. If you see "rockabilly band" and "casino artwork" together, then the band most likely has their shit together [laughs].

They've always felt more punk rock than, say, The Stray Cats.

I've met Jim Heath a few times! They're from Dallas, so they'd come down to San Antonio where I was living and they'd do one-off shows for a ridiculous price. It was really awesome. When they first started out, they'd hit the blues clubs and restaurants. They'd focus on that, and then they started playing the punk clubs like the Continental in Austin. It was a strategic game, where they focused on the punk rock aspect.

cs

For more on Brady and the Bazookas, visit bradyandthebazookas.com

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Sean Kelly

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