February 20, 2007

Brad Yoder

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On Saturday, March 10, Pittsburgh-based singer and songwriter Brad Yoder brings his guitar, saxophone and a big bag of songs to Smart Monkey Cafe, 335 Elmira Road in Ithaca, for a 7:00 p.m. acoustic show. This show is free (tips appreciated), and all ages are welcome. Call 607.273.1455 for more information.

Recently voted “Best Acoustic Artist 2006” by readers of the Pittsburgh City Paper for the third time in four years, Brad Yoder logs over 150 performances annually, playing colleges, cafés, clubs, festivals, First Nights, and even the zoo. Along the way, he has opened for artists such as Tegan & Sara, the Cowboy Junkies, Robyn Hitchcock, Hot Tuna, Erin McKeown, and Rob Dickinson of Catherine Wheel, and sold over 5,000 copies of four self-released CDs. His songs have appeared on CBS’s “NUMB3RS,” NPR’s “Car Talk,” the ABC Family Network’s “Beautiful People,” a “Dawson’s Creek” season DVD, and as part of the Pittsburgh Regional History Center’s 9-11 Memorial Exhibit.

Although Yoder plays out mostly in solo or duo acoustic incarnations, his new CD “Someday or Never” (2006) demonstrates that there’s more than a little rock under those folksinger trappings. “Someday or Never,” featuring 14 songs plus a remixed bonus track, is the culmination of three years of work, continuing in the rock-pop-folk vein of “Used,” Yoder’s critically acclaimed 2002 release. The new album was recorded and mixed almost exclusively in the first-floor living room of Yoder’s house, using equipment belonging to Yoder and sound engineer Peter Beckerman. Beckerman, a 10-year veteran of New York City’s recording studio scene before moving to Pittsburgh, co-produced, engineered, and mixed the CD, as he did with “Used.” Veteran engineer-producer Mitch Easter, founder of the seminal indie band Let’s Active and known for his work on REM’s early recordings, mixed “Immortal,” the album’s fourth track, at his North Carolina Fidelitorium studio in March 2006. Local producer Soy Sos provided the slinky electronica re-visioning of “Convenience Store,” which serves as the album’s bonus track.

It’s Yoder’s unique mix of humorous, poetic, political, funky and edgy original songs, covering a musical range from folk to indie rock (with unexpected musical and lyrical twists), that has earned him a loyal following ranging from kids in single digits through retirees.