Bad Brad and the Fat Cats are one of the top young blues bands in the world right now, having played in the finals for the International Blues Challenge this past January, and they happen to be a Greeley, Colorado band. Brad Stivers, the lead guitarist and singer for the band is from Greeley, as is his talented little brother, who plays drums in the band. Everyone who sees this band live knows instinctively that this is a world-class act, and that Colorado is fortunate to have these lads as part of our local music scene. And despite their growing success, all the lads in this group have remained gracious and humble. They know (I hope) that they are great musicians, but they also know there is always room for improvement as a band and as musicians. I look forward to hearing what their music sounds like a decade from now, considering how fantastic they already are now.
When I first met Brad and saw him play, he had a line-up of older musicians, many of whom began playing music professionally around the same time Brad was born. The most recent line-up included one of these great musicians, Bill Shannon, on bass, but otherwise the ‘Fat Cats’ were younger lads like Brad himself lately. As with many great blues bands this one is shaping up to be a core of Brad and his brother Alec, plus an ever-changing cast of great support players. One young man, Nic Clark, has been playing harmonica for Brad’s band for years now, as one of the best young harmonica players, probably in the world. I suspect that Nic may be ready to branch out a bit, since he has been doing a lot more vocals with Brad’s band the last couple times I saw them. In any case, Nic is no longer listed as a member of the band, but you can enjoy his talents on the new Bad Brad and the Fat Cats album, Take a Walk With Me. I’ve seen other local harmonica players stare dumbfounded as Nic makes his harmonica talk in all sorts of fancy ways; they stare fixedly till the song is over, then shake their heads and walk away, well aware that their own harmonica skills have just been left in the dust. And, such a musician is necessary to balance Brad’s mad blues-guitar skills.
Website: facebook – https://www.facebook.com/fatcatsofficial ; Official Website –http://fatcatsentertainment.com/ Album: Take a Walk With Me (spotify –http://open.spotify.com/album/3Ta1DT2lja9N2KhQWTVyW0 ; on their website –http://fatcatsentertainment.com/store)
(All photos used in this series are my own, and copyright Jamie Barringer/Ravenmount, all rights reserved.)