Suddenly Drinking Alone Don’t Seem So Bad
If ever there was evidence that the 9-5 grind can only be alleviated by throwing yourself into a tavern where you drown your sorrows to a soundtrack of honky-tonk, Tim Bradford’s CD release show on Friday night was it. Even though it was the early show, by 8:00 the place was packed, making me wonder if all Torontonians are displaced Southerners needing to commiserate with a pint and some two-stepping.
Except that Torontonians can’t two-step. That didn’t stop them from moving forward to dance in a happy crush while Bradford led his band through a series of original tunes rooted in the heartache of stumbling alone through alienating urban life. What more could you ask from a honky-tonk band?
Drinking Alone is Bradford’s first album. Recorded largely with the band he had onstage (I was dazzled by Rob Fenton replacing Burke Carroll on pedal steel), it’s a nod to the classics both in style and subject matter. The title track got the ex-Albertans in the audience roaring in appreciation, but its appeal also lies in its frank admission that the country music church is where “the prayers are all led by George Jones.” Other originals included Bradford’s nod to the Dakota for giving him a March gig a few years back in “Coming in Like a Lion”, and “On the Line”. Guests John Showman (fiddle) and Angie Gunn (duetting with Bradford) got up to help lead the show to wild end. The country community in Toronto might be small, but it’s a place where you know everybody’s name.
Bradford is hard to find online. I hope that changes soon. He does have a soundcloud page going though, so check him out.