Every so often, one of my unsuspecting friends is the proud recipient of a birthday blog from yours truly. And today, the honor belongs to Everett Bradley!
I first met Everett among swarms of people after some gig he played at the Bitter End, but as we know, swarms of people are not very conducive to any kind of meaningful interaction, so it would be a few years before I feel like I can say I actually met Everett.
It was at a pre-New Year’s Eve party that my friend Tanya Leah hosted, and it was a lovely intimate gathering that turned into a magical evening of meaningful conversation with everyone in attendance.
Did you ever meet someone who just exudes love and joy and light? That is Everett. And that is apart and aside from the ridiculous amount of varied talents that ooze from every pore of his being. Ooze, I tell ya.
I was going to put a whole bunch of stuff here about how he’s played with everyone from Springsteen to Bowie, been nominated for a Grammy, appeared on Broadway and just finished a stint as bandleader for The Meredith Vieira Show, but it seemed very name-droppy and braggy. Oops. Did it anyway!
But the more relevant point, to me, anyway, is that when Tanya and I called him to ask if he’d be part of my album, he said, “yes.” And that was at a time when he certainly didn’t need the work. And also, he’d never heard what I do, so total act of faith on his part, for which I will always be grateful.
Everett wound up singing the male background vocals on almost every song on the album, as well as playing percussion as only he can. If there was a camera on my face during his sessions, you would see the biggest, giddiest, most joyous and gratitude-filled grin on my face. (The still photo here of us afterwards will have to suffice, I’m afraid.)
In a couple of days, I will get to play and sing live with him in studio for a video shoot, and I consider that a thrilling privilege. But in all honesty, the bigger thrilling privilege is to call him my friend.
You are a beautiful soul, Everett Bradley, and I hope this day is a true celebration of the gift you are. Happy, happy birthday!!
Everett and Me (It's his drink I'm holding, I swear!)
Everett, Tanya, and me in post-recording bliss!