Under Her Spell
In the Beginning... Brad grew up in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, in a literary and musical family. One grandmother was a writer and poet. The other grandmother was, and remains, a fantastic piano player. Their genes fused inside Brad, and a songwriter was born. He writes, 'It's cool, because for me, the lyrics I write are equally as important as the music I write, and I am proud of both efforts when I come up with a unique song.' The 'Early Years' in Music... Brad grew up taking piano lessons, and playing trumpet in the school band. In college, he got hooked on the jangly guitar sounds of R.E.M. and bought his first electric guitar. Instead of going to class, he taught himself to play the entire R.E.M. catalog. He began writing a few of his own songs, but as is to be expected, they weren't very good. He recalls, 'I kept trying to write better songs, and purposefully threw out songs that sounded either like other people's music, or had a typical three chord progression'. Following A Girl... He followed a girl to Miami, Florida, where he found himself immersed in the Latin vibe of that great town. He states, 'While I'd be stopped at a stoplight, my car would be blasting the Beatles, or Led Zeppelin, while cars next to me blasted Salsa or Merengue music'. The mash-up of sounds and rythyms must have begun to plant an idea in his brain. Pretty soon, he had the good fortune to hook up with drummer Oscar Salas, and his son, Marcel Salas, a bass player. Marcel is a prodigy/phenom on bass, and Oscar is a world-class drummer, who played on several of David Byrne's albums and world tours. Oscar and Marcel are Cuban-American, and are conversant in all manner of Latin rythym styles. Things took off, and Brad states, 'With these guys giving me killer rock and latin rhythms, my songs began to sound better, and my songwriting headed in a new direction'. Getting it Down on Tape... It was time to record some songs, and the guys ended up at Crescent Moon Studios, in Miami. Brad tracked four songs, with Scott Canto engineering, and Sebastian Crys, mixing them down. The songs turned out great, and Brad sent in the "demo" CD to the Jim Beam Bourbon Company's "Emerging Artist" contest, on a whim. Next thing you know, the "Brad Pearsall Band" was selected as the 2002 "Beam Emerging Artist", in a nationwide search. "Free Love", "Backwards", and "Amnesia" made it from this early effort onto the complete album. With grant money in hand, Brad decided to return to Crescent Moon to finish an album's worth of his material. But, he knew he needed new guitar sounds. He recalls, 'While I play a lot of lead guitar on the album, I'm no virtuoso, so I decided to bring in another guitar player who could hang at the level of Oscar and Marcel'. He found Danny Hayoun, who is a world-class guitarist, having toured the world with UB40, as well as other artists. Danny added amazing 'colors' to the new songs Brad wrote and set out to record next. Check out the incredible sonic textures Danny added on the haunting ballad, 'Siren Song'. Brad tracked 7 more songs, and engineer Mike Rivera did a brilliant job of mixing them down. Then, life happened, and Brad had to put the project on hold. Now, in 2006, the album is finally complete. Brad added an album-closer, "She's Slippin' Away", literally the night before the album was mastered. He recalls, 'I slipped back into Crescent Moon and laid down this new song, just me on guitar and vocals, to round out an album of 12 tunes. I knew the album needed this kind of song as the closer. I love the last tracks on 'Pet Sounds' by the Beach Boys, and on 'Sergeant Pepper's', by the Beatles. Those albums are perfect from start to finish, and I tried to arrange the order of my songs to 'tell a story', and flow, knowing I needed to have a haunting, simple ballad to end it all' The result: 'Under Her Spell'. 12 tracks of Modern Rock, Made in Miami, from the mind of Brad Pearsall! Enjoy!