Darrin Bradbury

Songbyrd presents
Downstairs, All Ages

DOORS: 7:30 PM // SHOW: 8:15 PM

$12 / $14
ON SALE 10/7



Songbyrd presents:

Sam Outlaw
with: Darrin Bradbury

7:30 PM / 8:15 PM
$12 / $14
All Ages


Sam Outlaw


The future’s bright for the young Angeleno And an old song plays in his head Far as he knows. . .

These lines from the title track of Sam Outlaw's debut album Angeleno could almost serve as a haiku-like artist bio. Outlaw is a southern Californian singer-songwriter steeped in the music and mythos of west coast country, absorbing the classic vibes of everything from '60s Bakersfield honky-tonk to '70s Laurel Canyon troubadour pop and refashioning them into a sound that's pleasurably past, present and future tense.

“The music I play, I call 'SoCal country,'” says Outlaw. “It's country music but with a Southern California spirit to it. What is it about Southern California that gives it that spirit, I don't exactly know. But there's an idea that I like that says - every song, even happy songs, are written from a place of sadness. If there's a special sadness to Southern California it's that there's an abiding shadow of loss of what used to be. But then, like with any place, you have a resilient optimism as well.”

While he explores those shadows on the title track and the elegiac “Ghost Town,” Outlaw mostly comes down on the side of the optimists through Angeleno's dozen tracks. Opener “Who Do You Think You Are?” breezes in with south of the border charm, all sunny melody wrapped in mariachi horns, while “I'm Not Jealous” is a honky-tonker with a smart twist on the you-done-me-wrong plot. “Love Her For A While” has the amiable lope of early '70s Poco, “Old Fashioned” the immediacy of a touch on the cheek, and the future Saturday night anthem “Jesus Take The Wheel (And Drive Me To A Bar)” shows Outlaw has a sense of humor to match his cowboy poet nature. Throughout, producers Ry and Joachim Cooder frame the material with spare, tasteful arrangements, keeping the focus on Outlaw's voice. And it's a voice that indeed seems to conjure up California in the same way as Jackson Browne's or Glenn Frey's. Easy on the ears, open-hearted, always with an undertow of melancholy.

Darrin Bradbury
Darrin Bradbury is an American satirist. A left-of-center folk singer. With a batch of songs that celebrate the humor and heartbreak of everyday American life, he’s spent the past decade traveling his way across the country, making pit stops at dive bars, listening rooms, punk houses, and world-class theaters along the way. The people he’s met during his cross-country trips — the seedy characters filling America’s underbelly, the corporate elite working out of corner offices, the blue-collar everymen who refill our coffee cups and ring up our purchases at Office Depot — all find their way into his music, which follows the left-of-center tradition of John Prine, Shell Silverstein and Steve Goodman.
Darrin grew up in New Jersey, raised by parents who’d met in the circus. (His mom was a clown for Ringum Barnum Bailey). In the age before Instagram and Wikipedia, Darrin broadened his horizons the old-fashioned way: by leaving town and hitting the highway as a teenager, visiting 38 of the 50 states before he turned 20 years old. He also began writing songs, focusing not only on melodies and chord progressions, but punchlines, too. To him, songwriting often felt more like writing an melodic comic strip.

A half-decade run as the frontman of Big Wilson River gave Darrin the chance to headline venues like Maxwells & Webster Hall in New York City. Even so, he did some of his best work as a solo artist. Traveling alone , playing as many as 125 DIY shows a year. He’d hit up a new college town, find the nearest bar, meet a new group of friends while downing a few beers and, before the night was up, book a show in whatever sort of venue presented itself. Sometimes, Darrin would find himself singing on proper a stage. Other times, he’d play his songs in the corner of a dorm room, hoping the cops didn’t show up. His audience grew steadily, one performance at a time, and Darren eventually pointed his car toward East Nashville, where the transient songwriter began putting down some roots in 2014 by moving to a local wal-mart parking lot and living out of his car for 3 months before settling in.

“I usually say sad songs about funny people, or funny songs about sad people,” he says. “It’s a sound rooted in American folk music, but I’m not trying to embrace any sort of tradition or contingency. I can’t sing about being a minor or riding a box car train. I can sing about sleeping in Wal Mart, though. It’s 21st century existentialism. The truth is the only thing that counts, so I focus on making myself laugh first, and if others get the joke, great.”

East Nashville has been kind to Darrin. It’s given him the chance to record a string of EPs with a rotating backup band, filled with pickers and players like Brian Wright, Tim Easton, Tim Carroll, Laur Jomets, and Megan Palmer. It’s allowed him the opportunity to gather praise from magazines like Rolling Stone, American Songwriter, No Depression & E2TG who featured his best-selling Bandcamp recording, The Story of Bob, in a glowing reviews. Finally, it’s given the transient songwriter a home, with Bradbury taking his place amongst the off-kilter folkies who help balance out Nashville’s country reputation.

Bradbury is still a traveler. This is just first stop along the way.