Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Examiner Shares her Experiences with Bobby Long & Sam Bradley

Amanda Bell, the Twilight Examiner, was blessed to spend a couple evenings with Bobby Long & Sam Bradley while in Nashville last week. Let's listen in to the excitement and entertainment of the nights, as well as, the respect and pride these two amazing men share for each other.

Walking into 3rd and Lindsley on the first night of their shared performance, the atmosphere of the entire place is decadent with peace and adoration. Hundreds of fans sit and stand in awe of the powerful radiance on-stage as Bobby Long strums his fingers across the strings and propels the inertia of his soul with the voice of each song. Between pieces, gentle anecdotes and off-the-cuff quips about his love of performance and the gratitude of his circumstance put smiles on the faces and warmth into the hearts of all within earshot.

Long explains that when he was introduced to Sam, Robert Pattinson, and Marcus Foster by Phil Taylor, he was nervous because the three had a long-standing friendship dating back to their schooldays. Yet, says Bobby, he was welcomed to the group without incident, and they have been close ever since. When Mark shows interest in the fact that Sam and Bobby have not always been musicians, yet they are quite skilled and disciplined, Long explains, “I just looked at the guitar and said, ‘I will play you.’” Continues Long, “it’s a weird sort of work ethic. As soon as I’m done with one show, it’s like all I can think about is tomorrow - the next one.” Sealed with a sturdy embrace, Long and Bradley make their way back inside.

Long tells me of the precariousness of a performing artist’s mindset. Says he, “it’s like your brain is split in two. On the one side,” he says placing his hand above his left eye, “you’re concentrating on the words, the notes of the song and your performance, and on the other,” pulling his hand to the right, “you’re watching the crowd, seeing their reactions, and hoping they’re enjoying your work.”

Cool and collected, Sam Bradley has his game face on. Explaining that he wants to start with one that is not his favorite, he begins with “You Think You’re Free,” and has his audience captivated from the start. With subtle coordination, the next song, “Whiskey,” is accompanied with a readied hand to bring him a glass of the same by his friend. The laughter and smiles take hold of the place, and Bradley is no exception. He treats the crowd with a surprise song that he never plays, but which he claims is available on Reverb Nation, “Paradise.” His fans are unabashedly thrilled. Before performing his song “Too Far Gone,” Bradley tells the audience that “the girl that this was written about called me today. She saw me on TV. Now she wants to talk.” As the audience chimes in to fill the space where Bradley’s words would be, he smiles with accomplished delight and simply says, “it’s magic.” Bradley also takes the crowd back a few decades as he proves the powerful range of his beautiful voice by singing “That’s How Strong My Love Is” by O.V. Wright. Technically superb and soulfully delivered, the song’s beauty is unforgettable, and it only strengthens the crowd’s want for more.

Gripping the audience from his very first word of introduction, Long delivers on his very well thought-out set list from song one. Progressing from his more calm and surrendering pieces like “So Tear Me Up” and “Being a Mockingbird” to more involved and cogent pieces such as “Dead and Done” and “Who Have You Been Loving” (which he dedicated to Sam Bradley), Long’s performance is fluid and transformative. Clearly, the flow was intentional and selective. Though he had said at the house he was planning on only ten songs, by the twelfth song, Long is still amped and ready to go. He turns around and walks toward the closing curtains, matched with muffled groans of sorrow from the audience, only to turn back around with a harmonica in hand. Wrapping its holster around his head, the audience bursts into excited applause. They know what this means; it means he’ll be performing “Dublin’s There for Me.” With many thanks to the audience once more, he explains that he hasn’t done the song in a while (the reason, he would later explain to me, is because he “sort of forgot about it”). With the first sharp note from the harmonica, tears careen down a nearby woman’s face as she watches and listens in awe.

There is much, much more to Amanda's article that I know you will enjoy. Please visit her page and let her know you loved it as much as I did.

Bobby singing 'Penance Fire Blues', my new favorite!

Sam performing the song his mom, Lee Lindsey, wrote called 'Like a River'


  1. Great article!!! I love hearing about all of this, since I couldn't be there. Bobby & Sam are wonderful!

  2. Love them both. Bobby is so amazing. Such beautiful music. Loved seeing him perform and can't wait for a chance to see Sam!