Bad Brad & The Sipsey Slims "Possum Bit"
Alabama Music Office.com goes to Rogue Tavern in downtown Birmingham, Alabama to attend a performance by Bad Brad & The Sipsey Slims. "Possum Bit" is one of their most requested songs.
Brad Guin of Bad Brad & The Sipsey Slims
Brad Guin aka Bad Brad is an old road dog that paid his dues for over 20 years playing sideman and studio musician for such acts as Eddie Floyd, Bobby Blue Bland, B.B. King, The Temptations, Paul Shaffer, Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit, The Four Tops, The O'Jays, Greg Allman, Little Milton, Clarence Carter, Buddy Miles, Percy Sledge, Dr. Hook, Tony Joe White, Bonnie Bramlett, T. Graham Brown, Jimmy Hall, Martha and the Vandellas, Fame Studios, Muscle Shoals Sound Studios Horn Section, The Nutt House Studios Horn Section, Emerald Studios, Travis Wammack, Jimmie Johnson, Rick Hall, Wayne Perkins, The Decoys, Jim Nabors, Cornell Dupree, The Muscle Shoals Horns, The Tuscaloosa Horns, The North Mississippi All Stars, David Kimbrough, Musical Fantasy, Rick Carter's League of Legendary Artists (LOLA), Frankie Velvet and the Veltones, Erin Mitchell and many more, as well as many all-star special events bands such as The Alabama Music Hall of Fame Induction Band, The Muscle Shoals Soul Revue.
Brad has been there and done that as far as life in the music business goes. He has played with hundreds of bands at every possible level and in every scenario. His experience as a player is vast, and his education has come from the great legends of the music industry. Brad has played some of the most illustrious venues in the world: Austin City Limits, The Apollo Theatre, all the Blue Note Clubs in Japan, the star-studded opening of Euro Disney as well as more major festivals than can be remembered, plus the finest theaters and amphitheatres that each major city has to offer. Saying that he is a seasoned pro would be an understatement.
Brad has returned to Tuscaloosa, Alabama where it all began for him. His return brought time to perfect his songwriting. "I consider songwriting to be as much of who I am as my ability as a player. It's as much of who I am, if not more," says Brad. "I love telling stories. I always wanted to cut a record of original material, but I had envisioned a far more instrumental endeavor for one reason. I did not know I could sing. I had no idea. I only started experiencing it after being around Bobby Whitlock, keyboard for Derek & The Dominoes. We would be hanging out drinking coffee, he would sing, and it would come from his toenails. It was awesome. And it was nothing like his speaking voice. I would get in the car after hanging with him and try to do it. It took several years of 'doing it' before I would even attempt it in front of anyone."
"I had all these songs written, and nothing to do with them. I finally wanted to try my hand at producing. I called all my most bad-to-the-bone friends to do a session in the Shoals: Buster Marbury (Grammy award-winning producer and drummer for The Temptations, who flew in from Detroit), Jason Isbell, Ken Waters, Jimbo Hart of the 400 Unit, Greg Lowery, Scott Boyer III, Shane Porter, Chris Gordon, Chad Fisher and Dan Western. I traded a Fender Rhodes piano to my friend Jimmy Nutt for three days in his new Sheffield, Alabama studio, The Nutt House."
"When I cut the vocals, it shocked everyone that knows me, and it has been a wonderful experience arguing with everyone that knows me that it really is me singing on the album. It's Jim Nabors syndrome, because I am country as a turnip green, and I sing like an old black man. That comes from years of passionately listening to Stax, Muscle Shoals, High Records, Motown, Ray Charles, the Philadelphia stuff, the Macon, Georgia stuff and piles of New Orleans music. I can't sing white unless it's country-oriented."
"I grew up so very country on the edge of the Sipsey Swamp. Across the cotton field from my house, bluegrass raged every weekend at least one night if not two, and sometimes all daylong. So, my influences are a culmination of all things southern."
Brad has always had a passion for music. He learned to play the saxophone in the band at Northside High School. He had an excellent band instructor, Roger Mills, who directly and indirectly inspired him to play his sax 7 to 10 hours a day. He and Roger are still friends. Roger now owns Cole Band Instruments in Northport, Alabama. Brad followed his music path to the University of North Alabama where session work soon became plentiful. Then came the life of a sideman on the road. He has come full circle now and has the chops to do what ever he wants. What he wants is to play you his songs that he does so very, very well. Folks, look back over the list of super pros Brad has played for. It stands to reason that over that time Brad became a pro. In other words, he is a 'bad' sax player. Truth be known, Brad Guin just might be the baddest of the baddest. You owe it to yourself and Southern music in general to experience, Bad Brad & The Sipsey Slims. Yep, Bad 'Bama' Brad Guin is an Alabama frontman to watch.
Published-Tannehill Trader December 2012