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Couch Riffs

Feb 24, 2019

To say that Brad Houser merely impacted my musical life is hardly true. He almost entirely put me on a course, in fact. I must've seen Critters Buggin' 25 times in Seattle in the 90s and when I couldn't find myself a guitar gig I got myself a bass gig. Brad was my guy. I even started a band with some friends that was our answer (read: attempted rip off) to Critters, an instrumental band consisting of my 3 different basses (4 and 5 string plus fretless), drums and a percussionist, and a clarinetist. So, yeah. Brad had an influence on me. And, as I've said a million times: playing the bass was one of the most important things I've ever done for my guitar playing. So, Brad eventually influenced my guitar playing by my estimations. Getting in to Critters opened doors for me to go back and listen to Miles, Herbie, and some other 70s stuff like Mahavishnu.  Edie Brickell & The New Bohemians' debut album had a break out single, What I Am. As a young rock/metal kid it was unusual for me to get into something like that. I wasn't a Deadhead and only appreciated very few things outside of my preferred comfort zone. But not much. Later I realized a huge element to What I Am that drew me in was the interesting bass playing. There was something going on that I'd never heard before which was so musical, complex and busy but not overpowering. I loved it. The bass just didn't stand out in much music I was listening to. So, of course, when I eventually began playing bass I sought out Brad when I heard he lived in Seattle. We didn't get far in lessons, 2 or 3 I think. But, I went and watched him play a ton of Critters Buggin' shows. At one of our lessons he blew my mind when he told me he was taking an African dance class to help with his bass playing. I'd never heard someone speak of such a completely physical relationship to an instrument and performing on it. He became my benchmark bass player and though I knew I'd NEVER be the bassist he is I figured I had to sort out how to fool folks into thinking I belonged in a category of musicianship that he existed in......In this episode of Couch Riffs we talk about some of this stuff. PLUS, Brad's new signature bass coming out with Reverend Guitars.  Brad and I stayed friendly over the years and when we would run into each other it was always fun and good to catch. So, when I saw the band was touring to support the new album (which is great) I was super excited to see the Brooklyn date. Brad agreed to appear on Couch Riffs and here are the results. Always great to catch up, Brad. Thank you so much and good luck with the new album and everything you do.

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