Blues Bytes


September 2017

Brad Stivers
Took You Long Enough
Vizztone Records

Brad Stivers

Brad Stivers has come a long way since his days here in Colorado. Brad represented the Colorado Blues Society in the IBC one year and advanced to the finals with a killer band that featured brother Alex on drums and Nic Clark on harmonica. Upon graduation from the University of Northern Colorado, Brad took off for Austin, and I can hear a lot of Texas influences in his new record for Vizztone, Took You Long Enough. There’s no doubt that Texas has been good for Brad.

Brad and the band open up with “2,000 Miles,” and it’s a testament to the love Brad has for the woman in his life. “In the heat or the cold…I’m going to get a hold of my babe…well, come be with me on the turn of dime…she’s my lover…there’s no other….and I’m lucky that she’s my babe.” Nico Leophonte is on the drums for Brad’s record and he’s keeping the back end tight while Mark Wilson blows a mean sax solo on “You’re Just About to Lose Your Clown.” “What you going to do…what you going to say…without your funny man to pick on all day…oh, babe…you’re just about to lose your clown.” Brad’s picking a mean guitar to boot and I really like this up tempo tune from him.

“Put It Down” is another raucous tune featuring a killer intro from Brad and he’s feeling used again. “When you feel like you’re getting chucked around…played for a fool…played for a clown…you’ve got to put it down…don’t take anymore…of that fooling around…you’ve got to put it down.” I’m looking forward to talking with Brad the next time I see him and hear the back stories behind some of the songs on this disc. The title track, “Took You Long Enough,” is next and the tempo slows down just a tad. Brad’s woman is coming back to him and he can’t wait to hold her in his arms. “You couldn’t make up your mind…when I left…behind…I will take the blame for all that stuff…and it took you long enough.” Brad knew his love with her was true and it just took her awhile to figure it all out for herself. Brad’s playing some killer guitar here and I know he’s been favoring the brighter sounds of the Tele-inspired guitars he’s using on this record.

Emily Gimble is on the keyboards and vocals for “”Here We Go Again,” a beautiful ballad she shares with Brad. “So, here we go again…she’ll break my heart…again…I’ll play the part….again…one more time.” Even though it obviously ends badly for Brad lyric-wise, the tune is probably my favorite on his disc. Brad and the band tackle O.V. Wright’s tune, "Nickel and a Nail," and Austin legend Malford Milligan takes the vocal for this rendition. One of my favorite songs of all time and kudos to Brad for having Malford be a part of this project. Bukka Allen lends some killer B3 to the mix and the band is on fire.

The band segues to “One Night of Sin,” a tune by Bartholomew-King, and it’s an amazing instrumental to my ears. This disc has is mixed very well and I can hear all of the details on this version of the song. Brad’s guitar is front and center for our next track, “Can’t Wait,” and he’s admitting to having some indiscretions when his woman is out of town. “I just can’t wait for my girl…to be home again….and when she’s gone…I go looking for a friend…I leave my ring sitting by the door…I know whatever I do find…is going to get me in trouble for sure.” The hell he’s about to catch doesn’t seem to deter Brad from stepping out in search of a friend and all that entails when he finds one. Time will I tell, I guess.

“Save Me” has a heavy bass and drum back-end to it as Brad pleads for salvation. Odie Hill is laying it on thick on his bass and Brad appears to be willing to leave this earth behind. “Well, there ain’t no more running…and there ain’t no more places left to hide…save me.” Brad and the band close with “Cold Sweat,” by Ellis Brown, with Bobby Perkins on the bass for this tune. I find it interesting that Brad chooses to close his record with another instrumental, but he and the band more than do it justice.

Brad Stivers has grown by leaps and bounds since his days as a Colorado artist, and it’s a testament to his abilities that Vizztone signed him to their record label. His growth as a guitarist, songwriter and bandleader are all apparent to me as I listened to Took You Long Enough, and his future is very bright. He calls Austin home now and time there has served him well. You can find out more about Brad and the band on his website,, and I will have to look him up the next time I’m there. Well done, Brad, well done!

--- Kyle Deibler



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