Normal Rockwell town? Check. Parrots? Check. Love lost and found? Check. Athens garbage truck?! Check! So much of what makes South Pasadena unique is featured in Brad Colerick’s new CD entitled “Nine Ten Thirty”, a colloquialism for the South Pas zip code 91030, that anyone who lives here or has ever lived here will find plenty of goodness and nostalgia to wrap yourself up in.
After giving a soft launch concert at the Blue Guitar in February, Colerick’s CD is officially for sale and the event was kicked off with a party full of well wishers at the lovely Fremont Centre Theatre. A reception was held in the courtyard before and after a sometimes emotional concert inside the theatre.
The evening started out with a few tunes by a longtime South Pasadenan, Eric Chase, accompanied by John O’Kennedy, singing some original songs, one of which was particularly moving about his SPHS high school sweetheart passing away and how walking the South Pas streets had him thinking of her. Chase was followed by local favorite Bill Burnett who soulfully sang an original tune, “Eke Out Something Beautiful” that will be featured on the forthcoming album of the Licata Brothers.
Next up was local legend Dave Tull on drums and vocals giving us a taste of his music on his latest records eliciting lots of laughs on “Every Other Day I Get The Blues” and a hilarious take on the pain of airline travel in “The Airplane Song”. Tull, who plays on a few of the tracks on Nine Ten Thirty, remained on stage for the main event when Brad Colerick was joined on stage by David Plenn on electric guitar and vocals, Guillermo Guzman on bass and Tim Fleming on pedal steel and dobro.
Colerick started the evening on an emotional note by stepping off the front of the stage to serenade the couple for whom he penned “Millard Stream”. It was an authentic, sweet moment that set the tone for the evening. Colerick is a troubadour and keen observer of people making him a great storyteller and his voice has a smooth Southern comfort to it that you can listen to all night long. It’s fun to hear bits and pieces of how his songs came to be like his mother’s worries about him moving to earthquake country on the tune “The Big One” or the surprising twist at the end of “Weeds”. The song, “Almost Home” is a terrific hometown anthem that on the CD features what Colerick dubbed “The Oxley Street Singers”, a ragtag group of local pals who lent their voices to the track’s backup vocals.
One of the highlights was Colerick’s stories about discovering the public transit and a story that grabbed his attention about an MTA operator who clobbered a bandit. He recounts the tale in “Superhero of the MTA”, a rousing country western number that really got the crowd going. Another highlight was of course the title track “Nine Ten Thirty” when everyone in the crowd recognized a piece of themselves and their town in just about every line of the song.
As with most art, what is personal becomes universal, and so it is with Nine Ten Thirty; as it delves into daily life in our little berg, the songs touch on universal themes of enduring love, families, watching our gardens grow and finding joy in the people and places we encounter every day.