Mister D: Sorry, proud brother here. My brother, Woody, is doing a major radio tour and performing in a few selected places. I think he just performed in Flint, MI. Anyway, we used to live in Lancaster…he loved it. I hated it! But that’s how it goes with brothers. Anyway, he’ll be filming his first major video soon which you’ll be able to see on CMT. I think he may be touring soon, but it may be overseas first. Not sure. However, IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII was his first musical influence! 🙂 BTW, some BetteHeads have bought the CD and given it glowing reviews even if they really didn’t like country all that much. So thanks to them!
By Kelly L. Watson
Published: Jan 20, 2007 11:32 PM EST
For love of country
Woody Bradshaw settles in behind the mic
LANCASTER COUNTY, PA – Whether you love country music or hate it, you canâ€™t deny the charm of those Southern boys. Just think of Kenny Chesney, with a rimmed hat tipped over one eye. Or Keith Urban, who makes an Aussie accent seem as American as apple pie.Woody Bradshaw is a newcomer to the country music scene, having just signed in September with Universal Music Group. His first album, “Lightning in a Bottle,” came out in November.
But his good looks and musical talent already have taken him far â€” far away from Lancaster. Having spent eight years here while his father worked as an executive for Armstrong World Industries, Bradshaw may be the only country star who can pronounce “Lancaster” correctly.
Now thatâ€™s charming.
“Over the years, Iâ€™ve thought about Lancaster and growing up there,” Bradshaw said during a telephone interview. “I consider those my magical years.”
Bradshaw originally hails from Pensacola, Fla. For a Southern boy, he doesnâ€™t have much of a drawl, and that gives his songs a mainstream appeal. If it werenâ€™t for the whine of the pedal steel, you might think you were listening to the weekly Top 40.
Before he was a musician, Bradshaw was an athlete. He played quarterback in high school and went to Florida State on a tennis scholarship. There he discovered yet another passion: acting.
“I went to New York on spring break,” Bradshaw said. “Right when I got there, I got on a soap. It was one of those Cinderella stories.”
He simply had a head shot taken and called the soaps to introduce himself.
“They have (answering) machines like me and you,” Bradshaw said, “and I just called and left a message. Basically, ‘I’m green but I’m good.'”
Someone from “Loving,” a daytime drama on ABC, called him back and offered him a role.
“Then Tom Cruiseâ€™s manager took me to L.A.,” Bradshaw said. “That was kind of my growing pains era because that was when I was coming into who I was. [Even though] I had all this backing, I was like, â€˜Who am I, that they should back me?â€™”
Bradshaw didnâ€™t have time to dwell on insecurities. Once the soap aired, he received several other offers and did a few national commercials. But he wasnâ€™t satisfied. Bradshaw realized why when he saw songwriting great Jimmy Webb perform at the Roosevelt Hotel.
“My mom raised me on him when I was a kid,” Bradshaw said. At the performance, “it was a whole different interpretation of the songs as they were heard on the radio, and it just changed my life. What was weird is it paralleled who I was as an actor. I understood ‘plot line,’ ‘through line’ and those feelings. And I thought, â€˜[Those songs are] a movie in four minutes.â€™ Music you can feel. Some movies may have a great scene, but a great song is designed to leave you feeling something.”
Seeing the hold Webb had on the audienceâ€™s emotions, Bradshaw knew he had to pursue music. He started taking voice lessons and wrote a few original songs.
“Itâ€™s kind of weird,” Bradshaw said. “I had all this music in me, and my whole familyâ€™s mouths dropped wide open, like, â€˜Where did this come from?â€™”
Success didnâ€™t come as quickly as it had the first time around.
“When I started as an actor,” Bradshaw said, “it was so easy that I guess I thought it would always be like that. … I had to grow up in a lot of ways to fit into the shoes of who I knew I could be.”
Fitting into Nashville was difficult, too. “They know youâ€™re an actor, and they want to put you in a box like youâ€™re just an actor boy trying to sing,” Bradshaw said. “But Iâ€™m not worried anymore about that stuff. … I think Iâ€™m the real deal.”
Itâ€™s not hard to believe, when you look at Bradshawâ€™s track record as a renaissance man.
Bradshaw chuckles at the term. “I like that,” he said. “Iâ€™d like to fashion myself to be one. I know that Iâ€™m very driven, and I know thereâ€™s very different things that I want to achieve. Iâ€™m sure this wonâ€™t be the last thing. Whatever I do, I want to do it excellently.”
For more information about Woody Bradshaw, visit www.myspace.com/woodybradshaw.