Contemporary Delta Blues, Stride and Jazz Guitarist Bradley N. Litwin Can Sing. Litwin represents the arrival of music that marries peak finger-style guitar performance with a vocal style that engages from the first phrase, and dazzles as it shifts from dark to light, funny to tender, and smooth to rollicking. Taking on the rompin' stompin' finger-style guitar of Blind Blake, Robert Johnson and Mance Lipscomb, the smooth singing of the Mills Brothers and Nat King Cole, and the exhilaration of Bessie Smith, Litwin emerges with a sound all his own, and one that music lovers have been waiting a long time to hear. Treating roots music like an old friend, who just stopped by after decades past, he carries on with a front porch conversation, as though it were never interrupted.
Litwin paid his dues and developed his obvious chops while wandering through the self-absorbed scene that was 1960's contemporary folk music. A fascination with the blues awoke with his discovery of roots blues of the early Delta era. Confronted with its primordial power by venerable practitioners Paul Geremia, Sparky Rucker, Roy Bookbinder, John Jackson, and Chris Smither, who each spent time hanging out in Litwin's Vermont guitar-making workshop in the 70's, he developed a thirst for expression in the vintage blues idiom; and that, despite the picture of a hard life on the road, his mentors painted during their time together.
Today, Litwin tours, both as a solo performer, and with a band of like-minded madmen as the "Madman Jazz Trio." Members include Michael "Chopper" Salsburg on violin, and tuba virtuoso, Jimmy Parker.
Litwin released the critically acclaimed "I'll Give You the Bus Money Honey!" in 1998. From radio to press this album made waves, receiving a host of reviews and accolades praising it's unique brand of vintage blues.
"If you close your eyes and imagine Victrola record scratch noise over Bradley's performance, you begin to think you've traveled back in time, because man, he sure does sound like the real thing."
- Buddy Osthaus
Appearances with the legendary folk DJ Gene Shay, performances at numerous festivals, and thousands of downloads later, Litwin introduces his sophomore release "You Rascal You" in 2002. Steeped in authentic tradition, this album takes the sound of the 1920's and 30's and once again brings it all back home.
Produced by Jon Cooper, each track creates a virtual soundscape of times gone by. The unmistakably American guitar and vocal style of Litwin combined with an upright piano, jumpin' jive violin, and smokey horns, gives this engaging record a welcome honesty.
"You might think pop music that's 70 years old has no relevance to today," quips the artist as he nails another vodka gimlet between sets, "to soothe my vocal chords." "I say today's pop music is basically the same as it ever was, and every bit as silly. Now excuse me while I go back out and sing Diddy Wa Diddy for my peeps."