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When I'm Gone
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  • Recording information: Tree House Studio, San Gabriel, California.
  • Brad Colerick throws down the gauntlet on the opening track of his fourth album, When I'm Gone. The title of the song is "Nashville" but it might as well be "I Don't Want to Die in Nashville," since that is the main chorus line. One might note that the likelihood of Colerick's dying in Nashville is remote, since he lives in South Pasadena, CA, and spends his working days at the jingle house he runs in Hollywood, but in his side career, he is not an autobiographical singer/songwriter, and "Nashville" is not about him, anyway. It's about a struggling musician who does live in Nashville. In a more general sense, however, the song is Colerick's statement about himself in relation to the music business. The musical style here may be "country," broadly speaking, with Colerick's warm tenor backed by arrangements prominently featuring acoustic guitar, mandolin, banjo, and, here and there, fiddle and pedal steel guitar. But he does not see himself as fitting in to "country" as it's defined in commercial terms in Music City, USA. Ironically, it's easy to imagine some prominent country artist covering "Nashville" and having a hit with it, and the same could be said of other songs on the album, especially the sentimental ballad "Paper in Heaven," with its saccharine combination of childish whimsy and simple religious faith. Colerick has an individual viewpoint to go with the craftsmanship he displays in constructing songs. His work can be earnest or lightly humorous by turns, yet he is always tuneful. As a native Nebraskan long expatriated to Southern California, he may feel simultaneously drawn to country music and repelled by the country music business. But his own music often sounds like it would be right at home on country radio. ~ William Ruhlmann
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