Brad Cotter
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Brad Cotter

Nashville, Tennessee, United States | INDIE | AFTRA

Nashville, Tennessee, United States | INDIE | AFTRA
Band Country Singer/Songwriter


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Music Review: Brad Cotter"

by R.J. Carter
Published: June 23, 2009

"I wanna see where Kurt Cobain got married,
Ride to where James Dean was buried,
Walk the ground where Jesus carried that cross.

I need to hear that Elvis demo tape,
Taste the wine from a Rothschild grape,
Search for who I am til I get lost.
When it comes to doing music reviews, my office is more often than not my car. No one's going to bug me, the drive is long, and the sound system is better than a pair of headphones sticking out of my laptop case. But it has another advantage as well, one evidenced by albums like Brad Cotter's latest release, Right on Time -- that being that the solitude means I don't have to worry about embarrassing myself (too much) if I start to sing along.

By the third time around on Cotter's release, I'm doing just that. Not humming. Not tapping my fingers lightly in beat on the steering wheel. Full-throated, open-mouthed, volume-cranked singing right along, looking ridiculous to passing vehicles and not really caring.

From those very opening lines of the first track, "Somethin' Out There," you can tell there's an edge to Cotter's music. Kurt Cobain, James Dean and Jesus all in the same breath? That's some moxie, my friend -- and it's a hook that sticks, pulling the listener in and not letting go. Before you know it, you're hearing the closing strains of the final (and titular) track, "Right on Time," and playing the disc over again.

There's an old-school country/rock sound on Right on Time -- old-school for me being the 70s, when the performers remembered performing with Hank, but were nurturing up-and-comers like the Marshall Tucker Band. Whether it's the electrical sound of guitars and sliders or the horn section right out of an Elvis Las Vegas performance, the sound is there in many places, but not pervasive, overriding, or even distracting; it's just right, unpretentious yet bold, and helps these songs stand out among their contemporaries getting airplay today.

Coming out of the energized "Somethin' Out There," things slip into a lower gear, seemngly, with the inspirational "Let Me Believe," which slowly builds up into one of those brass-backed power gospels evocative of the white-jumpsuited Elvis. When "Love Works" takes over, the listener easily slides into a contemporary Kenny Chesney mode.

There's a thread of positive spiritual messages running through these first three songs, and the fourth doesn't drop it. If anything, it winds it all up into a big ball of electricity as Cotter rocks out to "I'm Lookin' for a Church," with its rapid, syncopated rhythms and and funk/gospel backup singers.

The old-school country fans will feel quite comfortable with "A Lot of Catchin' Up to Do," as Cotter slows things down with a love ballad that could have been pulled right off a Ronnie Milsap album. But it's the next song, "I Sing for Free" that competes hard for the right to get national radio play:
So I jump on the bus with the boys in the band.
We'll fly if we can't get there by land,
'Cause when you bring me you I'm who I was born to be.
I pay the bills with the till, but that ain't the deal for me.
I'm on the road for the money -- but I sing for free.

"I Sing for Free" is one of those infectious and fun songs that your DJ needs to be playing, so get those phones ringing at K- or W- whatever. Once you've heard it, you'll understand and get on board with the program.

If you can't get behind the movement to get "I Sing for Free" on the airwaves, then maybe you'll be moved to call for the love ballad, "My Mind's Runnin' Away With You." Romantic, yearning -- it's the kind of song you arrange to be playing in the background when gathering the courage to approach that girl you hold as unattainable -- and it's the song that becomes "our song" when she says yes.

From Dusty Springfield's "Son of a Preacher Man" to Toby Keith's "God Love Her" (with a rest stop in the feature film "Footloose") there's always been an attraction to the ideal of wild sexual rebellion repressed in the hearts of those raised surrounded constantly by the trappings of religion. "Preacher's Daughter" capitalizes on that, with a slightly blasphemous edge as church idioms are used to express elation of another kind:
Amen, Hallelujah, we're headed for the water,
Runnin' down the devil with the preacher's daughter.
Bless my soul -- Lord I hope
Hellfire ain't no hotter (it can't be hotter)
Than the preacher's daughter!

The album begins the slow wind-down after that, with a quartet of more mellow tunes, starting with "Wild Angels" and "Free," the latter of which is a particularly stellar example of the way country music excels over other genres when it comes to word sculpture in lyrics. Cotter also channels a bit of his inner Trace Adkins with the vocals on this one.

Also included on this album is a remake of "I Miss Me." During the second season of Nashville Star, which Cotter won, he played a version of this tune on Original Song Night. (Ah, what a season that was -- George Canyon, Matt Lindahl, and Jennifer Hicks. Where have they all gone?) He also replayed it during the season finale.

Cotter shares writing credits on a handful of the songs, but the bulk of the tunes come from Cotter's partner/producer, Steve Bogard, who has written songs for Diamond Rio, Tim McGraw, Lonestar, and Clay Walker. Bogard's works are joined by those of Jason Sever, who actually teams up with Bogard and Will Doughty to create "My Mind's Runnin' Away With You."

Right on Time is strong on replayability, and filled to the edges of the disc with powerful tunes that lodge themselves in your head long after you've stopped listening. It's a real showcase of an album, and highly recommended for country music fans.
- The Trades (

"Brad Cotter: Right On Time"

Nashville Star is a double-edged sword. On one hand you have someone like Miranda Lambert who has found stardom, but on the other hand you have countless others that have fallen to the wayside. Brad Cotter, the 2004 winner, is one that’s never got the look he deserved from the industry. Blame it on a rushed album, a label created image, etc…. Cotter did however create a fan base and has now returned with Right on Time, an album that is all him and focuses on all of the things he does best. The combination of his soulful voice and Christian background is evident on songs like “Let Me Believe,” “I’m Lookin’ For A Church,” and “Preacher’s Daughter,” an upbeat, rocking, tune with a fun lyric about running off with the preacher’s daughter to the riverside to be alone together. But, where Cotter is able to showcase his incredible vocal best is on the slower paced songs that force his voice to carry the well-written lyrics as he shows on cuts like the R&B tinged, “A Lot Of Catchin’ Up To Do,” “My Mind’s Runnin’ Away With You,” and his remake of “I Miss Me,” a song that should have been a big hit in the past that sees him exploring everything he used to be when he was still together with the girl that left him and how he just isn’t the person he was anymore. Cotter may not have found the success he deserved right out of the gate but that may not be such a bad thing. By not finding it he had time to re-evaluate what he wanted to do with his music and Right on Time is the end result. With this album he showcases everything he brings to the table by putting together a solid effort with perfect balance between up-tempo’s and ballads while utilizing his outstanding voice to drive home great, relatable lyrics. - Todays Country (

"Brad Cotter Breaks Records"


"Nashville Star" Brad Cotter's debut single, "I Meant To," entered the Billboard chart at #42 – the highest entry for a new artist's debut single in nearly 14 years. Brad 's "Nashville Star" predecessor Buddy Jewell, debuted last May with "Help Pour Out The Rain (Lacey's Song) , " which entered the charts at #44. The first "Nashville Star" tour, featuring Brad, Matt Lindahl, Lance Miller and George Canyon
, will reportedly kick off June 18 in Kettering, Ohio, and includes about 30 dates. - Country Weekly Magazine


1. Patient Man - 2005 (Sony Records) (reached #4 on Billboard Sales chart)

I Meant To- #34 Billboard
Can't Tell Me Nothin' - #54 Billboard

2. Right On Time - 2010 OMG Records




Brad Cotter has been on an amazing journey from childhood gospel stardom to his 2004 win of the popular USA Network reality show, “Nashville Star” twenty-two years later. Growing up in Opelika Alabama, his youth was a roller coaster ride of love and guilt, admiration and abuse, faith and doubt, and living with the joys and dysfunction of the small town deep south.

Through the ins and outs of nationwide touring and the Nashville songwriting and studio singer scene, Brad continues his lifelong determination and dream -- bringing his great music to his fans. After spending nearly two years on a promising new project which was sadly scrapped due to creative differences, Brad is back, working with one of the Grammy Nominated writer / producers of his Sony “Patient Man” collection.

They've recently finished a new album for OMG Records and are working on an exciting and revealing autobiography titled "Nashville Scarred." The book includes Brad's experiences winning Nashville Star, growing up as a Gospel child star and the ups and downs of the music industry.

Brad has toured and performed with greats such as Charlie Daniels and Willie Nelson and is known for his energetic and captivating live performances.