Bradley/ McGillivray Blues Band

Bradley/ McGillivray Blues Band

 Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN
BandBluesFunk

Blues-funk band features powerhouse blues vocalist Ruth McGillivray, and smokin' jazz-funk guitarist Sheldon Bradley. Cool grooves and clever originals delivered with raw, unadulterated emotion.

Biography

The Bradley/McGillivray Blues Band (BMcG) has spent the last 10 years blending blues, jazz, Motown and gospel into their distinctly hip, soulful sound. Founded by vocalist Ruth McGillivray and guitarist Sheldon Bradley, the band is not just a collection of players, but a unit that writes, records and gigs together. Ruth’s knock-you-flat vocals and Sheldon’s smooth guitar licks are rounded out by an inventive rhythm section featuring bassist Paul Freeman, and drummer Hoto Parker.

Through groove, improvisation and the ease that comes from decades of performing, BMcG takes listeners on a journey rarely heard in today’s image-driven music. Uptown shuffles, gritty blues, New Orleans funk...they play it all with authenticity. Influenced by artists like Warren Haynes, Robben Ford, Irma Thomas and Etta James, they've built an impressive repertoire of original music and "twisted covers". Every show includes a mix of originals and a few old favourites, remade with an interesting twist.

BMcG is cool tunes, smokin' music and passionate delivery. They take the stage to the pocket from the first note and audiences--especially blues, jazz and soul lovers--dig it. The abandon with which they play, their tight arrangements and standing ovations have made them the "surprise hit" at every festival they've played.

The unique thing about this band is the combination of a powerhouse singer like Ruth McGillivray and virtuoso guitarist like Sheldon Bradley sharing center stage. After Ruth's voice has sent shivers up your spine, Sheldon steps forward and takes you on his own mesmerizing journey. You won't forget it once you see it.

BMcG released their second CD, "Livin' This Way" in November 2007. This CD, produced in Vancouver, B.C. by award-winning, veteran producer Bill Buckingham, features nine original songs, their own unique, blues version of "Tennessee Waltz", and a version of "Piece of My Heart" that reviewers have compared to Janis Joplin's showpiece.

The album has received rave reviews and is in steady rotation on a number of blues shows in Canada, the US and Europe. Real Blues Magazine says "Livin' This Way is easily one of the Best Canadian Blues albums not just of 2008, but also of the last several years." Blues Revue says it "gives a blast of bluesy rock and ballads...Their uptown slow blues, 'The Hardest Thing' is right on." And Maple Blues Magazine says, "They're going to make an impact. They write excellent original songs and deliver them with drive and passion."

Bradley/McGillivray's first CD, "River of Soul", featured their first collection of original material and was released in September 2003. This debut project received critical acclaim, 4-star reviews, and a nomination in the Jazz/Blues category of the Shai Awards.

Lyrics

Do it for Love

Written By: McGillivray/Bradley

Pulling my bags from a beat up car
Putting on miles following that star
They say I’m crazy, livin’ this way
But I pay no mind to what they say

Chorus:
I do it for love, not for money
I do it for love, not for money.

Twenty-six nights, on the road
Well it’s been so long since I seen home
Lost my baby to a six-string love
He don’t get that it’s from above

Chorus

I had a job working nine to five
Spent most of my life never feeling alive
I was lucky, I found a song
Brought me here, where I belong

Not the Body (But the Soul)

Written By: Bradley/McGillivray

Sometimes I am weary of the ways of the world,
Selfishness, envy and pain
Misinformation, in the daily news,
Everybody serving a god of gain
Corporate greed, political need, Ridicule any voice of doubt
Most of us buy, material lies,
Makes me want to stand up and shout

Chorus:
Life ain’t the body it’s the soul,
Not the pieces but the whole
Let the rhythm take control,
Not the body but the soul.

Violence explodes, freedom erodes,
We’re legislating common sense
Twisted reporting manipulates our thought,
Most of us live on the fence
Technology reigns, morality wanes,
We’re slaves of circumstance
Take another pill, buy another thrill, Pay to mind to consequence

Chorus

If you’re living this life for only what you feel
You’re never gonna find anything real
Buy another car, chase another star
Workin’ so hard, never getting too far
Living in a dream, caught in a machine,
Followin’ the scene, wonderin what it means
Gotta find out, what it’s all about

Chorus

Blues is My Affliction

Written By: McGillivray/Bradley

Well I was 6 years old when I began to dance
I was told, we don’t do things like that.
But the music made me move, the rhythm made me groove
When the band began to roll, I caught the fever, in my soul.

My daddy called the doctor, Sent me straight to bed
Dr. took one look, Said get the preacher here instead
Laid his hands on me, tried to find a sign
Couldn’t figure out if it was demons or design.

Chorus:
The blues is my affliction
The groove is my addiction
They gave me a prescription
But there ain’t no cure, ain’t no cure for that.

Everybody told me, The devil had control
(They said) You got to do what’s right, If you’re gonna save your soul
They threw away my records, Turned off my TV
But the players on the corner, Brought the demons out in me.

Chorus

I finally gave up fightin’, This battle for my soul
Gave in to the music, For the first time I was whole
Now I’m livin’ in the rhythm, Dyin’ for a groove
Every time the music plays, My body starts to move.

Chorus

Just Like a Woman

Written By: McGillivray/Bradley

She’s keeping you waiting, you've been agitatin’
Said she’d be ready at 3
Maybe an hour has passed, you drain another glass
You're getting ready to leave
And then she walks through the door, your jaw hits the floor
Your heart’s right back on your sleeve

Chorus:
Oh that’s like a woman, just like a woman
Oh just like a woman, just like a woman
Sometimes you love her, sometimes you run for cover
That's just how a woman can be.

She'll tell you her feelings, your eyes roll to the ceiling
You gotta guess just what she needs
You try this and that, stuff like she's not fat
You're thinking you should just leave
And then she hands you a beer, saying put your lips here
Oh honey you had better believe

Chorus

We can drive you crazy, make things kinda hazy
We’re not always the same,
One day we're satisfied, the next it's all denied
You’re thinking it’s all a game
Well all that you gotta know, is we love you so
Oh it's just it’s supposed to be.

Chorus

When My Love Comes Calling

Written By: McGillivray/Bradley

I’ve been watching you
And I know that you know it, too
You’ve been watching me
You think that I don’t see

Chorus:
You’re thinking you hold all the cards in this
Little game we play,
Baby one day you’ll lay them all down
There won’t be no other way

Cuz’ when my love, comes calling
You gotta be ready
Yes when my love, comes calling
You gotta be ready
Ready for love.

Every time you call, my name
Chills run up and down my spine
Every time you walk, away
I want to make you mine

Chorus

I think there’s a time, real soon
When you won’t want to let me go
I’m not waiting here, for years
Oh if you’re coming you just let me know

Chorus

Changes

Written By: McGillivray/Bradley

Changes in my days, changes in my night
Changes in the way I tell what’s wrong and what is right.
If I try to change the past by fighting it today
I’m gonna live tomorrow in just the same old way.
If I accept this day as something brand new
I gotta chance to take each step from a new point of view.

Chorus:
There are changes in my world
Change in how I see
Changes in my life
Scaring the hell out of me.

What if I didn’t worry or stress over my dreams
Maybe one day of happiness would be within my means
I’ve wished away the hours, tried to prove my worth
I have answered to the voices that have haunted me since birth
And I am tired of tomorrows that look like yesterdays
I’m gonna free my future and I’m starting with today.

Chorus

The Hardest Thing

Written By: McGillivray/Bradley

Nobody gets the best of me
Ain’t enough to go round
Nobody gets the best of me
Ain’t nowhere to be found
Everybody wants a piece of me
Cuz it’s all I got to spare
But if it save the best for last
Ain’t nobody there.

Anyone can look at me
See what I’m trying to hide
Anyone can look at me
Say there’s nothing inside
Oh but I’m afraid to look at me
And what I might have to do
Cuz if I act on what I see
I’m gonna wind up hurting you.

I have never felt so lost
Never felt so low
Circling round decision
Cuz I don’t know which way to go
If I follow my heart
I’ll end up alone
But living life without my heart
Is the hardest thing I know.

That Ain’t What I Need

Written By: McGillivray/Bradley

You can give me money
That ain’t what I need
You can call me honey
That ain’t what I need
You can be so funny
That ain’t what I need

Chorus:
If you want my lovin’
You gotta be good to me
If you want to keep me baby
You’ve got to love me for me.

You can buy me jewelry
That ain’t what I need
You can try to fool me
That ain’t what I need
You can try to school me
That ain’t what I need

Chorus

You can say forever
That ain’t what I need
Tell me “now or never”, honey
That ain’t what I need
You can say we’ll always be together
That ain’t what I need

Chorus

Discography

LIVIN THIS WAY

11-Track CD released in November 2007
Produced by Bill Buckingham
Recorded at Palace Studios, Vancouver, B.C.
Mastered by Flow Mastering, London, UK

Track Listing:

1 - Do it for Love (Bradley/McGillivray)
2 - When My Love Comes Calling (Bradley/McGillivray)
3 - Tennessee Waltz (Stewart/King)
4 - Not the Body (Bradley/McGillivray)
5 - Changes (Bradley/McGillivray)
6 - It's Always Rainin' (Bradley/McGillivray)
7 - Just Like a Woman (Bradley/McGillivray)
8 - The Hardest Thing (Bradley/McGillivray)
9 - That Ain't What I Need (Bradley/McGillivray)
10 - Blues is My Affliction (Bradley/McGillivray)
11 - Piece of My Heart (Bern/Ragavoy)

RIVER OF SOUL

12-Track Debut CD released in September 2003
Produced by Roy Salmond
Recorded at Whitewater Studios, Surrey, B.C.
Mastered by Gotham Mastering, Vancouver, B.C.

Track Listing:

1 - I See Purple (McGillivray/Bradley)
2 - Beautiful & Sexy (McGillivray/Bradley)
3 - Jewelry Box (McGillivray/Bradley)
4 - I'm Leavin' (McGillivray/Bradley)
5 - You're No Good For Me (McGillivray/Bradley)
6 - Starin' Down the Road (McGillivray/Bradley)
7 - I Still Love You (McGillivray/Bradley)
8 - Ain't Gonna Miss You (McGillivray/Bradley)
9 - Can We Be Kind (McGillivray/Bradley)
10 - Cry (McGillivray)
11 - What A Friend (Traditional; Arr. by McGillivray/Bradley)
12 - Amazing Grace (Traditional; Arr. by McGillivray)

Set List

Our sets contain a mix of originals and covers, and last anywhere from 45-90 minutes, depending on the gig. Most gigs, we play 1 to 3 sets.

Sample Set List:
- Cold Duck Time
- Isn't That So
- Muddy Water Blues Medley
- Do it for Love - Original
- Just Like a Woman - Original
- When My Love Comes Calling - Original
- Chain of Fools
- Tennesse Waltz
- I Don't Believe
- Shakey Ground

Our covers are just songs that strike our fancy and we've found cool ways to do them differently. Tough to categorize, but there's a lot of 60s and 70s blues, Motown and soul.