Brad Radtke

Brad Radtke


Brad Radtke is a singer/songwriter who plays up-tempo, folk and punk inspired, acoustic rock that mixes the styles of Billy Bragg, Frank Turner, and Dan Andriano (Alkaline Trio). He combines no nonsense, ultra-personal lyrics, with heavily rhythmic guitar backing.


Somewhere in South Haven, Michigan, at the mouth of the Black River, Brad Radtke is wrangling chords from a battered acoustic guitar, singing haunted melodies and words of candid splendor. To say his music is heartfelt and introspective is truth, but it’s only a small part of the story.

Radtke spent the previous fifteen years churning out riffs in bands inspired by the sounds of indie rock, punk rock, and ska. However, to be a solitude artist now, after years braving a sonorous storm comes naturally to Radtke. Like the beaches of South Haven on a soft summer night, Radtke’s songs stand serenely, evoking losses and gains now passed and still to come.

In 2011, Radtke released his first solo album, Cheap Beer, Lost Causes, on the independent Kerosene Machine Records. The songs are stark and sparsely intertwined with melodies that linger like a lonely drive through the night on a desolate two-lane blacktop highway.

Although Radtke may have traded his amplifier for quieter devices, his words still resonate with a tone that cuts through a night at the local gin or coffee joint just as directly as sound pushed through a bunch of speakers. The introspective nature of his words and the weariness in his voice has intrinsically transformed him into a rock ‘n’ roll balladeer.

This all brings us to present day, circa 2013. Radtke is readying a new full length of songs and aims to tour early 2014 to support it. Much like the Black River flows out to Lake Michigan, Brad Radtke is ready to go out to sea, and he’s bringing his collection of stories and songs with him.



Written By: Brad Radtke

The harder that I push you the stronger that you hold
But this isn’t a test girl I really want to go
I’m sorry I fell out of love but at least now we know
Please don’t berate me and I’ll leave you alone
And hopefully you’ll see
That you don’t need to be
Relying on me or anyone
That goes the same for me
I’ve gotta spread my wings
Try to attain the dreams that we don’t share
Now that you are broken I feel I’m breaking too
But not enough to make me keep running back to you
There’s something to be said about anything that you can stand
For any type of period but that’s par of why I ran

I'd be a Liar

Written By: Brad Radtke

You’re a bumble bee buzz you’re a bucket of fun
All upside down frowns but you’re afraid of love
And I’m stuck here wondering what I missed
I guess I misjudged your intentions a fudge
Surprise surprise my selfish motives have one
And I end up back where I began
She said “can’t we just be friends”
I’d be a liar if I said we can
Cause I am just a man
Who wants what he wants but cannot have
So now you’re the rain in my bucket of lust
You’ve scared me away made me afraid to love
And I’m stuck here wondering what comes next
Should I shut myself off leave nothing open to judge
My motives were fine but I’ll tell you that you’ve won
And I won’t put myself out there again

Cowboy Chords

Written By: Brad Radtke

Oh so long
Now that we’ve parted
I’m aching and shaking
But not for too long
These pills that I ingest
Will soon mask this distress
I hate to live this way
But it’s better than the alternative
Delusions of grandeur are only
Fun for so long
So I’ll play the cowboy chords until my fingers are numb
I’ll write these stupid words and I won’t mean any of them
Cause I’m sick of writing about
All that’s wrong
In my life
I ain’t the only one
that’s worthy of a song
And all of these mistresses
Make me hate the things I say
But it’s better than the alternative
At least I’m still around to
Keep spewing all my pain
So I’ll play these cowboy chords until my fingers are numb
I’ll write these stupid words without meaning any of them
Cause I’m sick of writing about
Love, oh lost love

Last Cigarette

Written By: Brad Radtke

Smoking my last cigarette down
Hoping that I won’t see you around
Cause I want you but I don’t need this now
Every time I see those eyes
I see something that I can’t deny
I want to hold you I want to figure you out
But with this drink I’ll be heading home
I know you don’t want to sleep alone
But I can’t stay I can’t set myself up for pain
I know it must be hard
But I can’t sleep at night
Not knowing where I stand
With you
So I’ll smoke my last cigarette down and
Hopefully you’ll be around when I wake up
I don’t want to wake up alone
With this drink I’ll forget about home
And all the things that scare me the most
Cause I’m not alone

This Challenge

Written By: Brad Radtke

I’m tired of writing these clichés
But the hits when they hit make me see straight
But I won’t give up yet and I won’t hang my head
Consider this challenge the first I’ll accept
If desire’s what’s getting in the way
I’ll hold myself back do what you say
Cause if it’s worth it it’s worth it it’s worth it
I’m pretty sure that it’s worth it
So rattle me off another story
I’m content sitting here and listening
It doesn’t matter if I’ve heard it twice this week
I love to hear you speak
Show me your ways I won’t hide mine
We both know I’m shy but that will subside
Show me your soul lie down before me
I’ll show you mine I’ll let you pick me apart


Cheap Beer, Lost Causes--2011 Kerosene Machine Records

Set List

Living on Sound
Cowboy Chords
I'll Deal
This Challenge
Roll Your Eyes
Call Home
Last Cigarette
I'd be a Liar