Brad Yoder

Brad Yoder

 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
BandFolkSinger/Songwriter

Pittsburgh-based singer and songmaker Brad Yoder writes soulful little folk-rock-pop songs about the weird poetry of life, blending the humorous, the personal, and the political into an engaging and sometimes startling collage. He is a 4-time Pittsburgh City Paper "Best Solo/Acoustic Artist."

Biography

Voted "Best Acoustic/Solo Artist" by the Pittsburgh City Paper four times ('07, '06, '04, '03), Brad Yoder averages over 150 shows/year, and his eclectic mix of humorous, poetic, and thought-provoking original songs has won over audiences at colleges, coffeehouses, clubs, church basements, and even the zoo.

Yoder's songs were featured on "Dawson Creek's" 5th season DVD, NPR's "Car Talk," CBS's hit show "NUMB3RS" and in the Senator John Heinz History Center's 9-11 exhibit. He has sold over 7,500 copies of five independently released CDs, including "Excellent Trouble" released in 2010.

Yoder has opened for artists as diverse as Hot Tuna, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Erin McKeown, Ellis Paul, and the Cowboy Junkies. He has also led workshops on Exploring Songwriting (and other topics) at 25+ schools, encouraging student songwriters to find their own unique voices.

Whether playing a small room or festival stage, Brad Yoder creates music that makes audiences think, laugh, feel, and sing along.

Lyrics

compass

Written By: brad yoder

you are free to be yourself,
no one else can do it, when it comes right down to it,
you tried being someone else,
but that was a disaster, you tore your heart in half there,
deep down you know there's a compass in your soul,
telling you the way to go,
deep down, it's true, there's a map inside of you,
pointing where you always knew, deep down..

think about your closest friends,
who are you when you're with them? a perfect mess, a human..
and when there's no one to impress
you sparkle like a true gem, you're everything you are then,
deep down you know there's a compass in your soul,
telling you the way to go,
deep down, it's true, there's a map inside of you,
pointing where you always knew, deep down..

you're as flawless as the sky,
with clear and cloudy patches, but who cares if it matches?
you can sing and so can I,
in harmony together, cacophony or better,
deep down we know there's a compass in our souls,
telling us the way to go,
deep down, it's true, there's a map in me, and you,
pointing where we always knew,
pointing where we always knew, deep down...

María

Written By: brad yoder

I met María on the Megabus, sitting there across from me, she said “no hablo ingles”
So all the way to Dallas I tried thinking of
questions I knew how to ask, just to see what she would say,
“cuantos nietos tienen?” (How many grandkids do you have?)
ella tiene diez (she has 10, plus 4 great-grandchildren)
ah, so how do you say? (bisabuela) Como se dice?

She was on the way to visit family,
for a week she’ll stay with them, bisnietos on her knees
I told María that I have a niece,
named María también, mi sobrina , not yet 3,
“Quieren unas nueces?” I offered almonds from my bag,
María took a few, she told me almonds aren’t “nuts” in Spanish,
ah, so how do you say? (fruta seca) Como se dice?
She was born in Mexico, she spoke quietly and slow,
I guessed words I didn’t know, looked up others on my phone,
I thought that I should show respect, so I tried to use “usted”

I’ve lost a lot of words from Spanish class, I can’t find them anymore,
(ya no las encuentro mas),
but I know the word for “great-grandmother” now, bisabuela on the bus,
María no habla ingles.. how do you say? como se dice?..

different

Written By: brad yoder

evil witches don't eat chicken, they're all vegan,
they fly to Target to do some shopping on the weekend,
& they take long walks with the stray cats from the alley,
it's after midnight, but the witches aren't sleepy..

village monsters do their taxes without cheating,
crossword puzzles are relaxing in the evening,
they grow eggplant and tomatoes in their gardens,
so village monsters don't need anybody's pardon,
you don't know what you don't know,
until you've been there, until you go, yeah,
you don't know what you don't know,
until you've loved someone who's different..

on the subway there's a stranger who reminds you
of that one kid from the 4th grade, who sat behind you,
softly crying for some reason after recess,
on the walk home you think about them in the darkness,
you don't know what you don't know,
until you've been there, until you go, yeah,
you don't know what you don't know,
until you've loved someone who's different,
you don't know what you don't know,
until you've been there, until you go, yeah,
you don't know what you don't know,
until you've loved someone who's different,
until you love someone who's different...

brad yoder, written at Qamp, 8/2015

popcorn for supper

Written By: brad yoder

when I was a kid, we had a tradition,
popcorn for supper on Sunday night,
to give Mom a break from work in the kitchen, we’d make
popcorn for supper on Sunday night,
Sunday noon was the biggest meal of the week, (I don’t know why that was, but)
after church we always had plenty to eat (meatloaf and mashed potatoes),
Sunday evening we weren’t that hungry at all,
so we’d snack on something salty and crunchy and small.. (yum)
we might slice some apples and Velveeta cheese to eat with
popcorn for supper on Sunday night,
or grocery store ice cream, anything sweet goes with
popcorn for supper on Sunday night,
my father’s family did it when he was a boy (youngest of 8 children)
they didn’t have much, but they found ways to enjoy
(small things they shared together…)

heat the oil with just 2 kernels,
when they pop you know it’s hot enough,
add the rest, throw on the lid, then
shake a bit until you hear the popping stop,
pour it in your biggest bowl,
sprinkle salt, add some melted margarine,
there’s enough for everyone…

when I was a kid, we had this tradition,
(popcorn for supper on Sunday night,)
we all need a break from work in the kitchen,
(popcorn for supper on Sunday night,)
let’s make popcorn for supper on Sunday night…

Discography

Excellent Trouble (2010)
Someday or Never (2007)
Used (2002)
Talk to Total Strangers (live; 1999)
Best Sunday Heart (1997)

Set List

Any of @200 originals, covering poetic, humorous, political, and personal material.