Robert Wade
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Robert Wade

Lakewood, Washington, United States

Lakewood, Washington, United States
Band Folk Acoustic

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Jul
21
Robert Wade @ Skylark Cafe

West Seattle, Washington, USA

West Seattle, Washington, USA

Oct
25
Robert Wade @ SKYLARK Cafe & Club

Seattle, Washington, USA

Seattle, Washington, USA

Oct
13
Robert Wade @ The Antique Sandwich CO

Tacoma, Washington, USA

Tacoma, Washington, USA

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Music

Press


Article published Nov 13, 2003...

A man being moved, for a greater purpose as he saw it, across the world and into situations that always seemed correct in hindsight released an introspective album this year that's simply a work of beauty.
The musician is Robert Wade, and the album is "Thinking Out Loud."
Most people, however, know him as Wade Conrad.
A story ran Feb. 4 in The Times about his family (to which there is a link after this review at www.gadsdentimes.com), and this reporter was the one lucky enough to have it assigned to him.
Wade, his wife Dana and children Bryce and Sydney had been living in Gadsden since moving from Germany in 2001. The Conrads are Americans, and Wade had previously lived in Gadsden.
Wade was working with Young Life, a non-profit, non-denominational Christian organization that has been reaching out to "outsider" teenagers for more than 55 years.
After some failed attempts to jump-start the local program, however, the Conrads were going to stay briefly with Wade's parents before going back to Europe to work in youth ministering. And while his family rested for a bit, Wade spent some time in Nashville to record a CD.
He had been playing guitar for a while, and liked the art form for many reasons. A strong motivation to record a CD was to help connect with teens in his ministry. Teens love music, he said.
"It breaks walls and barriers more than anything," he said in February.
He also enjoys sharing his music, which he considers many times to be gifts.
"You can say you wrote them, but the way you discover some songs, it's like finding gold," he said. "I mean, there's some songs I've written that every time I play them I feel like I'm playing someone else's song, like I'm playing a cover. (I think), `How in the heck did this come out,' you know. Because you write it in 30 minutes and it's fabulous. And you say, `I'm nowhere near (this) musically,' or `My writing isn't at this level.' And for some reason, this thing just kind of came out of me."
Evident on this album, what comes out of Wade is a laid-back philosophy of concepts, purpose, life and rhythm you might expect a simple wanderer, content with few possessions and only anticipating tomorrow, to have.
The first song on the album, "Who I Am," quickly presents a relaxed feel with great guitar picking. The style is alternative with a slight feeling of country. But the more you get into the song, the more unique it gets, with even a funky feeling.
Through Wade's almost spoken lyrics, the emotion of constantly seeking self is quickly felt, and shared.
In a similar vein, the following song, "Live," speaks about living. The listener is first introduced by the nostalgic clanking of a child's piano before Wade counts into the song. What follows is a poem about the earth, about people you know and people you see. They are reasons for wanting to live.
Wade sounds like a happy man, maybe trying to pass on a small secret of life he's learned.
The album progresses through many thoughts and feelings, and even touches on Wade's understanding and thankfulness for God.
That doesn't mean the album could be quickly classified in the Christian genre, however. Wade's faith is simply presented as part of a larger picture of the complete man.
For example, in "Consumed," another introspective poem is presented above a relaxed melody. Maybe these words were taken from his journal, and maybe Wade is singing to nobody and everybody who would care to listen. If you don't want to listen, it probably wouldn't bother Wade. He seems to be cool with that, as with many things.
Then there's a break in the song where it seems to travel to a deeper spot as Spanish guitar flutters over a background voice accentuating Wade's words with wails.
"The pain you feel helps you know you are alive," Wade sings. "And I know I am consumed."
The fantastic studio work and music seem to take the listener into his consumption - a slight lift, or drop, from the smooth level of the song, and most of the CD.
Before leaving Gadsden to record this album, Wade said he was going to work with Mitch Dane, a man who was then working with Jars of Clay, in Nashville. Wade said he previously went to meet Dane, and they got along. Wade was excited over what working with Dane would produce.
"Sonically, we're going to do something that's kind of crazy on a lot of the songs," Wade said.
He was looking forward to Dane helping to make a more produced album with exploratory songs full of color and variety.
"I guess (songs are) colors in a sense," he said. "A basic song, the way if I picked up my guitar and sang you a song, would be a sketch - like an acoustical sketch, in a sense."
No worries, Wade. This album was produced and mixed in a manner of the highest quality. Your sketches have become masterful oil paintings.
During my interview with the Conrads, I heard a couple of those sketches. And while listening to "Evidence of Time," I recalled how I was impressed with the ease with which his hands danced over the guitar while his family sat back and smiled, looking occasionally at me sharing admiration for their father and husband.
On the album, bongo drumming starts the song while a guitar accentuates into Wade's lyrics of life and time always passing.
"So pin the tail upon your fun, soak it up just like the sun, now, before the day is done," he sings. "And come and dream with me today 'cause time is melting away with every wish we make, with every wish we make."
Seize the day.
Wade's style of singing stays at a constant laid-back tone through the album. It is, in fact, almost like he's talking many times. But there's still movement through notes and nice grunts between syllables. This is a good singer. He's not going to scream to the upper levels of the Eiffel Tower, but his soft poetry will make the tourists bend down to hear what's on the ground.
And after 10 tracks, the CD ends just as passively as it began, with emotions discussed and philosophies and doubts thrown into the wind. Do you want to settle down and give an ear toward art, toward stepping out of the hustle, toward one man's faith - just for what it is? It's rather calming to do so.
The Conrads are now living in England and working with military teens. Through e-mail correspondence, Wade said they're loving it.
Not long ago, Wade wrote that he performed at a pub called the Verve in Peterborough. He said the place was lovely and everyone was very receptive of his music. He's also playing at some churches and enjoying every minute of it.
"Thinking Out Loud," by Robert Wade, is available in Vineyard Gadsden on Broad Street and in the Rivertown Coffee House Cafe in Rainbow City. It also can be bought through www.cdbaby.com.
Joshua W. Bingham is a staff writer for The Gadsden Times.
- Joshua W. Bingham


I can surely admit that Im a sucker for singer-songwriters with a modern edge. I have hyped tons of cds the last year in the genre. Well I think you know that - all you guys who visit us often... :-) And here is another guy we can add to the list. Robert presents us with 10 tracks, and even if these tracks will not change the world he sure has potential and this album is a good proof of that. The opening track "Who I Am" sets the atmosphere and third out "One Thirty Nine" is a beautiful soft tune in the David Gray school. Fifth out "Monkey Cymbals" is also nice and is a cool mixture of Paul Simon and the more modern school of singer-songwriters ala John Mayer. There is a little lack of edge in the production that is needed in this sort of music to get the HIGHEST grade, as this kind of singer-songwriters can easily be just an album in the background. But dont get me wrong... Robert is really talented and the album is a nice moment in the genre. The thing is that Im spoiled with guys like Brian Vander Ark, Gus Black and some others. Robert is well worth for you to check out and you can listen to his music at CD BABY by surfing to this address: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/robertwade - Par


Yes, I am. (Are You Listening?)

1 - Lyrics: I like lyrics that give you something to chew on, and these do. They're easily among the top lyrics I've heard in much I've what I've listened to lately. My favorite part: "You step outside and see the sky and realize they were wrong."

This reminds me of the book I'm reading currently on how to achieve mindfulness or, in other words, how to get more in touch with real life instead of being consumed so much by obligations, fears, deadlines and conformity. ("People say what they do not mean, and no one seems to be listening" AND "Crazy people with crazy ideas about what to do w my life" or s.t. like that, etc)

The little bits about noticing how the sun rises in a different place at different times of year and the reaction of a child to a clown are all the kinds of things it's so easy to miss if you're not in tune with what's going on around you.

2 - Production: I like the sound that starts the song off and ends it. I can't quite tell what it is, but it sounds sort of Irish to me - a little bit of something you'd hear playing in a country reel. (Fiddle, toned-down bagpipes? I'm not sure what it is exactly. But it works nicely, in any case.)

On the first listening, I wasn't too impressed with the production because it sounds so much like other bands on the surface. But I'm now on my third listening, and all these great vocal things and extra guitar licks in certain places are jumping out at me. I'm giving this one of my rare 5s because I think it really is something that deserves space on the shelf in a record shop and maybe even in my record collection.

3 - Sound: I'm not sure how this differs from Production. Maybe you're asking me to identify the genre? I'd say Folk Rock with similar bands being Counting Crows and, perhaps, REM. Perhaps even Bare Naked Ladies.

more details:
Nice little harmony on "people have said". Cool frenetic harmony on "normal life" and "they were wrong". Various oohs and aahs, too. And the octave harmonies on the "na na nas". Octave harmonies are very effective when not overused.

All in all, nice subtle effects with the backup vocals. Obviously, a lot of care went into the production.

The extra point for male vocals applies to all the interesting stuff going on in the background vocals, but this isn't to say I didn't like the main vocal.

I'm awarding extra points for lyrics and production, as wel - www.garageband.com/artist/robertwade/songs


Cambridge’s newest acoustic night started on Thursday the 16th of September in CB2’s basement. Transformed by tasteful rugs, sofas and cushions, the space I walked into that night was one of musical indulgence. The poster wasn’t lying when it was inviting us to snuggle up to some music as nature intended.

The crowd (and there was a crowd, a very large number of people in fact) was populated by genuine music lovers, the types that sit and listen without talking over the performers. That in itself made the evening a pleasure. Also the fact that it was such an intimate venue made it easier for performers to talk to their audience. Danny from Logan actually commented that he’d never felt this relaxed at a gig before. But it was the essential good humour of not only the audience and the artists, but of the host, Lord Bridge, that brought the evening together. Bridge, wearing smoking jacket and drinking gin from a brandy glass (he was on the gin as he was driving, he claimed) asked people to make a new friend tonight. This encouraged a lot of friendly banter and laughter between strangers, which doesn’t often happen on the music scene.

The first man to sit on the sofa at the front with was Robert Wade. Armed with an acoustic guitar and a microphone he instantly took us to a touching and twinkling world, explaining the meanings behind the songs as he went along. His choice of cover for this evening was a Prince classic, and then he went on to play an excellent cover of ‘When Doves Cry’ before finishing with a couple of his own songs...

Overall this night, on a scale of 1 to essential, is off the scale. Running on alternate Thursdays this NEEDS to be checked out. No excuses.

Sara Spenser - The Apex
For the full article go to:
www.livingroom.cambridgebands.com/
and click on press reviews. - The Apex (Live Music Review)


This is beautfully-produced CD, haunting, comforting, meaningful and joyful all at once. Ironically, this album didn't "grab me right away, rather it grew on me like a slowly-burning ember that eventually consumed me entirely. Evertime I hear the album, I'm always hearing something new, something I hadn't noticed before. Robert writes in a very sensitive and mature lyrical style. He is a poet, storyteller and songwriter all at once. There are very few artists in the world who can do this and Robert is one of them. The two strongest tracks are "Live" and "Monkey Cymbals" - songs that I believe are destined to become major hits. It is very difficult to put this CD down. Few CDs have the power to make one really "think and feel" the way this one does. - By: Dan Carollo


Discography

"thinking out loud" 2003
Produced by: Mitch Dane (www.mitchdane.com)
Recorded at SPUTNIK
(www.sputniksound.com)

"Stark Raving Calm" 2007
Produced by: Mitch Dane (www.mitchdane.com)
Mixed by: Vance Powell (www.vancepowell.com)
Recorded at SPUTNIK (www.sputniksound.com)

Photos

Bio

Robert wade has spent his life on the road. He has moved over 16 times and traveled the globe (currently living in the greater Tacoma WA area). The many experiences of his life are found intertwined in the thought provoking lyrics and eclectic music of his recorded and live work.
Robert's first professional recording "thinking out loud" has had great success in the independent market with songs like "Monkey Cymbals" spending months at the top of Online Independent charts. On "thinking out loud", Robert delivers an eclectic mix of songs that will take you through a roller coaster ride of insight.
"Stark Raving Calm" is Robert's second professional cd produced by Grammy winning Producer/Engineer Mitch Dane. Robert is joined by an incredible mix of musicians on this new recording.
Robert has played shows all over the United States & Europe. He is willing and able to travel anywhere to perform...