Combining the musical experience of some of the Texas Hill Country’s best musicians, the Blue Oak Band is a new six-piece ensemble with a decorated history. Leader Jeff Bradberry is a veteran of the Texas music scene, having performed and toured extensively throughout the Austin, TX area during his stint with the band Larry.
Now, nine years after moving to the Texas Hill Country, Bradberry has teamed up with some of his Larry-era partners as well as some new faces. The Blue Oak Band consists of longtime Larry favorites Andy Vickers and Ricky Cannon, joined by Tommy Daniels, Neil Cassidy, and Frederico Rivera.
Starting the Blue Oak Band
Now managing The Hunt Store in Hunt, Texas, Jeff Bradberry had been itching to make new music since moving in from Austin, Texas. Upon being introduced Tommy Daniels, the two immediately began making music together – both agreeing on the very day they met that this was the right thing to do.
After gathering the band’s current lineup, the time came to get into a groove and connect over some familiar standards. These favorites evolved to form the majority of the band’s current set list, featuring songs by James Mercer, the Allman Brothers Band, and Widespread Panic.
As evidenced by its influences, the group’s jam band roots are alive and well, now reinforced with a southern rock style that lends a fresh take to its repertoire of covers and original compositions. Songs like Soulshine and Whipping Post find new life through the interpretation of these world-class musicians.
The band chose its name based on a certain species of oak found only in the Texas Hill Country. The Blue Oak is a tall, noble tree that is both sublimely beautiful and persistently resistant to drought – a metaphor for the creative energies of the band’s six dedicated members and their commitment to write and record the music they love.
The Compassion Blues
Beyond a set of heartfelt covers well-played enough to make The Hunt Store one of the best places to visit in the Texas Hill Country, the band is also actively composing and recording fresh material.
The first song to come out of the Blue Oak Band’s uniquely collaborative songwriting process is the Compassion Blues, composed by Tommy Daniels. The song reaches out to those who have suffered through loss, empowering the listener to have compassion for those who have experienced it and to demonstrate resolve in response.
The song was recorded at Hidden Creek Studios, engineered by Fowler Carson III. The song, driven through Carson’s robust analog mixing console, features a raw and uninhibited tone that speaks directly to its listeners’ hearts. Swaggering drums and electric guitars swirl around Bradberry’s voice as it calls out to the disaffected.
Since its recording, the song has found consistent airplay on Kerrville’s Original Radio Station, KERV AM 1230 and 94.3 REV-FM. We’re sure that this hill country gem is only the first of many lucky enough to be graced by the Blue Oak Band’s presence.