Bio

The songs of Brad Cole address the ups and downs of the human condition with both wit and raw insight. His passionate and distinctive delivery of roots-based folk music, woven with the grit and groove of old school bossa and rhythm & blues moves the listener’s soul in a direction that is unexpected, yet perfectly familiar.

Brad has just released his fourth full length record, entitled Lay It Down. Described by Glide Magaizine as  "one of the most beautiful albums you will hear this year", Lay it Down is perhaps Brad's most soulfully eclectic and cohesive work to date. 

The last twenty four months have been  very fruitful for Brad - Playing over a hundred shows and sharing the stage with a range of immensely talented artists such as Chris Stapleton, Shovels and Rope, Ingrid Michaelson, Dave Davies, Ari Hest, Dan Navarro, Ellis Paul and Will Kimbrough.

In 2015 Cole, Nakoa & Treacher was born as a side project as Brad joined forces with award winning singer songwriters Matt Nakoa and Robinson Treacher for a few shows that has lead to critical acclaim, a viral live video series (produced by Neale Eckstein) and a run of sold out shows up and down the East Coast.

2017 marks the launch of Brad’s new project Bossa Blue - the band delivers a unique dark and smokey retro lounge vibe.  Combining elements of Cool Jazz, Bossa Nova, Soul & Blues over re-envisioned Standards, contemporary and classic rock tunes and in the groove originals.  

Cole has been a fixture on the Chicago music scene for years, performing along side artists that make up the fabric of the city’s musical legacy such as Uncle Tupelo and the Smashing Pumpkins.  Brad led several Chicago based bands including Treatment, The Second Story and toured with NYC-based The Subscribers.  Along with singer-songwriter Jeff Libman, he is co-founder of the acoustic/soul collective known as Check With Lucy. He was also a longtime member of Chicago’s Old Town School of Folk Music’s monthly “Songwriters Forum”. Brad continues this collaborative acoustic tradition with his acclaimed songwriters performance series, “Acoustic Circus”.

Currently based in New York City, Brad Cole tours extensively with his band and as a solo acoustic performer.

  • 2016 New Song Songwriting and Performance Competition at Lincoln Center Finalist
  • 2015 Great American Song Contest WINNER
  • 2014 Grassy Hill Kerrville New Folk Finalist
  • 2014 Folk Alliance Official Showcase Performer
  • 2012 Mountain Stage NewSong Regional Finalist

Press

 Cole’s voice is a captivating, well weathered croon, and he proves he can glide from genre to genre in the blink of an eye.

Laying It Down: An Interview With Brad Cole - No Depression, April 21st, 2016 (Full Article)

 

"...One of the most beautiful, charming album you will hear this year. Lay It Down." 

Album Premiere - Glide Magazine April 8th, 2016 (Full Article)


"Cole’s voice is a captivating, well weathered croon, and he proves he can glide from genre to genre in the blink of an eye."

"Hey Susanne" Premiere - Elmore Magazine, March 15th, 2016 (Full Article)


“Some performers seem born to command a stage. Something in the stance; an easy, relaxed, but assured presence. We probably missed the years it took to develop that command, but the performer’s execution gives the appearance of it always having been there. That’s how it is with singer/songwriter Brad Cole. His voice has a sharp, unerring, laserlike quality, homing in on those uneasy truths most of us evade.” - Richard Cuccaro; Acoustic Live Magazine


"Brad Cole is a veteran from Chicago but a fresh voice on the New York music scene, with a collection of well-crafted songs with universal appeal." - John Platt – WFUV


Tuneful and uplifting, Brad Cole embodies the best of the pop/rock songwriting tradition and is immediately familiar without ever becoming formulaic." —Illinois Entertainer


"Brad Cole is an intelligent craftsman who writes songs from the head AND the heart. As a songwriter, he has a knack for absorbing and reflecting his environment, whether it be Chicago, Nashville or New York."  - Joltin Joe Pszonek, WMSC-FM, Montclair, NJ


“Brad takes a bit of rock - pop - alt - country and smooths it over with an incredibly listenable voice -- you don't need anything more." -Val Haller, owner/founder Valslist.com