Brad Hoshaw & the Seven Deadlies
Gig Seeker Pro

Brad Hoshaw & the Seven Deadlies

Omaha, Nebraska, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2008 | SELF

Omaha, Nebraska, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2008
Band Folk Americana


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Live Review: The Living Room, NYC"

Tour Update: New York City Review
Category: Music

Brad Hoshaw
Midwest Dilemma

The Living Room
May 20th 2009

The miserable venue—cynically named The Living Room*—was cold and covered with stickers and fliers advertising upcoming and past shows. Songwriter Justin Lamoureux of Midwest Dilemma sat in the back corner, humbly offering his merchandise while Brad Hoshaw completed his brief sound check. Hoshaw, a folk singer from Omaha, sang songs that recounted low life moments and hurtful memories. It isn’t that these songs were uncomplicated because they were thoughtless or uninteresting; they were uncomplicated because they dealt with the “oh fuck” moments of every individual who has drank in bars too long and made bad decisions with clouded and deluded minds. Some may say these states of bar stool savagery are rooted in some inner turmoil born in childhood and thus necessarily complicated, but Hoshaw isn’t a damn psychologist. He has a formidable voice and a sharp stage personality. While many might criticize his attachment to the stagnant genre of whiskey pickled folk music, he could just as easily explain that this music has existed forever and will continue exist as long as there are local watering holes willing to cater to the legions of eager drinkers roaming the mother-fucking world. Oh and that Blue Bicycle song was so damn cute. - Frederick Foxtrott

"Live Review: American Music Club, Brad Hoshaw Band"

Despite everything, American Music Club sounded terrific last night at The Waiting Room. Too bad only 50 or so people were there to see it. The band played a short set, maybe 35 or 40 minutes. Frontman Mark Eitzel said thanks and goodnight before starting into their last song. After its climax, they left the stage without comment, leaving the crowd wondering if they were coming back for an encore. The mystery lasted about 20 seconds before the house music came up and people started heading for the door. The usually chatty Eitzel only graced the audience with one story, about how the band formed as the result of members being fired from Celine Dion's Las Vegas act because they refused to sleep with her (Eitzel said he slept with Celine's husband). Someone asked me afterward if Eitzel was kidding when he said he wrote a Celine song used on the Titanic soundtrack. I said as far as I knew, he was. It was that kind of evening.

The highlight (for me) was the openers. The Third Men did their usual rollicking set of originals with a few covers sprinkled in. Their high-energy rock seemed like a strange lead-in to AMC's usually dour, introspective music. Brad Hoshaw, on the other hand, fit right in, and for the first time, a crowd got to see how Hoshaw's acoustic numbers would sound backed by a full band, put together specially for this gig. The result left me wondering why Hoshaw doesn't work with a band all the time. Though as many as seven people were on stage, the arrangements were kept simple, never getting in the way of the songs' core elements. A tune like "Powdernose," which is powerful enough as a solo acoustic piece, was transformed into a dark rock anthem, while simple songs like "Blue Bicycle" were only slightly accented by additional players. Hoshaw said he recorded the performance, which I'd love to hear. Maybe we all will someday (His remarkable Mick's acoustic set from this past January is now available on CD). Someone came up to me afterward and said, "This guy is New West / Lost Highway material." Yeah, he is. Actually, his approachable style of songwriting is broader than what those two labels could offer, but you have to start somewhere. Hoshaw is in the very top tier of Omaha singer/songwriters and deserves to be heard by a national audience. Someone needs to make this happen.

* * * - Tim McMahan ( 5/8/08)

"Preconceived Notion: What are we missing?"

So Saturday night rolled around and looking through the listings I saw that Lincoln Dickison was doing a rare solo acoustic show at Mick's. Dickison is renowned locally for his guitar playing in The Monroes, and within the last year as the bass player in Bombardment Society not to mention his work a few years back as frontman for the chaotic noise-punk trio Putrescine, which sadly no longer exists.

I'd heard about the show from members of The Black Squirrels a week earlier while backstage at the first OEA awards show at The Scottish Rite Hall. The Squirrels also were on that Mick's bill, and I made a mental note to clear my calendar for Saturday night.

Also on the bill was a guy named Brad Hoshaw, but looking at the band order on the listing, I figured if I timed it right I could miss Hoshaw altogether and just see Dickison and the Squirrels. Nothing against Hoshaw, he just wasn't for me. I was introduced to him briefly a few years ago by Matt Whipkey at a show at O'Leaver's. Hoshaw, with the well-groomed beard and the ponytail, looked like a cleaned-up, Midwestern hippy. Whipkey said he was one of the city's best singer-songwriters who played a lot at Mick's and other places around town that showcase acoustic music. He was a nice, affable person with an honest, warm smile, but I never bothered to check out his music. I'd seen more than my share of these guys who sing about their personal pain to the tune of the same boring, dusty acoustic chord progressions. Thanks but no thanks.

We're all guilty of bearing preconceived notions about people and music and places and things. Maybe not all of us. There are a few of you with an open mind who never make those prejudgments. But you're very rare. Most of us see something or hear something and write it off as more of the same ol' bullshit before we really get to know it. Nowhere is that more true than with music. We hear about a band or see their picture and immediately think, "Been there, done that, moving on." Let's face it, life is short and we don't have time to explore every path of discovery in search of that golden nugget of artistic relevance, especially after so many wind up being I-told-you-so dead ends. After all, aren't most stereotypes dead accurate? Aren't most first impressions absolutely true?

Somehow I managed to avoid Hoshaw ever since that first meeting. It wasn't hard to do. I rarely go to Mick's because while I love good acoustic folk, I generally enjoy listening to it in places that don't sound like German beer halls during Octoberfest. It's the height of irony -- Mick's showcases the quietest music performed in our scene, and it also has the chattiest crowds in a room with the worst crowd acoustics (i.e., you can hear every gory detail of Buffy-in-the-back-of-the-room's last date while sitting at the tables right next to the stage).

As it turned out (and often is the case) the band order didn't reflect what was printed in the paper. We got there at 10 and Lincoln Dickison already was on stage. We made our way to the only open table in the place -- on the floor to the left of the stage. I knew better than to expect Dickison to be spitting out rowdy, angry punk. Lost in his other projects is his quiet, personable voice and a songwriting style that's summed up by the cover he chose to play at the end his set -- a rambling version of Richard Thompson's "Cooksferry Queen."
Instead of the Black Squirrels, Hoshaw strolled onto the stage with his beat-up acoustic guitar. I turned to Teresa and said, "Good god, prepare for the worst. We can always sneak out of here between songs if this sucks, and I know it will."

Hoshaw took a moment to tell the crowd about that old guitar, how the crack in its back seemed to be getting wider, and I could see from my seat how its finish had been worn through from thousands of nights just like this one.

And then Hoshaw started playing, and I quickly realized what an ass I had been, and felt a pain of regret in the pit of my stomach.

Hoshaw's music was simple coffee shop acoustic folk but with a few important differences. His somber melodies were gorgeous, and his voice was honest and without affectation, similar in tone to Damien Jurado's but uniquely its own. He used the same introduction for a number of his songs: "This one comes from an album that was never released." Later he added, "That's what I'm good at, making albums that no one ever hears."

He took a sip from a shot of Johnny Walker neat and started playing "Powdernose" (the song's name I discovered afterward by scouring his Myspace page). More than just another lonely drinking song, it was a stunning portrait of liquefied regret, with the line, "I wonder what Jesus think if he caught us alone with powdernose?" Hoshaw finished with a cover of a song by his pal Kyle Harvey; its delicacy lost in a sea of Mick's chatter.

I left that night depressed. I'd found the acoustic singer-songwriter that I'd been searching for, but who I had ignored because of my own jaded lack of vision. I wondered what else I'd been missing all these years because of assumptions. And what I'd never get a chance to hear or see again.

- Tim McMahan (The Reader 1/10/08)

"Skipping Boston"

This column rides out a riff that I began a week or so ago when I reviewed Brad Hoshaw's solo set at Lauritzen Gardens. It got me thinking about cover songs and what goes into an artist's decision to cover a specific song, and how ultimately stupid it is for anyone other than the artist him/herself to suggest a cover song for him/her to perform.

Column 187: Skipping Boston (Published in The Reader 8/28/08)
When choosing a cover, choose wisely.

The scene was an early evening outdoor concert held in a lovely cove at Lauritzen Gardens featuring headliner Orenda Fink and opener Brad Hoshaw.

We sat in the moist grass surrounded by families and older couples (as well as a few well-coifed hipsters) trying to eek out as much warmth and sunlight as we could in the waning days of summer. For most people there, the concert was a last hurrah before football season and the return of school days. Hoshaw, standing like a bearded griz hunter with a guitar strapped over his shoulder, rifled though his usual set of homemade songs about love, death, booze, drugs and regrets with the conviction of a man making his last confession before being led off to the gas chamber. Hoshaw is one of city's best singer-songwriter, a true craftsman who takes song writing very seriously, and it shows in every heart-felt chorus and verse.

About three-quarters of the way through his hour-plus set, Hoshaw introduced a song by The Twilight Singers -- Greg Dulli's post-Afghan Whigs band. Hoshaw took the typically dark rock song with lyrics about Christ and sex (titled "Last Temptation") and turned it into a somber, introspective, dread lullaby that in no way resembled the original. He made it a Hoshaw song, not that anyone in the thirty-something, forty-something (fifty-something, sixty-something) crowd would know the difference since they very likely hadn't heard the original before.

"It's from one of my top-10 favorite albums of all time," Hoshaw said from a cabin in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. "While watching a live video of them performing it, it hit me that the melody and lyrics were something I'd write. It fits my personality and seemed like a song that I could put myself into. The only way I do covers is to somehow make them my own."

I'm a firm believer that every original band needs to do at least one cover song during their set. It gives the crowd a glimpse into their personal psyche, a clue as to where the songwriter is coming from and where he's headed.

But playing a cover can be risky. Just ask Mike Tulis, bassist for The Third Men, The Monroes and a handful of other great bands throughout the years. The Third Men always manages to work a cover or two into their set without letting them overshadow their own catchy material. Among the favorites, Paul McCartney's smash "Jet," Richard and Linda Thomspon's "Wall of Death," and, of course, Nick Gilder's "Hot Child in the City," featuring Tulis on lead vocals. It was the Gilder song that threatened to eclipse everything. I first saw them play it at The Waiting Room to a frenzied crowd, and then for the next few gigs thereafter, the buzz was whether they were going to play it again.

"That's the risk of doing a cover song," Tulis said. "It can certainly throw a spotlight on the band's own songs. Are they as well-written or well put together? Sometimes that's why bands kind of shy away from doing a cover or they don't do it that often. It can become the song everyone's waiting to hear. Some people sort of take the attitude that I'd rather play our song than someone else's, you know?"

He recalled what Third Men frontman Pat White said about covers. "Pat's attitude is that you're asking an audience for quite a bit to come in and listen to songs they may have never heard before. You've put them through the paces of hearing everything you wrote. There's nothing wrong with playing a song they know. As long as it doesn't become the song you're known for. That can become a problem."

No band wants to be known as "the guys who do that great (fill-in-the-blank-with-your-favorite-band) cover." But maybe I was over-thinking the whole thing. "It's not like a brand you have to carry around with you for the rest of existence," Tulis said. "I don't know if it sums up your whole band; it can if you let it, but I don't think most bands do that. Most bands try a song because they love it."

While listening to Hoshaw that evening, Teresa leaned over and whispered, "He's got the perfect voice for 'Please Come to Boston.'" She was dead right. Anyone who grew up as I did forced to listen to KFAB remembers the classic Dave Loggins hit that starts, "Please come to Boston for the springtime / I'm stayin' here with some friends and they've got lots of room." Remember it now? Had Hoshaw played that song instead of that Twilight Singers tune, the sleepy older crowd would have hoisted him on their shoulders and paraded him around the water lily pond. But I told Teresa there was no way he would ever cover something so completely unhip.

It turned out that Hoshaw had never even heard the song before, and had to look it up on the Internet. The problem with the tune had nothing to do with its cool factor, he said. "The status of a song being cool or not doesn't cross my mind. I've covered Toad the Wet Sprocket before, and that's not cool. I just pick songs I like and then work with them. A lot of them I scrap because I'm not adding anything unique."

After working with the song for an hour, Hoshaw said he finally gave up. And maybe that's for the best. After all, I'm the guy who picked the song, not Brad. Its selection said more about me and Teresa's cheesy taste than Brad's songwriting voice. And after all, who wants to be known as the guy who does "Please Come to Boston"?

Still, someday, maybe? Come on, Brad. - Tim McMahan (The Reader 8/28/08)

"Live Review: Brad Hoshaw with Orenda Fink"

It was a warm, perfect summer evening at Lauritzen Gardens last night. Their makeshift stage is a patio behind the main building where a two-peaked white tent sheltered Brad Hoshaw from the setting sun. Brad looked like a grizz hunter with a guitar, playing solo acoustic in front of 300 or do picnic-ers sitting in the grass eating grapes and cheese, wine and PBR. The PA sounded remarkably good; so did Hoshaw though his set was back-loaded with a few too many slow, somber numbers, which Brad is known for but tell that to the nearby 2-year-old twins who were getting restless. After 45 minutes, I began to regret not bringing a picnic basket -- the smell of nearby grub was killing us.

Fink came out to sing a duet that Hoshaw said he wrote for her a couple years ago. It was a pretty song that falls nicely within the Hoshaw canon, with a chorus that went "That was so long ago/Now we're growing old/The kids are stealing our rock and roll." Brad played for at least an hour and included covers by both Kyle Harvey (the one he always plays) and Twilight Singers (something I hadn't heard before and though I like Twilight Singers, if you don't have the initials GD it's going to be a real rollercoaster ride). We contemplated what song we'd like to hear Hoshaw cover, and it was my cohort who came up with the perfect tune -- "Please Come to Boston" by Dave Loggins, a song that we both love but that were sure Hoshaw would never sing because he'd think that it's "not cool enough." Ah, but he'd be wrong.

The evening turned out to be more of a Hoshaw showcase than Orenda showcase due to timing. At 7:15 the organizers were still fiddledicking around with sound and staging, and I knew we weren't going to make it through even half of her set. Finally, Orenda came on at 7:25 (the concert, which started at 6, was scheduled to end at 8), accompanied by Art in Manila bandmate Adrianne Verhoeven. We made it through three songs before hunger got the best of us. By then about a third of the crowd had left, including a few that were probably headed to CB for My Morning Jacket at Stir Cove. Overall, a nice night, though we should have brought food along...

- Tim McMahan

*** - Tim McMahan ( 8/20/08)

"Live Review: CD Release Party"

As I prepare for my trek to South By Southwest this year I'm considering all the bands from Omaha as well as the rest of the country that are headed to Austin for reasons that I'm not entirely sure of. When SXSW first started a few decades ago it was to provide a stage for unsigned bands that hoped to get signed, or so the legend goes. These days SXSW is nothing more than five nights of label showcases. Every band performing already has a label, a publicist, a booking agent, etc. SXSW has become a vacation option for us media people who want to check out bands that they may not have a chance to see elsewhere. Nothing more. So why do signed bands want to play the festival? Certainly not for the pay. Exposure? Probably…

I say this because if SXSW still had its original mission, no other Omaha band would be better suited to play the festival than Brad Hoshaw and the Seven Deadlies. Hoshaw doesn't have a label or a publicist or a booking agent. An appearance at SXSW could trigger a bidding war for the guy -- if this were the '80s and labels still had serious A&R guys who searched out talent to bolster their rosters. Hoshaw's music -- specifically on his new CD -- has a rare, timeless quality that I haven't heard in long time. What I mean by this: I can't remember when I first heard Simon and Garfunkel's "Cecilia," because to me the song seems to have always existed. A song like "Gone in a Minute" -- the best track on Hoshaw's new album -- has that same quality. It's a pristine pop song that will fit perfectly on anyone's mix CD, the kind of song whose melody sticks in your head and that you automatically hum along with the next time you hear it.

Hoshaw would be the perfect guy for just about any record label. He has a unique voice, is a prolific songwriter, is young and unencumbered and willing to tour. And although I don't know if he's interested or not, from a publishing standpoint his music is perfect for screened-media (TV, film, advertising). He's reliable and as far as I know doesn't have a drug or alcohol problem. And he's a nice guy (not that that ever mattered in the music business). If I had a label, I'd sign him and figure out a way to leverage all of those qualities into $$$. It could be done.

I was thinking all of this Saturday night at Hoshaw's sold-out CD release show at Slowdown Jr. He gave his usual spot-on performance (despite his songs' crazy range, I've never seen him blow a vocal melody, ever) as did his band (Whipkey continues to define himself as one of the best guitar soloists in the area). The show and his CD is a culmination of a lot of work, and is part of an ongoing musical discovery that I personally made a year ago this past January. I'd like to see Brad continue it all the way to the national exposure that he and his music deserves. Despite how much he deserves it, though, I don't know if it'll ever happen. Making it in the music world takes more than talent and a strong work ethic. It takes timing and luck and a million other intangibles that we'll never know about. I don't want this CD release show to be his high-water mark. I don't want this album be remembered 10 years from now as another strong local record that never made it out of Nebraska. - Tim McMahan ( 3/2/09)

"Team Effort Pays Off For Hoshaw"

One show. That was supposed to be it.

Brad Hoshaw often performs solo, but local concert-promotion company 1% Productions wanted him to recruit members for a backing band so he could open a show for San Francisco band American Music Club.

So Hoshaw went about assembling a group of musicians, all involved in other projects. The group includes Matt Whipkey of Whipkey Three, Adam Hawkins and Karl Houfek of It's True, Elizabeth Webb of Midwest Dilemma, Jason Ferguson of Sarah Benck, Craig Balderston of the 9's, producer/engineer Scott Gaeta and solo artist John Klemmensen.

"We were just going to play one show because everyone was so committed to their own projects," Hoshaw said. "I couldn't expect them to devote time to something that I created. After the first show, everybody had such a good time that they decided to keep doing this."

The group — now known as Brad Hoshaw & the Seven Deadlies — recorded an album and will celebrate the release Saturday at Slowdown. The album will be available at Homer's Music and other independent record stores in the area by Saturday. It will also be available for download from services such as iTunes and

Hoshaw handpicked the members of his band because he enjoyed their work. Then he assigned roles in the band that would make them uncomfortable so they would be stretched as musicians.

"Whipkey, he is used to being a frontman," Hoshaw said. "Putting him on the side where he plays lead and harmonica was new territory. Scott Gaeta is an engineer and producer. He can basically play all of our instruments better than we can. I just stick him behind the drums.

"Everybody is kind of enjoying it because it's stretching them and it's serving the songs better because people have to think before they play a note, because it's not just automatic," Hoshaw said.
- Kevin Coffey (Omaha World Herald 2/26/09)

"Dead On: Benson's Bearded Bard Bears His Soul"

By now you have heard the name Brad Hoshaw. Some of you know him as the large, brick shithouse of a fella with a disarming laugh, sitting at the end of some Benson bar. Others recognize Hoshaw as one of the area’s most articulate and artistic acoustic songwriters and open-mic regular. And a select few know him as the frontman of Brad Hoshaw & The Seven Deadlies, a rollicking country-rock outfit every bit as adept at churning out pop gems as it are at playing tear-in-your-beer somber songs.

Hoshaw, a Papillion native, returned from a brief creative sojourn to Minnesota in 2005 and quickly set out to establish himself as a local songwriter worth listening to. His early work had Minneapolis written all over it, ripe with Twin City influences like Paul Westerberg and Mason Jennings. Shortly thereafter Hoshaw fell in with the “Mick’s open-mic” crew, sharing the stage with the likes of Kyle Harvey, Matt Whipkey and Korey Anderson, most of whom he now considers friends and confidantes.

“When I was 18 I had to decide whether to go to college or not,” Hoshaw offered on a recent afternoon. “So I took a semester off to think about it then enrolled for a semester, taking music courses. I set a deadline for myself that by the age of 27 if I wasn’t making it, then I would settle down. Well, 27 came and I was offered a promotion at work on the condition that I not tour. I went home and thought real hard about it and the next day I
went in and declined the promotion.”

“They were so impressed with my passion that they offered me the promotion anyway,” he continued with his trademark chuckle. “So I was able to take the promotion and continue to tour, which is something I really love to do.”

The strength of Hoshaw’s lyrics and the uniqueness of his voice soon set him apart from the hordes of guitar-toting local songsmiths. His melodies are infectious, his delivery singular and lacking pretense, and his subject matters intriguing and at times dark and brooding, at others lively and light. As a lyricist, one of Hoshaw’s greatest strengths is his ability to tackle heavy subjects like the relationships (or lack thereof) people establish with God, the seemingly never-ending love rollercoaster and a repeated theme of tragedy and how it affects us.

“I’m really intrigued by tragedy,” he said. “One of my all-time favorite movies is Legends of The Fall which is just tragedy after tragedy. But through it all they are able to turn around and find out who they really are. A lot of my settings are bars and the bedrooms of broken relationships; situations where you really have to look internally to find out who you really are. I like the concept of humanity, of peoples’ relationships with God, and sometimes that involves their hatred of God. I love the humanity of it all.”

Much like Bob Dylan joining forces with The Band, it was a matter of time before Hoshaw linked forces with his Benson compatriots and plugged in. While the actual impetus for him to form a band came in the form of an opportunity to open for Indie legends American Music Club, Hoshaw insists it was an idea that had been fermenting for some time.

“You know, I was just really craving the collaboration, that interaction between musicians,” he said. “I had played in bands before but it was always here’s the songs, learn ’em and lets play ’em. I wanted help in shaping the songs. Playing by myself I definitely missed the camaraderie of being part of a band, it’s like a family you know. And like any family there’s going to be drama. There are parts you love about it and parts you don’t. I saw this as something necessary to get people to listen to me with fresh ears. It was something I wanted to do and when Marc (Leibowitz, 1% Productions co-founder) asked I said yes and it forced me to do it.”

And it worked. The gorgeous Brad Hoshaw & The Seven Deadlies presents Hoshaw in a different light: a courageous, sometimes-rocking bandleader who is not afraid to dig down deep into the emotional wellspring for meaning, but can just as easily craft a pop tune worthy of heavy FM rotation. Hoshaw is supported on the album by Jason Ferguson on mandolin, Scott Gaeta on drums, Matt Whipkey on electric guitar and harmonica, Elizabeth Webb and Adam Hawkins on backing vocals, Craig Balderston on bass, Karl Houfek on keyboards and John Klemmensen on trumpet.

Many of the songs are tracks he had previously recorded and all of the tunes have been time-tested in front of live audiences. From the sweeping, weirdly foot-stomping country-rock of “Jackie’s Bar” to the darkly introspective “Face of Man,” the album is enjoyable as a whole, complete and coherent.

“I’m definitely proud of the new album,” Hoshaw said. “It captures my personality; it came out the way I pictured it and the way I heard it in my head. I’m excited to play the songs and get the CD out to as many people as possible. Sometimes it’s hard to promote something you created; I’m typically pretty humble about that but on this one I’m okay with it.”

Hoshaw has reason to be proud of this release. The album is among the best slices of local songwriting I have heard in the past five years, complete with everything that makes good records great: memorable and meaningful lyrics, catchy and infectious melodies and a singer whose voice drips with sincerity and artistic integrity. Hearing Hoshaw recreate many of his fan-favorites from the solo days is an absolute sonic joy.

“The song ‘Faces of Man’ was on the album Sketches From The Dream State and was actually a lot of my friends’ least favorite song of mine,” he said. “My girlfriend at the time actually deleted the song her from her I-tunes. But songs like ‘Jackie’s Bar’ have been adapted to this band. Actually the entire album was conceived before the band rehearsed for the first time.”

“‘Powdernose’ was written about three years ago,” he continued. “It was kind of conceived as an anthem for all my buddies at Mick’s. You know, it’s a tongue-in-cheek, let’s party and get f***ed up song. It’s kind of a backhanded compliment.”

Backhanded or not, the song and the album serve as a compliment to Hoshaw’s sure and steady compositions and further cement the bearded bard’s place among the best modern songwriters in the area, perhaps even the country.

Brad Hoshaw & The Seven Deadlies will release a self-titled album Saturday, Feb. 28, at 9 p.m. at Slowdown, 729 N. 14th St. Colorado’s Haunted Windchimes opens the show. Tickets are $5 advance purchase and $7 day of show. For more information visit

- Jesse Stanek (The Reader 2/25/09)

"Meeting the Band: Brad Hoshaw & the Seven Deadlies"

Hiding behind a mane of hair and a wooly beard is the soft-spoken, contemplative, articulate, genuine, earnest, respectful songwriter known as Brad Hoshaw. Standing at well over six feet tall, with his massive frame he almost resembles the mythical Paul Bunyan, especially in his signature plaid shirt and boot cut jeans.

Appearances aside, Brad is someone whose music takes precedent over anything else in his life – over day jobs and drinking, over women and children, over everyday setups and letdowns. His polished, soothing voice relents tales of the down-and-out, exposes the serendipitous and even uplifts the soul. But most importantly, Brad and his music are honest.

His lightly furnished one-bedroom apartment in Benson isn't full of crap he doesn't need, either. Only the essentials: a guitar, a bed, an amplifier, a laptop computer, a massive record collection, leftover pizza, scotch and rum and cola.

It's here he sat down to talk about putting together his band of Seven Deadlies, with a few Deadlies on hand to add their pieces. It's a group made up of key role players from a strong music community. The story goes when Brad came calling, no one hesitated to be a part of his backing band. They fell right into line, bringing to life visions of his songs that, up until that point, only resounded in their creator's head. It might be true that Brad made a name for himself around here as a solo artist, but things are moving fast for the new group; they are already in the studio tracking a debut album, which they expect to have finished in the first quarter of 2009.

The differences between performing solo and with a band are many (one is standing naked before the scourging eyes of many, the other fights the same battle but with the support of your comrades). Regardless, Brad will ride the wind whichever direction it blows. "At this point, I love doing solo shows," he said, "but I've done so many that the band shows are kind of the treat for me."

What's your background? For so long, you've been known for doing the solo thing. Are you from Omaha originally?

Brad: Yeah, I grew up in Papillion and I started playing guitar when I was 16. The first band I was in, we played at Ranch Bowl and things like that but we were all so young. And when that broke up I went solo and started doing acoustic things, put together a few bands here and there. Nothing stuck together, so, just being kind of frustrated with band politics and trying to keep everybody on the same page, a couple years straight I just did solo gigs until the opportunity came up to have the "dream band."

So, did you pick everybody out?

Brad: Yeah, everybody was first pick for what I wanted for each instrument. We've all known each other through other bands for several years. It was pretty much putting together a group of friends. I've played in bands where drummers come and go and everybody's got a different view of what they want. And so for me I pretty much originally just planned on doing one gig together and so I just wanted it to be various people I respected personally and professionally and just have fun doing that one show.

So it was your intention to put this band together for just one show? How'd it turn into more than that?

Brad: It was going to be a one-time deal. The band that was headlining was American Music Club, and I liked their music a lot and I asked if I could open the show. And Marc Leibowitz (of One Percent Productions) said, "Would you be able to put a band together for this?" I took that as a challenge because I've been wanting to do it for a while and I knew it was necessary to progress and make my music more accessible to more people. The response was amazing, all the reviews and everything. We said let's do this again.

With everyone else involved in separate musical projects, I'd imagine it'd be pretty tough to get all eight people together.

Matt: I know we had (some shows) when a couple people weren't able to make it, but there's enough of us when we do things to make it, then it kind of makes it all the more special. Like in the Whipkey Three, I couldn't do it if Zip wasn't there, you know. We did one show without Scott playing drums and it was a fun challenge because drums are always essential to a certain feel and we had to work around it. It's nice that Brad's got songs that can work on all these different levels.

Scott: That's a testament to his writing. I think the fact that he did solo acoustic for so long, the songwriting's developed to such a point where they stand on their own – if something is missing, it still sounds like Brad and it still sounds like a complete song.

Craig: That's what they are anyway. What, with the full band, a lot of them, three-fourths of the song is just Brad and the band drops in for the big dramatic moment.

Scott: And I think that's another reason why this works, because some of us used to play in bands with Brad before, but it seemed like the band always overpowered Brad. Playing with this lineup and with the vision he had for band, we're just complementing what's already there.

Well, what is that vision?

Brad: I was looking for a band that would support the songs and not become something other than what my personality genuinely is. So I had some clear visions as far as when I wanted other instrumentation there and when I didn't and how to build up a song and bring it back down and it's been really fun getting to work with such talented musicians.

Matt: Brad did something kind of interesting, too, because I play lead and it's kind of weird standing next to Jason (Ferguson), who's like the best around. And Scott plays drums, but he also plays amazing guitar and keyboard, so it's kind of weird that we're all out of our comfort zone a little bit. (The rest agree.)

Scott: He values our creative input, so he's giving us some leeway to kind of do our thing, and there again, like Matt said, since we're kind of all a little bit out of our element it kind of a naturally lends itself to a certain creative vibe.

Outside of music, where do you all work?

Brad: Indirectly, I work for Red Bull Corporation. I work for a company that's contracted by them. I basically manage all the repairs on their refrigerators. It's one of those jobs you'd never know existed.

Scott: I've been a professional musician for 23 years – playing bands, producing projects, recording people. I think I'm the only one without a real job…

Karl: I don't know. I could definitely say I don't have a real job; I sell things on eBay.

Craig: I work for a club owner. I take care of Murphy's, BarFly and the Lift.

Matt: I teach guitar at Dietze Omaha. My other job is playing.

You just recorded a Christmas song for Lash LaRue's toy drive, what's it about?

Matt: It's pretty uplifting. (Laughter.)

Brad: Yeah, I couldn't write a happy Christmas song. I had to write a song about a guy who's planning to propose to his girlfriend on Christmas Eve and the whole buildup and everything and he proposes to him and she's silent. He finds out that she's been cheating on him and she's leaving him. So, on Christmas morning, he's sitting there with a glass of scotch, a cigarette and a gun, just kind of thinking. It's got a Christmas theme to it. It's for the children. (More laughter.)

Matt: That's actually how Brad spends most of his mornings.

When you write a song, why do you do it?

Brad: I write the songs because I feel like I have to. If I don't write a song for a while, I become a very unhappy person. It's almost subconscious, you just don't realize it until you sit down and write a song and you're like, oh that's what I've been meaning to do for the last month.

This is kind of a clich» question, but what's your subject?

Brad: I guess when I write a song, I'd say most of them aren't really about me and exact situations that have occurred to me. I think I relate to every song. Aspects ring true to personal stories of mine, but I'm really interested in watching – I'm a people watcher. I like seeing other people's lives and seeing the tragedy and the joys of their lives and analyzing why it's happening and feeling either the despair or the hope that they're feeling. So a lot of my songs focus on people and their self-destruction, their relationship with God, their despair – drinking, drugs – all that stuff. There's some love songs, too, but mostly I just like telling stories.

Do you write a lot of songs in your apartment?

Brad: I've written a few in here. I like living alone, just having peace and quiet. It's a good neighborhood, too. I was living in Minneapolis for a while and came back here at the end of '05.

What'd you do in Minneapolis?

Brad: I was just living and playing music. I loved the city. It was very vibrant, a lot of bands, a lot of venues, a lot of excitement about original music, but it was a lot of cliques and a lot of egos and a lot of style. Fashion was a big part of the music scene. I guess it was probably just because I grew up here, everybody had naturally evolved to whatever style they were.

I played a weekly showcase at the University of Minnesota up there and it was songwriter scene, but I didn't feel like there was any future for me pursuing local music up there. I wasn't excepted as a local musician. But when I can back here I came for a couple weeks, I was thinking of moving to New York or Boston, and I sat down and probably wrote three or four songs in a couple days. I just felt energy in Omaha and I decided there's no way I can go anywhere else. - Will Simmons (The City Weekly 11/5/09)


Spirit of the Lake (2011)
Brad Hoshaw & the Seven Deadlies – s/t (2009)
Live at Mick’s Music & Bar (2008)
20 Days (2005)
Sketches from the Dream State (2003)
Plato’s Honey Head (2001)
Invisible Man (1997)

Christmas for Pine Ridge, Vol. 3 (2010)
Lazy-i: Best of 2009 (2009)
Christmas for Pine Ridge, Vol. 2 (2009)
Lazy-i: Best of 2008 (2008)
Christmas for Pine Ridge, Vol. 1 (2008)
Homes for Guatemala V.3 (2004)
Homes for Guatemala V.2 (2003)

Guest Appearances:
Little Black Stereo: Let’s Make Babies (2009) – vocals
Monica Eby: Sinner’s Delight (2008) – vocals
Midwest Dilemma: Timelines & Tragedies (2008) – vocals/guitar

Songwriting Credits:
Jeremiah Nelson: Drugs To Make You Sober (2011) – “Nothing to Lose”
John Statz: Ghost Towns (2011) – “The Wichita Waltz”



For booking info:

Recently, Brad Hoshaw released his eighth full length album "Funeral Guns". The new album features his all-star band The Seven Deadlies and showcases all new songs including “New Tattoo” and “Delta King”. This past October, Brad successfully ran a Kickstarter campaign to raise over $7,500 to help with mixing, mastering and manufacturing costs. The album was released on February 21, 2014 and quickly sold-out in stores around the Midwest. In April Brad also released a limited edition 7" vinyl single for Record Store Day which included the previously unreleased song "Sorry".

The Seven Deadlies were formed in 2008 with the purpose of playing one show only. The audience response was so strong that they were compelled to keep performing. Their self-titled 2009 album won“Album of the Year” at the Omaha Entertainment and Arts Awards. The current Seven Deadlies’ lineup includes Brad Hoshaw on lead vocals and acoustic guitar, Matt Whipkey on lead guitar, Vern Fergesen on bass and J. Scott Gaeta on drums.

Frank Black (The Pixies) describes their music as “Seductive” and David Dondero claims Hoshaw is "the only songwriter that can make me cry.” With another new album under his belt Brad Hoshaw is poised for a busy year of touring and promotion.

Band Members