Currently touring in anticipation of their second full-length album On Tap, New York City’s The Rad Trads are winning over audiences, gaining loyal fans, and defying classification. They’ve been described as “Wilco at the Circus,” “The Band meets Miles Davis, and “the greatest band you’ve never heard of.” Few can pin down their unique blend of Indie Rock, Americana, and Soul, but everyone agrees, “it’s a damn good time!”
Most commonly fans observe that they have never seen a band with five distinct lead vocalists. But it wasn’t long ago that many members of The Rad Trads hadn’t sung a note. As dedicated instrumentalists they moved to New York City from Portland, Chicago, and Maryland to go to conservatory and cut their teeth with the best musicians in the city. When they met in Greenwich Village it was their love of a good party, not the confines of a practice room that connected them—naturally the party would soon move from the dorm room to the stage. With each show the music grew, the repertoire evolved, and each member decided it was their time to step up to the microphone and sing. Soon they developed a sound that was uniquely their own: a driving horn section, five lead vocalists, and an infectious punk rock energy that quickly made them one of the city’s most buzzed about live acts.
With their first EP Self Help the Rad Trads explored the traditional blues forms of their beerhall roots and penned their first original songs. Following up with the full-length album Must We Call Them Rad Trads?, the band came into their own as songwriters and incorporated elements of folk rock into their brass-heavy sound.
Their newest release, On Tap explodes into completely new territory. Walls of horns and psychedelic guitars meld with lush acoustic arrangements laying an intricate foundation for songs that are funny, challenging, and well-crafted. The album’s lead single, “Good Luck Unto Ya” is a soaring anthem of the bittersweet, exploring the pain and relief of cutting ties with a toxic person. Drummer John Fatum sings “Hallelujah, good luck unto ya, no need to shake my hand, no need to cry.” The emotional catharsis of the text is mirrored in the production of the song with a wall of sound of over 60 overdubbed tracks.
On Tap showcases a singular sound that reveals an exciting possibility: this band is ready to etch their names into a lineage that starts somewhere with Little Richard and Elvis Presley, passes through the Stones, Dylan, Lou Reed and the Boss and ends up in the present day grasping for tomorrow.
The Rad Trads have toured across 4 Continents, 15 countries, and 41 states, including opening for artists such as Lake Street Dive, Tom Jones, Charles Bradley, Taj Mahal, Buddy Guy, the Lone Bellow, and Margaret Glaspy. When not playing with The Rad Trads, members of the band have performed or recorded with artists such as St. Paul and the Broken Bones, Deer Tick, Sarah Jarosz, Buck Meek & Adrianne Lenker of Big Thief, Lee Fields & the Expressions, David Duchovony, and Christopher Paul Stelling.