It was amazing. Nothing short of incredible. And I darn near forgot about it.
I didn’t actually forget about what happened. I was there. With Bradley and his folks. I can’t imagine that I’ll ever forget that. But I nearly forgot that I’d captured it all on film. That I’d brought Daniel Grace and Russdriver with me on the trip that September in 2019 to Dallas, Texas, and that we had done our best to not only be there to celebrate a special moment that happened to a special friend of ours, but wanted to make sure he had more than just the memory of it. So we filmed it all. Getting to the hotel and venue, Bradley finding his dressing room. Rehearsal backstage. Soundcheck. His part of the show. The whole thing. And then we flew back home and life happened and we forgot about it.
And so for the last three years, it’s been sitting on a hard drive, waiting for me to remember. So Bradley and his Mama could remember.
The whole thing started as an email that Bradley’d received in early 2019. And then a phone call soon after. From Eric Clapton.
Whoever says that dreams don’t come true, is wrong. I know firsthand that from time to time they do. And sometimes they’re even bigger than the dreams we allow ourselves to dream. So when Bradley answered the phone and a man with a British accent said he was a big fan of Bradley’s singing and wondered if he might want to come be part of a big guitar festival that he was putting on called Crossroads that September, I can only imagine the look on Bradley’s face. Just sitting there holding his iPhone, shaking his head, while God does what He does best. Blow our minds.
Turns out that while Bradley’s been working as a quality-control analyst at Brown’s Ferry Power Plant in Alabama, somewhere in England, Mr. Clapton has been watching youtube videos of Bradley singing gospel songs. And so he asked if Bradley might want to join him and some of his friends… Joe Walsh, Vince Gill, Albert Lee, and Bill Murray to name a few, along with about 15,000 other folks who’d be sitting in the arena watching. Needless to say, Bradley said, ‘yessir.’ And so it was, there on a stage filled with guitar gods, Bradley would sing the old hymn “You’re Drifting Too Close To The Shore.”
Oh, I wish you could’ve been there. It was one for the books. I’ve always been a big fan of Bradley’s and my wife Joey and I have been champions of his music for a long time, so when he told me about it, I knew that I had to come. Just to be there to see something so wonderful happen to someone so wonderful.
Here it is. A special email and phone call, a trip to Texas, a hug from a new friend, and a night to remember… all condensed down to about a dozen precious minutes.
I’m proud of you Bradley. And I can’t wait to see what happens next time you check your email or get a call from a number you don’t recognize…!
* thank you to Russell Brisby and Daniel Grace for capturing these moments. And to Seth Scruggs for dusting off all the files and making them live again.