The Rad Trads: Mixing Punk Rock Energy, Horn Drenched Soul & Jazz Precision
At Beartrap Summer Festival, we like to keep things interesting – and that means welcoming groups that bring a little something different to the meadow. This year, we’re adding a splash of Jazz to our folk, bluegrass, rock and roots cocktail with the Rad Trads, a Brooklyn based 5 piece band. According to their website, this “globe-trotting group’s singular take on rock n’ roll mixes punk rock energy, horn drenched soul, and jazz precision, all with a lighthearted but sincere delivery.”
Their website goes on to say that these 5 lads met at New York University in 2012 as conservatory-trained instrumentalists who wanted to play with NYC’s best musicians. Twin brothers John (Drums, Vocals) and Michael Fatum (Trumpet, Vocals), Michael Harlen (Bass, Vocals), Alden Harris-McCoy (Guitar, Vocals), and Patrick Sargent (Keys, Saxophone, Vocals) were, at that time, just “a bunch of buds looking to play the bars and drink for free,” according to John Fatum. Eventually, their onstage “bastardized jazz repertoire” morphed into “whatever seemed to get the audience moving.” As the band’s live sets began to be filled more and more with original songs which all stuck to the “if you write it, you sing it” formula, the fans remained enthusiastically engaged. “Our unconventional process keeps The Rad Trads fresh for us, always,” Harris-McCoy explains. “The fact that our egos have not taken us down is somewhat of a modern miracle!”
Watching a handful of Youtube videos and live performances, that seems to be truth – there’s no evidence of a diva – just a bunch of really talented guys creating amazing music and having a dang good time – in a lot of different venues.
“Making rent playing 4 hour gigs in every bar and beer hall that would have them, the guys dominated New York City and Brooklyn with their punk-rock energy and showmanship, powerful horns, driving rhythm section, and…captivating lead vocalists. Within due time, they decided to take their show on the road.”
On the road indeed! They may have started out in just one state, but we’re pretty sure their frequent flyer miles are really payin’ off ….
The Rad Trads have wowed audiences on four continents, in 15 countries and 41 states. The diverse list of artists that the band has performed with in that time includes Lake Street Dive, Charles Bradley, Buddy Guy, Taj Mahal, and The Lone Bellow, among others. “We’ve loved every second of traveling and seeing the world,” John Fatum says.
The world is seeing – or hearing – more of them, too. Their song “Keith Richards and I” was once featured on the television show Chicago Fire. Best guess? This kind of thing will not be an isolated incident. Not with their soul and flair.
Massachusetts Rockport Music said “Mashing together Americana, New Orleans brass band music and indie rock, the Brooklyn-based band are a veritable force of nature.” Paste Magazine deepens that image by stating, “With a killer driving groove, New York Soul Rebels ‘The Rad Trads’ truly show how tight they are as an ensemble while having fun at the same time.”
We can’t wait to see what vibe they’ll be sharing with us on the mountain.