A native of Kingsport, Tennessee, Brad Blackwell moved to Knoxville at age 19 to attend the University of Tennessee and to pursue his dream of being a singer/songwriter. Since that time Brad has gone on to release two critically acclaimed studio albums, be named East Tennessee’s Best Local Artist by the Knoxville News Sentinel, open for artists such as Darius Rucker, Thompson Square and Edwin McCain and sell out Knoxville’s historic Bijou Theater in only his first time headlining a show there.
All of those accomplishments are quite impressive; especially considering that Brad, 23, didn’t start playing guitar until he was 17.
Brad received his first guitar as a Christmas present. "I didn’t even ask for it. To be honest, I was a little bummed out. I was hoping for something ‘cooler,’ like an Xbox 360,” says Blackwell laughingly. But he didn’t let it collect any dust. Brad learned quickly, teaching himself to play and before too long was discovering his natural talent for writing songs.
Brad went on to team up with hit songwriter Jim Denton, who co-wrote the hit song, "Rope the Moon" for John Michael Montgomery. In 2010, the two co-wrote and produced Brad’s debut album "Blue Sky." Songs such as “She’s My Rainbow” and “Before I Found You” off the album quickly started receiving regular airplay from some of Knoxville’s top radio stations. The albums success was enough to garner Brad the title of ‘East Tennessee’s Best Local Artist’ by the Knoxville News Sentinel.
Jim and Brad were at it again in 2011 with the release of Brad’s sophomore album, “Fresh,” and this time Nashville began to take notice. Brad would go on to headline shows at Nashville’s historic Bluebird Café and begin writing with some of the town’s most renowned songwriters. Songs off “Fresh” such as “Take You Away,” “Fresh,” “I Do” and “Miracle” have also seen their fair share of radio play.
And now, Brad Blackwell is back for the release of new music with the “Combustible” EP. Without hesitation Brad will tell you he thinks the songs being released on “Combustible ” are the ones that will get him to the next level.
“Brad is a natural. He’s the whole package and is destined to be a star", says Denton. "Whatever interest has been gained from the first two albums, we are confident that “Combustible” is going to push him over the top. There has been a real growth in both his songwriting and performing since 'Blue Sky' released. "
"I fully believe the sky is the limit as to what I am capable of. I have a very clear vision of what I want and every day I approach that vision with the upmost intensity," says Brad.
The frequency of Brad’s local radio airplay is a testament to the radio-ready quality and writing style of his music. He is not afraid to dream big and his focus and determination are clear indicators that this young man will stop at nothing to attain those dreams. He undoubtedly has a very bright future.