1. What is “All The Friends That I Have Found” about?
The song is about everyone coming together and loving one another. This message is much needed in these times of division and hate. If we open our hearts and all work together, we can turn it all around, and get the country on the right track.
2. It is a very relevant, current subject matter. What propelled you to write this?
I wrote this song years ago when I was in grad school, getting my masters in counseling. Just before Trump was elected, this song came to me in a dream and I wrote it down and played it for my classmates. I eventually wrote my thesis on where songs come from in the origin of creativity, and how the process of how this song came to be known.
3. What are some of your favorite lyrics of the song? What lyrics came first and spawned you to write this?
My favorite lyric is this one because it’s so true, and every time I sing it my son says to me, “Daddy c’mon, you are always on your phone!”
“So when you’re feeling sad and alone
And everyone is just staring at their phone
Just reach out when you’re feeling down
I am a friend that you have found”
The lyric that came first was, “there is enough love to go around, with all the friends that I have found.” Again, I do not take a lot of credit for coming up with this song. In my research I discovered that the best songs come from another place, another realm. There is a force for healing in the collective unconscious and I believe I may have tapped into that for a brief moment.
4. How do you feel this song fits in with today’s current musical landscape?
I don’t really know how this fits into today’s musical landscape, and it doesn’t really matter to me. I do know that my friends wanted me to write a dance number and this is the best I could do. A friend of mine called it folk funk, and I think that term best describes this song. Also, I don’t really know of an anthem out there that is delivering a unifying message… I believe this song provides that and could be this movement’s “Blowin’ In the Wind.”
5. How does it fit in with the current social and political climate?
This song was made for this political climate. I sat on the song for years and did nothing with it until I went to a Black Lives Matters protest in Portland a month or so ago. The energy of the protest and the passion of the movement motivated me to dust off the song and record it with my band. It came to me in a dream, and I felt like it was made for this moment, because it is exactly what we need to do… that’s all come together and work as one to change the course of history.
6. You’re making a video for it. Tell me about this video, and how the concept works into the lyrics and theme of the song?
I am really excited about the video. The band and I are recruiting a group of friends to send us videos of themselves singing this song, and we’re going to do a mash-up that mimics a Zoom room. The name of the song says it all, “all the friends that I have found.” It will also be an opportunity for them to send it to all of their friends once it is out.
7. How does this song compare to your other songs, both musically and lyrically?
Most of my songs are lyrically driven as I am kind of a, “three chords and the truth” guy. My band, the Reel Deel, takes a lot of credit for infusing various musical genres like country, jazz, funk, and rock to create a unique sound. A lot of my songs tell stories of the average guy and the slacker. This song is a different direction for me because life just boils down to one thing, and that is love… and that is what this song represents.
8. Anything I left out you’d love to cover?
Again, a lot of credit goes out to Steve Drizos, who recorded and mixed the song, and my band members, without whom I would have never performed or recorded the song, those guys are the Reel Deel for sure. Also, my son did the handprint image on the cover, and my wife took care of him while I ran off to the studio to record!More info about Brad Creel & The Reel Deel:
Hearing Brad Creel & the Reel Deel is like listening to a John Prine album while Merle Haggard is cooking in the kitchen, Gram Parsons is on the front porch, and Bigfoot is dancing in the front yard. As these artists are now dead (except Bigfoot), Brad has kept their sound alive by combining the musical styles to create a unique genre of music he calls, “Lava Lamp Country.”
Brad wrote and recorded his first acoustic album, “Reveeled” in 2008, a collection of smart and funny acoustic folk tunes. The Portland Mercury said this about Brad’s debut to Portland’s vibrant music scene. “Gifted with the pen, the punchline, and the guitar, local singer/songwriter Brad Creel’s husky voiced folk ballads harken back to a time when folk music had plenty of strumming jesters eager to tell a tale and collect some laughs along the way. Creel is a vulnerable performer with a deep sense of humor, one who isn’t afraid to turn the spotlight on his own imperfections.”
After successfully launching “Reveeled,” Brad formed his Americana band, Brad Creel & the Reel Deel. Brad and his new band created his second album, “Probably Not” in 2010, which was recorded on vintage gear, and this production helped shape the sound of Lava Lamp Country. Portland’s Willamette Week described Probably Not as, “a generous serving of honky-tonk heartbreak” and stated that it’s, “Creel’s silly, frequently self-deprecating lyrics that keep one listening—and laughing.”
In 2015, Brad Creel & the Reel Deel released, “Time and the Road,” which was recorded in a rural studio on beautiful Sauvie Island on the outskirts of Portland. This album expressed Brad’s love of Oregon and was a deepening of his band’s distinctive, alt-country sound. Brad is currently working with his band on recording a batch of new songs, scheduled to be released in the fall of 2020.
The Reel Deel band members include seasoned country rock drummer and vocalist Bob Hawkins, talented musician Mike Moore on guitar, mandolin and vocals, and multi-instrumentalist, Ben Grosscup, on bass. Brad and his band have performed over 300 gigs in the Northwest and continue to rely on their live sets to deliver a memorable show. Come see why the Oregonian said, “Brad Creel specializes in droll observations and barbed sentiments served up with deft honky-tonk touches: a tear in your beer with a side of wry toast.”