Published on November 28th, 2012 | by Dr. Richard Martorano
Brad Sayre – Superstar in the Music Industry
He has toured 14 countries, played countless venues from clubs to large outdoor concerts, has fans worldwide and was a partner to David Simmons of the very popular and hip band, AcoustiCon.
Volusia SuperStar Brad Sayre picked up a guitar at age 5 and has never put it down. He was raised in Baltimore, started playing in garage bands in high school and went on the road as a young man right out of high school.
In his road days he played a variety of guitar styles, which has been very important to his career. He worked his way up the performance ladder as a sideman to work with some very good boogie bands such as: Melanie, Dr. Hook, featuring Ray Sawyer and Danny Joe Brown of Molly Hatchet.
Over the years Brad has been influence by the guitar stylizations of Jeff Beck, Jimmy Hendrix, Allman Brothers, Deep Purple, Focus, the Skynard boys, ARS, Mothers Finest, Queen, ZZ Top, Little Feet, Pink Floyd, Todd Rundgren and Utopia, Van Halen, SRV and Eric Johnson. It is important to note, Brad does not copy their “licks” note for note, he emulates their sound and playing technique while incorporating that style into his own playing. He is not a “cover band guitarist” and that is the biggest compliment I can give to any musician.
To quote from a an article I wrote for nsbObserver.com about photographer SuperStar Barbara Simmons: “after relocating to New Smyrna Beach, Barbara created RockBound Entertainment Co., a rock booking agency where for eight years she promoted and booked rock bands. One of the bands on her roster featured guitarist, Brad Sayre. Brad found David Simmons through Barbara and AcoustiCon was born.”
From this point on it’s going to be hard to separate Brad and David Simmons. From the outset, playing club and convention dates were never an option for AcoustiCon. They were a band that played very eclectic and diverse originals. As they grew and developed their original playing style, and with the addition of photography by Barbara Simmons, AcoustiCon fused live music and visual art as a package performed with ultra-sophisticated multimedia projection.
Quoting from Acousticon.net: “It is a concert program recognized for its musical integrity and soul stirring emotion, combining exquisite melody lines with the finest of fine art photography, digital graphics and video, and state of the art projection; all totally in sync.”
Unfortunately, AcoustiCon went away when federal funding collapsed for the performing and fine arts programs in our country. Until that time they were doing multimedia concerts at universities, museums and performing arts auditoriums all over the country and doing very well. When the funding went away there were really no venues for AcoustiCon to play. They were not a cover band so night clubs and convention gigs were not an option.
With the economy has austere as it was, and is, individually producing and promoting concerts in regional auditoriums would be a financial nightmare. Brad is an outstanding guitarist so yes, he can continue to play clubs and private parties and make a living. But like a lot of our fellow musicians, he is going to have to make a decision in the not too distant future.
Those of us who make our living exclusively in the music business, and do not have a day job, are in difficult times. The venues for full time musicians playing live music are going away. More and more clubs and restaurants are hiring musicians who, with the help of pre-recorded instrumental tracks and sequencers, sound like the New York Philharmonic.
Clubs that used to hire three, four and five piece bands are now hiring singles for weekend gigs. Local players are making around $200 a night. Now, that is not bad for four hours work if it is a supplement to income earned by a day gig. But for a full time player, you can’t live on $200 and only work two nights a week.
For the record – this is me speaking not Brad and – I am not being negative. I think Brad is equipped to do other things. Through AcoustiCon he learned multiple skills in videography, video editing, multi-recording techniques, a variety of music and video software programs and he has excellent skills at multi-track recording. You would think with all these skills Brad is employable.
If he chooses to be initiating, he can open up his own media production studio. I think those are opportunities he is examining. Big decisions? Yes – we all have to examine where we’ve been, where we are, and where we will be. I’m confident that Brad Sayre will be successful at any of his new ventures.
Most probably you will hear Brad in performance somewhere. Stop what you’re doing and listen to what he is saying to you through his music.
Photographs courtesy of Barbara Simmons Photography