Theater & Arts

Artists You Should Know: Brad Wilson

Blues singer/guitarist Brad Wilson has traveled the far and wide of California.

After living in San Francisco and West Hollywood, Wilson has settled on a new home: Visalia.

He moved there in June and is using the South Valley city as the hub for his weekly touring, which takes him to all points of California. Last weekend it was Gilroy's Garlic Festival. Next weekend, he'll be at Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco. The week after that, he'll be in Anaheim.

Tonight, though, he's staying somewhat close to home and playing at 9 p.m. at Crossroads, 3315 N. Cedar Ave. in Fresno. Tickets cost $8.

We talked to Wilson to get the scoop on his music and his move.

What's the story behind your recent move to Visalia? I've traveled the whole state of California and found it to be one of the best cities. It has all the amenities of a big city, but it has the charm of a small town. It's a great central hub for touring the whole state.

Before that, though, you often played around the Fresno area. What's attracted you to this area?

As an artist, first and foremost, there's a lot of work here for me. There's a healthy music scene. There are a lot of places for me to play -- the casinos, the bars, the festivals. There's just a lot of music in the Central Valley.

What's your career philosophy? You seem like quite the road warrior. I do over a 150 shows a year. We travel every single week. I try to connect with people at the shows. Usually at the shows, we have a great time.

Since you're on the road so much, I have to ask about gas prices ... It definitely cuts into the profits, but like everyone in the United States, you just move forward.

You probably see a lot of cool stuff around the state -- is there a hidden gem of California that you've fallen in love with? I hate to toot a horn too much about Visalia, but the quality of life is great here. There's a historical downtown that's vibrant. I love all the Valley oaks. It's green and beautiful here.

What's the best part of your live show? Rippin' guitar and strong blues.

You've opened for a lot of people from Coco Montoya to Cheap Trick -- who's your favorite and why? I enjoyed opening for Cheap Trick. The group was super nice and gave us a lot of time on stage. They're just a really great band.

What can people expect from you in the future? I'm in the studio recording an album for release in Germany. I'm going to get it released in early '09. I hope to get it out over here at least at the shows.

For music and more: Go to bradwilsonlive.com.

Know a local musician that more people should be familiar with? Send the who and why to Mike Osegueda, mosegueda@fresnobee.com.

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