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Local singer hopes to be 'Idol' bound
Drew Bradley - photo by Photo provided.
When a 2008 car accident left Drew J. Bradley with a debilitating back injury, the former athlete was devastated. He could no longer play basketball, run, ride his bike, or even work.

But, phoenix-like, something beautiful was born of the wreck.

A depressed, mostly house-bound Bradley turned introspective and began to create. “I had no idea what to do with myself,” he said. “Then I realized, ‘OK, this isn’t going to end anytime soon, so I’ve just got to make a life out of what I can’ … I discovered this whole other person inside me that I never knew was even there.”

He began new endeavors– writing, painting, woodworking– and revisited old passions like playing guitar, singing, and writing songs. “I try to express myself in every way possible,” Bradley said.

Though still unable to work, and in regular pain from the slipped disk and crushed nerves in his back and shoulder, the young Renaissance man has proliferated creatively, especially with his music.

Acoustic guitar rhythms, both picked and strummed, lay the foundation for Bradley’s songs. His voice at times recalls the simple melodic qualities of Jack Johnson, and at others, as in “Come November” (easily his most organic effort), conveys a rich, smoky longing, palpable to the listener.   

The 24-year-old was candid when asked what inspires him. “Romanticism,” he answered. “I’ve always been the guy who just wants to be in love, and ever since I was a kid I’ve always thought about being married and having a family … it’s something that my parents instilled in me when I was really young.”

Disarmingly attractive, and with the charm, confidence, and chivalry to sweep any girl off her feet, Bradley’s potential star power smolders. Add his musical prowess to the mix, and he is a prime candidate for pop stardom.

Enter the American Idol factor.

Friends have been encouraging Bradley to try out for the show since hearing his songs. He casually brushed the idea off each time. But this summer, some of his friends bought him a plane ticket to San Francisco, Calif., for the final auditions on August 19. Moved by their kindness and generosity, Bradley has been making whirlwind preparations, organizing a local concert and seeking sponsors to help alleviate travel expenses.  

Bradley’s free concert will take place at J.F. Gregory Park this Saturday, August 14 at 7 p.m. Come out to listen to and support our hometown Idol hopeful. Local Christian rock band, King’s Cross, will open the show.

Visit to hear original songs and learn more about this talented local musician.

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