From “God Blessed Texas” to Seals & Croft 2, Brady Seals Keeps The Music Moving

by Preshias Harris / 333 days ago / Comments
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Shares memories of Little Texas and Hot Apple Pie

Brady Seals is part of an extended musical family.  More than a family, one could call it the Seals Clan – even a dynasty – that shows no sign of slowing down.  With bands such as Little Texas and Hot Apple Pie in his resumé and a current project called Seals & Crofts 2 (Wait, what?!), Brady and I sat down to catch up during Country Radio Seminar (CRS) in March.

Aside from Brady, that Seals clan includes Jimmy Seals (Seals & Crofts), Dan Seals, (England Dan & John Ford Coley) and songwriters Troy Seals – a Songwriting Hall of fame member – and Chuck Seals.

For his part, Brady Seals has sold over eleven million albums and topped the charts in three music genres simultaneously.  Most music listeners first noticed Brady during his time as keyboardist and co-vocalist with the group Little Texas starting in 1988 with albums and hit singles such as “My Love” and “God Blessed Texas”.

I asked Brady about his memories of those Little Texas days.

“I’ve got so many wonderful memories about being with Little Texas,” he said. “From a songwriter point of view, Little Texas is where I really learned how to write songs, and the reason why I did learn to write is that it was out of necessity.”  

Little Texas had got a development deal with Warner Brothers and were being pitched what Brady described as “kind of the ‘B’ songs” rather than the top-notch kind of stuff. 

“We were getting these songs and I was thinking, ‘Man, I could write better songs than this,’” he recalled.  “So I just started writing and I finally got the nerve to start calling my uncle Troy. We started writing together and I started learning from him. It was just such a wonderful time to learn the craft of songwriting.”

Troy Seals, who co-wrote hits such as “Seven Spanish Angels,” “Lost in the Fifties Tonight,” “If You Ever Have Forever In Mind” and “L.A. Lady” was the ideal mentor for his nephew Brady.

After leaving Little Texas, Brady formed Hot Apple Pie that has been described as Nashville’s “Super Group”.  With a self-titled debut album, the group became a favorite of fans and music industry insiders. In addition to Brady, the group included Keith Horne (bass guitar), Trey Landry (drums), and Mark "Sparky" Matejka (guitar).  I asked him what he thought made Hot Apple Pie so special.

“I’m still so very proud of the Hot Apple Pie project,” said Brady. Thinking of his bandmates, he emphasized, “They were all such great players and we were the real deal. We played on our own record, I wrote most of the stuff back then and it was just a real project.”

Brady took the project to hit-making Nashville producers Richard Landis and James Stroud, both of whom loved it. Brady had worked with Stroud back in the Little Texas Days.

“Eventually, we took it to the people at DreamWorks Nashville that, at the time, was like a supergroup of promotional people,” Brady explained. “There was Scott Borchetta, George Briner, all of the dudes – and dudettes! There were some great promotional ladies that worked there as well. It was just incredible. There was Bruce Shindler who had done independent radio promotion back in the Little Texas days.  Immediately I thought this was going to be huge. We even did a duet with Willie Nelson on that record. It was so cool! I think we were poised for it. I really do.”

Hot Apple Pie released a self-titled album in 2005 that reached No. 6 on the Billboard Country Album charts. Three of the album tracks – “Hillbillies", "We're Makin' Up" and "Easy Does It” – charted on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs.

“We opened for Keith Urban and Tim McGraw, huge shows, the whole bit; it was just ready to go.  But then Scott Borchetta left the company to start Big Machine and then the wheels started falling off. But all the way up to at that point, the music was just spot-on, the look, the sound, everything.  But for whatever reason, God wanted it to go somewhere else.”

For Brady Seals, the ‘somewhere else’ was a successful solo career with albums such as Play Time featuring friends, Richard Marx and Stan Lynch (Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers) and touring across the USA. He also launched an innovative songwriter show titled Music City Pickers LIVE! 

Never one to stand still, Brady now has a current project that could be his most exciting yet.  Called Seals & Crofts 2, the duo pairs Brady Seals with Lua Crofts, daughter of Darrell ‘Dash’ Crofts. The project is more than simply a tribute to the legendary Seals & Croft.  Brady told me how it all came about.

“I was working on what I called the Seals Family Album project – which I still plan on doing – where I would cut three songs by Jimmy, three songs by Dan, three songs by Troy and three songs by me,” he explained.

 “I had invited Lua over and we started in and it just started so good. I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I think there’s something to this!’ That was about four or five years ago, and since then we’ve been going out and doing ‘Seals & Crofts 2’ shows performing “Summer Breeze”, “We May Never Pass This Way Again”, “Diamond Girl”, “Get Closer” and we play all the hits.  But we are in the process of doing some original stuff as well, so I’m knee deep in trying to get that finished.”  

Brady summed it up this way: “It’s our take on Seals & Crofts classics and some new stuff, and of course I throw in some Little Texas stuff as well! It makes for a really cool show.”

Over the years, he has written so many great songs. I posed a tough question: Of all those songs, which is his favorite?

“I think my favorite has to be ‘God Blessed Texas’,” he said.  “The reason why I say that is it’s pretty special as a kid growing up in Ohio to go into a whole other state, write a song about something like that, something so iconic, almost like an anthem down there, and to see the reaction, to be accepted the way that I have been accepted.  Governor Ann Richards made me an honorary Texan which was so cool and back in the day I was even able to meet George W. Bush. ‘God Blessed Texas’ has been so special for me. I even wrote a book called God Blessed Texas and Me Too, so I’d have to say that’s my favorite.”

It’s the favorite song of a lot of people and has become an unofficial anthem for the State of Texas. Brady co-wrote the song with Little Texas bandmate Porter Howell, peaking at No. 4 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and crossing over into the Billboard Hot 100.  

Now with the Seals & Crofts 2 project underway, Brady Seals continues to entertain enthusiastic fans across America. Keep up with Seals & Croft 2 on Facebook.  More about Brady on his website, on Facebook and Instagram. Find his book, God Blessed Texas and Me Too, at Amazon here, or nab autographed copies at his website. #BradySeals

 

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Brady Seals Tour Dates


03/23/2024 : Brady Seals- Acoustic: Blairsville, GA
04/04/2024 : Seals & Crofts 2: New Braunfels, TX
04/06/2024 : Brady Seals with Special Guest: Grapevine, TX
04/11/2024 : Brady Seals- In The Round: Thompson's Station, TN
04/13/2024 : Seals & Crofts 2: Sugarcreek, OH
04/27/2024 : Brady Seals: Fairfield, OH
05/01/2024 : Brady Seals- Acoustic: Palm Coast, FL
05/04/2024 : Seals & Crofts 2: Weirsdale, FL
05/24/2024 : Seals & Crofts 2: Old Saybrook, CT

About Preshias Harris

Preshias Harris Journalist

Preshias Harris is a music journalist who has interviewed everyone from Alabama to ZZ Top for articles and stories published in numerous music magazines. She is the author of longest-running monthly country music column in America and authored The College of Songology™ 101: The Singer/Songwriter’s ‘Need To Know’ Reference Handbook. As a music career development consultant with special emphasis on emerging and aspiring artists and songwriters, she focuses on ‘chasing the dream’ while understanding the realities of the music industry. She maintains a writers’ room on Music Row – named The Sangtuary – for her clients and their co-writers. She is a member of ASCAP (as a publisher), BMI, The Country Music Association (CMA), The Recording Academy, The National Association of Talent Directors (NATD) and a life member of Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI).

You can find out more about Preshias at https://www.collegeofsongology.com and find her blog at www.nashvillemusicline.com