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Brad Yoder – Coffeehouse Review

by Christy Walters


Guitarist Brad Yoder and bassist Jason Rafalak kick off the coffeehouse music series. - Photo by Marissa Fiedler for The Insider.

The coffeehouse music room is dimly lit for a Monday night. Students avoiding responsibility wander in and out of the rooms of Village Hall with Starbucks cups in hand, chattering about grueling tests and people they can’t stand. Suddenly, guitar chords cut through the white noise of chatter. Brad Yoder is tuning his guitar while bassist Jason Rafalak makes some last minute adjustments to his instrument. They’re getting ready to kick of the Coffeehouse Music Series for the fall semester.

One of Yoder’s first songs of the night, “Deep Down”, an anthem about showing who you truly are, was reminiscent of pop music of the 1960s. The lyrics, stating, “deep down, there’s a map inside of you,” proclaim that each person is an individual, a common theme of hippie-era music.

While slower tunes like “Deep Down” showed off Yoder’s clear, high register, songs such as “World on Fire” showed a fun, upbeat, less perfect side to his voice.

Yoder’s two most enjoyable songs were “The Wedding Song,” and “Waiter.” Both songs were written for songwriting contests. “The Wedding Song,” won first place in the contest in 2013 and “Waiter” won first place in the contest in 2009.

Brad Yoder performing

Brad Yoder performing one of his award winning songs. – Photo by Christy Walters for The Insider.

Yoder used a white board to describe his writing process to the half-full music room. He wrote words like love, rings, bride/groom, cake and music on the board, explaining that he was required to use those words in “The Wedding Song,” to be considered for a prize.

Yoder’s best moment of the night, however, did not have anything to do with his music. He told a funny and captivating story about his trip to Pitt-Greensburg that involved a missing guitar strap, parkway traffic, and leaving the flashers of his car on for a few hours.

Yoder does various shows around Pittsburgh and anyone that missed his coffeehouse tour can go to for show dates and more information.

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