Pittsburgh-based singer-songwriter Brad Yoder will be bringing his original music back to State College this weekend.
Yoder will be playing 7 p.m. tonight as part of a gallery opening featuring Jim Colbert and noon Sunday at Webster’s Bookstore Café.
Yoder said he tends to write music that ranges from "pretty folky to things that a little edgier."
Elaine Meder-Wilgus, owner of Webster’s Bookstore Café, said she believes Yoder is a great guitar player and has a “beautiful silken voice.”
“He’s just a treat to listen too,” Meder-Wilgus said.
Meder-Wilgus said the she thinks that what sets Yoder apart from other musicians is that every one of his songs are memorable.
“He doesn’t have a repertoire of 12 songs, he has 100 great songs to choose from,” she said.
Meder-Wilgus said Yoder’s songs and lyrics are polished and well-constructed.
“He has such consistency and is such a solid performer who’s been doing this for so long which really shows,” Meder-Wilgus said. “He such a confident entertainer.”
Yoder said he has been formally playing instruments since taking saxophone in sixth grade and guitar in eighth grade. He said it was the year after he graduated college that he really began to get into writing his own music.
“I was lucky to write a couple of good ones that got me excited about what I was doing,” Yoder said.
He said he thinks he’s gotten more particular about songwriting and word choice since then.
“I like the fact that I can play a song I wrote five, or 10, or 20 years ago. It’s like a snapshot of me at a different place and time, kind of like a scrapbook,” Yoder said.
Yoder added that having an idea and turning that idea into a song that he feels “really works” is an exciting aspect of what he does.
He said being able to share that with the audience and seeing its reactions is “a beautiful experience.”
Yoder likes playing everywhere, but has a particular fondness for small, funky spaces such as Webster’s, he said. He has played at Webster’s in the past and has a huge affection for the venue.
"I have memories playing there for college students who are now in their thirties and married," Yoder said.
He said he is looking forward to getting back, seeing and performing for those old friends.
Meder-Wilgus said Friday’s performance will be more of a “party atmosphere” and people attending Sunday’s performance will have more of a chance to sit down and focus their attention on Yoder’s music.
Jim Colbert, the featured artist, said he thinks Yoder is a great musician and is lucky to have him play for the opening.
Colbert said he has been featured in group exhibitions in the past but this is his first solo exhibition.
He said he would describe his art as more illustrations rather than fine art.