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Artist: Bradley J. Preston
Location: Desert Storm, The Gulf War
Home: Chatham Ontario
Genre: Country vocalist
Note: Drummer Dave Foltz is also from Chatham.
Bradley has been out on the road working hard, but has been very fortunate to perform on a tour that only a select few could ever get the chance of doing. Playing for the Military in a war zone is the experience of a life time, combining the happiness music brings to people in the most crucial and trying times, to the reality of people surviving under extreme conditions in the world. I thought the article should be shared with Bradley’s home town, to show the effort and risk he has made to share his talent and love of music world wide.
Continued article from “The Gulf View” from the above picture:
“We were out at places in the middle of the desert to do some performances,” said Bradley J. Preston, lead singer for the band. “They really appreciated the show. Soldiers literally came up crying after the performance, especially since they hadn’t seen anyone in awhile.”
The five-member band, out of Nashville, played favourites from Diamond Rio, Clint Black, Bob Seger, Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson, Hank Williams JR., the Kentucky head Hunters and more. The two hour show entertained about 400 people at Khobar Towers.
Country and western fans crowded the asphalt in front of the stage to line dance and two step to all their country favourites. Temperatures in the 80’s made the evening a pleasant, outdoor gathering at the base’s open air stage.
“This was our third show in the Dhahran area,” said Preston, whose group volunteered for the DOD Over-seas Shows. “We had about a month to get ready to come on this tour, but we’d do it a gain in a second.”
The group played for Army and Air Force men and women at the base’s two recreation facilities before Monday evening’s concert appearance. The group dedicated one song to the Army’s Tennessee Volunteers Reserve unit on temporary duty to the area.
The band travelled to remote locations in the Saudi desert and throughout Kuwait to entertain soldiers supporting Desert Storm. Preston travelled with steel guitar player Kelley Greene, bass player Art Bittner, lead guitarist Robbie Wilson and drummer Dave Foltz.
The band left for the United States Thursday, but not before making an impact on the military members still in the Middle East, and not before being affected by the people here.
“Thanks for the entertainment,” one soldier said between sets. “And thanks for coming all the way out here to do it.”
Bradley has played in several local country bands in Chatham including the Melody Ramblers, along side country music star Michelle Wright. He has recorded several singles over the years with his first coming out in 1983. He moved to Nashville and has toured heavily throughout the U.S.A. and Canada . This current tour of the Middle East will also take him to England and Germany. In 1988 he appeared on the Ernest Tubb Show which broadcasts from Nashville and is host to the top country recording acts. Bradley is also the first Canadian to sign with King’s Universal Label, as well as being the first Canadian to appear on the Nashville Network show “You Can Be A Star.” In 1992, Bradley returns home to perform at the Festival of Nations next year, followed by a tour of Eastern Canada.