Michael Aukofer
Brad Layher
David Dibbern

(The only three person quartet in the known universe, since the fourth member, 
jack a. lope,is not a person)

Brad Layher Interviewed ~ by suzan

This is a project I would have never stumbled across if I didn't have connections. No, not industry music kinda connections.  I'm talking the kind of connections when God whispers, this would be a good one to support, and you listen to Him.  Yes music is one of the treasures God threw in for our pleasure.  What is good music is judgmental according to the listener.  What is great music; is music from the heart, music from the soul, music inspired by our Creator.  Again that doesn't make all "Christian" cataloged music great.  But this project is stamped with heart, soul and the Creator's inspiration.  Order the CD at: Order Form 

Return to the awesome website supporting this project at: Appalachian Home


I had secured some awesome feedback from Michael Aukofer on this project.  Read his heartfelt and insightful interview at:   Michael Interview   None of the guys are internet surfers, so I knew it would be tough to get their responses.  But Danl, the web master is awesome, and he got the interview into the hands of Michael. 

Brad I finally caught up with when he came back to the Twin Cities in November to do a couple concerts and a dulcimer workshop.  I first heard about this project from Brad at the last Mitch McVicker concert I attended on June 30.  That turned out to be his last concert for a few weeks.  Mitch was breaking to go to Thailand for Compassion International and Brad was heading into the studio to record this Appalachian project. 

Right after they finished recording, Brad reunited with Mitch McVicker and Joe Curet for some extensive, horizon chasing criss-crossing the country set of concerts. 

By the time I meet up again on November 10 in Stillwater, Mn  with them, the guys were very tired.  Yet the Spirit gave them strength and energy they had no idea still existed.  They pulled off a great concert.   Brad conducted his first ever, and very successful dulcimer workshop for a dozen eager students earlier that day.  Read a review of that workshop at: Dulcimer Workshop   I took advantage of the in-person meeting with Brad and ask him for some feedback on the making of the Appalachian Christmas CD. 

The miles that Brad had put on since the recording of the Appalachian were staggering.   So any free time he had was precious to his weary, tired soul. 

Month Minimum
Rd Hrs
July  2,100  45
August  5.500 105
September  5.400 115 
October  6,400 125 
November  4,200   85 
Subtotal 23.600 475

Exhaustive schedule, stage to set, show to do, yet Brad still honored my request and gave me almost a 1/2 hour right before that concert.  It looked like his post workshop pre-concert time was spend running in high gear.  He probably  spend 10,000 calories of energy, getting the endless sound equipment and instruments ready.

Just like his two concert mates, Mitch and Joe; Brad has a heart of gold.  Anything, anything at all I could do, to help promote this project for Brad was my top priority for him.  Of course, I also had to genuinely like the music to really do it.  Well, God took care of my liking the music, because yes, it is awesome and effected me in a profound way.   Read the review of the CD at:  Appalachian music review

Brad asked me, so did you like it?  I was honest and said Brad, I wouldn't be doing this if I didn't like it.  Yes I like you and your support of Mitch's music; but this project needed to stand firm on it's own for me to write a review and interview. 

The Interview

I asked him what was it like making the CD, recording it?

Brad:  Stated it was hard..(actually to get the effect of his response he said (harrrrrrd).   He said "recording in general is usually very tedious.  Especially with this; because with some instruments you can be a little messy.  When your strumming guitar, in the background of a full band it doesn't matter too much.  You know electric guitar you don't have to get all the notes just quite right.  But this music is fairly classical in style and there were only three guys playing on it, so it had to be a lot better."

I was awed with the dulcimer duet; one of my favorites on the album.  I wanted to know how did he come up with the arrangement on that one.

Brad:  Explained that he started out with the idea where it was one dulcimer part, but thought it would be cool if we could split it up.  With one doing a more rhythmic kinda thing and the other doing a more melody line on top of it.   And then used ideas of effect for the turn arounds and interludes between the two parts.  He had an idea how he wanted to end it.  A lot of it was putting harmonies on and putting the melody on, and thought in the end, it turned out pretty good. 

I wanted to get some idea behind the hidden track, which is so cool.  I knew it wouldn't of been a marketing thing,  so I inquired about the story behind that?

Brad: " We wanted to use the plastic tubes on the CD, but thought people would go: what is that?  So we decided to to a little split clip and put it at the very end.. and that was fun.  But then the song that starts out this hidden track, (after holy, holy, holy) just wasn't exciting, it wasn't happening like the others to put it out as another song.   As an instrumental CD, to us that track was just boring.  So we cut that song in half. We were able to split that song in master.  So on the hidden track thing, we really didn't want that song to be part of the album.  But then we went through all the work recording that song, so we just stuck it at the very end and then decided to just not list it. "

I had to know who's vocals all two seconds of them, Ha (does this disqualify it for a Dove instrumental award) were at the end of the CD.  I won't tell you what they say, but it is precious and very, very, cool!  Listen very, very carefully.  I had a hunch who it was, but then of the two voices, there were only three artists to choose from.

Brad confessed who it was, so I can rest on that issue.  Ask them sometime!

I asked him to tell me something about David.

Brad responded that David was a really good musician, really great.  He has a full time job at Koch Industries, which is a really big industry in Wichita.  He didn't know exactly what he does.  He said he's told me before and I don't understand it.  But that is why they do the concerts around Wichita, because he has to be back to work the next day.  It's really wearing for David in December.

I commented, that it looked like they had a whole string of concerts lined up for this December. 

Brad said yeah, it's great.  Last year they had twenty, now this year there are thirteen. (Note, there were more bookings and it's up to twenty again!)

I asked him if that would be tiring after coming off this extensive concert schedule he's finishing up with Mitch.

Brad said no, he's looking forward to doing those concerts.  The only down side is being away from his home in TN for another month.

At this point in the interview, I can't see him from the back, but I can hear Mitch on stage checking a few things out.   My thoughts are where did the time go!  So I ask Brad in a rush if he has any more thoughts he can quickly add about the Appalachian project. 

Brad said "as far as the caliber of recording stuff, I don't know where this stands.  All I know is it's a big accomplishment for us.  I think it's really good music.  And I think it's really good as far as getting it recorded.  It was fun and a lot of hard work was put into it."

As a follow up to his other project; getting his own CD recorded next year, he indicated yes that was definitely in the planning stages to happen.  He would be working on some details during any free touring time.  Brad indicated that his touring with Mitch 2000 would be done with the November 12 venue.  I mentioned that he could really use a break.

Brad shared that he was pretty tired, and that it would be good to get home.  He would be practicing for the Christmas concerts and getting ready for other projects. 

I couldn't get him to say what was going on his own CD, but I know from his 
in-concert delivery of three songs I've heard, it will be very high on my have to have list, no matter what he chooses.  Read more about Brad in another interview at:
Brad  Layher  ~  Interviewed by mcvickerfans

I would like to strongly encourage people to support this project and order the CD at: Order Form Not only is it a great gift for friends and family, ordering it is a great way to support the music ministries of spreading God's love these guys are involved in.  Keep this Appalachian trio in your prayers please. Also put in prayers Brad's other concert mates; Joe Curet and Mitch McVicker. 

Stay strong in Christ ~ suzan

Return to the awesome website supporting this project at:  Appalachian Home 

Read a music review of this project at Appalachian music review

Vote for your favorite song on the Appalachian Christmas Quartet   Vote 

To support his ministry, order music and the book directly from the official

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