A classically trained pianist and worship leader of 14 years, 26-year-old Brad Hooks was born in the southern-fried metropolis of Charlotte, NC. At age 12, his family moved to San Francisco where they planted a church and rehabilitation center in the city’s Tenderloin District, an area of town known mostly for drugs, prostitution and homelessness. Barely a teenager, Brad began leading worship for his family’s primarily homeless congregation, which soon became known as the Hot Dog Church due to its feeding program that served - you guessed it - hot dogs.
At age 15, with his baritone vocals and powerful piano, the wide-eyed, redheaded teenager initiated the award-winning band Caterfly, which toured during Brad's high school and college years. A versatile group, Caterfly both performed original songs as well as led worship for youth groups, church conventions, and multi-denominational gatherings. It was during this time that their song "Learn" became a local radio hit on San Francisco’s The Bridge 100.7FM.
Brad married and moved to Santa Barbara, where he was featured in Santa Barbara Magazine as "One To Watch" and began playing keys for 3-time world champion surfer and singer/songwriter Tom Curren, with whom he has toured Australia, South America and Europe. The next year, he and his wife relocated to Los Angeles. Here Brad once again partnered with his family in the starting of a new church and homeless foundation, both under the heading of West Coast Care. Brad continues in expanding his music career - now composing and producing for other artists - while heralding worship as the forefront of his calling.
Music Review: Hymnastics| Posted January 09, 2010
By Dan Westfall
LABEL: DROWNING ROBOTS
RELEASE DATE: OCTOBER 17, 2009
RATING: 4.5 OUT OF 5
Brad Hooks has done what many have been clamoring for, but no one has had the guts to do. He has successfully married two words that have not been together for what seems an eternity. These two words are “catchy” and “worship.” Yes, I assert that Brad Hooks has made worship music fun and serious at the same time. Gone are the days of super-serious U2 textures, and here are memorable melodies that cause people to get up and dance for the Lord.
“Doxology” starts off Hymnastics a slow, but it sets the serious tone of the lyrics. “Oh How I Love Jesus” is far and away one of the best worship songs I have heard in ages mainly because it has a catchy melody that will stick in your head, and it mixes slow and fast dynamics. “Jesus Paid It All” continues with the styling of the previous track, and is a gem in its own right.
“Be Thou My Vision”: bet you never thought you would see such a classic hymn brought to new life. Well that is exactly what Mr. Hooks manages. “Faith Is The Victory” touts one of the best messages to grace a worship album. Hooks discusses the need for the Church to come together as a collective whole despite affiliation differences.
“I Need Thee Every Hour” continues Mr. Hooks tradition of making catchy worship music by providing the most upbeat and guitar oriented track on Hymnastics. “I Have Decided To Follow Jesus” breaks new barriers by providing a single acoustic guitar for the majority of the track. Most worship leaders turn away from this approach, but I believe it heightens the seriousness and effect of the song for the better. Finally, “When We All Get To Heaven” is a proper ending to Hymnastics: catchy and calculated pop-worship.
Mr. Hooks is a master of creating hooks for worship music. Without a doubt, Hymnastics is the best album to grace the Christian worship music scene in the past years. The beauty of Hymnastics is its perfect blend of serious lyrics and catchy melodies. Brad Hooks makes serious worship fun. I wish he could lead worship at my church.
Review copy provided courtesy of Drowning Robots Records.