Pastor, evangelist, author, singer, songwriter and guitarist, “The Rev” preaches in churches every Sunday, but on Saturday nights you’ll find him sharing his amazing testimony and blistering guitar licks onstage in blues clubs and at music festivals, prisons and biker rallies.
Bratcher’s brand of the blues has been embraced by the Christian market and the mainstream blues industry alike, allowing him to play at both Christian music festivals such as Creation East, Creation West Coast and Rock the Light, and at blues festivals such as Simply the Blues Festival and Boxcar Full of Blues. He has appeared at venues along with Christian artists including Mercy Me, Newsboys and Third Day, and with blues greats including Grammy winner and NARAS Lifetime Achievement Award winner David “Honeyboy” Edwards, Blues Music Award winners Zac Harmon and Otis Taylor, and Livin’ Blues Gold Award winner Hubert Sumlin, one of Rolling Stone’s “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.”
According to Blues Review Magazine, Bratcher’s upcoming release, The Electric Rev, “…erupts with a blast of righteously down-home funk. It’s as if Ray Charles has been reincarnated in the body of a character from a Woody Allen movie.”
Produced by Mike O’Neil Nashville, TN and legendary Grammy Award-winning producer Jim Gaines (Carlos Santana, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Journey), The Electric Rev showcases performances that are both intimate and raw. From the New Orleans street march of “Green Bananas” to the Sunday morning sound of “Pray for Me,” The Electric Rev speaks the language of the blues with a spirit that touches the heart and soul. “When the Blues Come” and “One Rock” express Bratcher’s love and respect for the blues, while the Dobro-driven songs “Elijah’s Road” and “How Far Down” come straight from the soul of a man who knows just how far down the bottom is.
“I was a wild kid, always running away and getting into trouble, doing drugs while playing guitar with blues musicians,” remembers Bratcher. “All I ever wanted to do was be a guitar player,” he recalls, “but the substance abuse stole my dream.”
At 22, Bratcher gave his life to the Lord and was healed of his addictions to drugs and alcohol. He became an ordained minister, and after five years on staff at one of the fastest growing churches in America he began writing music and singing again, weaving songs around his sermons during community outreaches. The audience response was phenomenal, and soon his speaking schedule was taking him to churches and performance venues across the U.S.
Bratcher realized that God was calling him to full-time evangelism, although his unique mix of message and music is a far cry from Billy Graham. Now he is sharing his music and the love of his Savior with more people than he ever dreamed. “I was onstage at a music festival in Kansas with thousands of people in the audience, and the Holy Spirit said to me, ‘How many churches would you need to go to before you stand in front of that many lost people?’ My preaching puts me in front of thousands, but my music has put me in front of millions.”
Now, Bratcher is reaching even more people as the bandleader and frequent commentator for the new Sky Angel/TBN TV show “Love, Marriage and Stinking Thinking,” hosted by noted marriage & family speaker/author, pastor Mark Gungor and his co-host, actress Nancy Stafford (”Matlock”).
“I want to inspire as many people as possible and to point them to the reality of the love that God has for them,” says Bratcher. “The blues is my most effective way to communicate.”