How The Brad Wells Band chooses its set list ...

jpaprocki@islandpacket.comSeptember 12, 2012 

The Brad Wells Band will perform at the Hardeeville Catfish Festival at 6 p.m. Sept. 14 behind Hardeeville City Hall, 205 E. Main St. Details: www.bradwellsmusic.com

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  • The Brad Wells Band will perform at the Hardeeville Catfish Festival at 6 p.m. Sept. 14 behind Hardeeville City Hall, 205 E. Main St.

    Details: www.bradwellsmusic.com

Choosing a set list isn't so random for The Brad Wells Band. It's more of a science.

The namesake of the group is the program director at Y107.9, playing rock and pop hits from the '90s through today. So when his band is figuring what to feature, he mines the focus group and radio play research. What older hits are making a comeback? Which of today's rock is catching on?

"It helps tremendously because you get an idea about what works and what doesn't," he said.

The St. Louis native moved to the area from Louisiana more than a year ago to take the job at the station. Within a week of arriving he had placed an ad on Craigslist and managed to form The Brad Wells Band. They specialize in covering everything, including Matchbox 20, Van Morrison and Rihanna. Occasionally, the group will dip into original material. Wells released his debut album, "Stories of My Life," in 2010. But the band knows how to get at the heart of an audience.

"We play what people know," he said. "In a perfect world, we'd just play originals. But you have to be realistic."

In honor of his radio work, Wells gives us his top five countdown of his favorite songs to play live:

5. "Sorry," Brad Wells -- The easy-rocking breakup tune is off Wells' debut album.

4. "She Talks to Angels," The Black Crows -- The fourth single off the Crows' 1990 debut album remains a crowd favorite today.

3. "Blister in the Sun," Violent Femmes -- The Femmes' hit always gets the crowd going. "That's great live because of the energy," Wells said.

2. "Let Her Cry," Hootie and the Blowfish -- For a while, Wells would lead off a set with this Hootie song. "I don't know what it is about it, but I love doing it live," he said.

1. "Faith," George Michael -- "It's timeless," Wells said. "It's silly but everyone loves it."

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