Charles Bradley is one of these recording artists that has lived a life story that is truly remarkable, originally hanging around with soul Legends like James Brown and Ottis Redding. Unlike Brown and Redding who went on to become the biggest house hold names in soul music (lets face it who hasn’t danced to a few James Brown records in their day or Ottis Redding) , he sank off the face of the Earth struggling with drug addiction, homelessness and racism.
He was actually discovered as a James Brown tribute artist, unearthed and brought back into the day light with his first album which is one of my fave albums from the past couple of years, largely for bringing back real soul music. not letting it get washed down or trying to fit in with modern soul giving it some real heart pounding values.
Right from the off Charles Bradley The screeching Eagle of Soul kicks off with Strictly Reserved For You, the only way I can sum it up as that Its the sounds of James Browns cracked soul being sprinkled into a deep fat friar of stodgy Stax sounds that has been perfectly gift wrapped by his backing band, who pretty much perfectly replicate Booker T and The MGs grooves. Its got the whole classic feel which makes me want to run around and hug people because Charles Bradley gives so much warmth, he’s someone who just wants to sing.
Those who have seen him live along with myself can testify that his shows are so full on with deep feelings and true love and this is something that he has successfully recreated on record. If you like this then check out his new album Victims Of Love which came out last week.