Charles Bradley put out his first album No Time For Dreaming last year, and, being born in 1948, you might not be blamed for wondering, “What took him so long?” Bradley is an old R&B man, however one that never had a “day” to provide for a decline and recent resurgence as seems to be the case for a lot of old blues/R&B men today. For Charles Bradley, there is just a surge. He ran away from home as a child, and lived for many years as a nomad, but Bradley never really took his shot at singing, though he toyed with it over the years. Inspired by seeing James Brown at the Apollo in the 1960s, after many years of wandering, he ended up moving back home with his mother in New York in the ’90s where he took to performing as “Black Velvet” and doing James Brown impersonations. After being discovered by Daptone Records co-founder Gabriel Roth, Bradley ended up on a label that embraces soul, R&B and the blues.
With a rough and raspy yet still soulful voice, Bradley lives up to his nickname of “The Screaming Eagle of Soul” and when he howls “they don’t hear me cry, they don’t hear me try,” you believe him. With a classic ’60s soul sound (backed by The Menahan Street Band) and powerful voice, check out his first single “The World (Is Going Up In Flames).”