Charles Bradley has been through so much to get to where he is today, I’ve been reading about him tonight and how it is he became signed to the great Daptone Records. I’ve also been giving his new album a listen!
The brief version of this story and what ultimately led him to the mighty Daptone doors goes like this, (if you know lots about this funky soul man already, skip to the end!):
Charles Bradley first became interested in music after his sister took him to see James Brown live at the Apollo Theatre in 1962. So inspired by the show Bradley immediately began practicing his very own James Brown moves, mimicking his style of singing and stage characteristics. Years later in 1996, after Bradley had moved back to his Mums house in Brooklyn, he took his James Brown act to local clubs and began performing under the name of ‘Black Velvet.’ It was at this time that things began to get tough once more for Bradley, and after an episode in hospital where he nearly died following an allergic reaction to penicillin, his brother was then murdered.
Bradley continued to perform until his very much deserved break came through and this happened when Daptone Records co-founder Gabriel Roth discovered him performing as ‘Black Velvet,’ and the rest as they say……
Releasing his debut ‘No Time For Dreaming’ in 2011 (I def recommend this!), Bradley’s second album ‘Victim Of Love’ came out two years later (also well worth a listen), and just three days ago his third offering ‘Changes’ was released.
Covering Black Sabbath’s ‘Changes’ on his latest album, follow this link to the Daptone page to read about why this song means so much to Charles Bradley.
Today’s song is titled ‘Aint Gonna Give It Up’ and is a funk-fuelled glory box of sound! The screaming power of Bradley’s voice is epic and I dare say that in years to come, just as James Brown inspired him, Charles Bradley’s music will also go on to inspire…Listen above.
Grab your copy of ‘Changes’ from here