A true old school soul brother finds an excellent springboard in the young New York hipsters doing new music, which reminds us why 60’s soul is so unforgettable and uplifting. Life experience and passion ooze from Charles Bradley’s raw bluesy voice, while Menahan Street Band backs him up in that stripped-down funky style that’s so hard to find these days.
Born in Florida in 1948, but raised on the mean streets of New York, Charles Bradley wanted to be a soul singer ever since his sister took him to see James Brown at the Apollo Theater in 1962. His voice fit the part, but life made him a cook, who only sometimes performed as Black Velvet. The dream came true only in the last decade, when Daptone Records’ Gabriel Roth saw Charles live and introduced him to guitarist Thomas Brenneck. The two became friends and started to write songs together. Brenneck founded Menahan Street Band and steered Charles away from James Brown routines towards more reserved, bluesier southern soul style. Utilizing Bradley’s own tough luck experiences their vision blooms with stunning soulfulness on their recent debut album No Time For Dreaming.