Charles Bradley has one of the most unusual stories you’ll find in the world of music. The guy hitchhiked across the country, worked odd jobs and played small shows for more than 20 years before he finally caught his break. Oddly, Bradley was discovered by his record label while performing as a James Brown impersonator named “Black Velvet.” Bradley, who is 64-years-old, now performs under his real name, and he just released a new album called Victim of Love.
Bradley is referred to as ”The Screaming Eagle of Soul.” Take one listen to his music and you’ll see exactly where the nickname comes from. Bradley’s incredible pipes quickly take you back to the heyday of 1960s soul music. He turned out several singles starting in 2002, but Charles Bradley didn’t release his debut album (entitled No Time For Dreaming) until 2011 (when he was 62). This is Bradley’s song ‘The World (Is Going Up In Flames)’:
Now, Charles Bradley is revealing his new material on Victim of Love. His song ‘Hurricane’ is currently the Single of the Week on iTunes (download it here). Bradley’s second studio album (recorded with the Menahan Street Band) is already receiving rave reviews. The Boston Globe calls Victim of Love “powerful,” while Billboard says the album is ”intense.” ’Strictly Reserved For You’, ‘Victim of Love’ and ‘Dusty Blue’ are sure to be the most popular jams on Bradley’s new release.
Even if you don’t dig his music, I encourage you to read about Bradley’s past (click here to check out the bio on his website). His story is so incredible that it’s been turned into a documentary called Charles Bradley: Soul of America. The film debuted at SXSW last year. Luckily, someone took notice of Charles Bradley when they did — otherwise he would have wallowed away in a small club impersonating someone else. We would have never heard his voice. ”The Screaming Eagle of Soul” arrived on the scene late in life, but as they say, it’s better late than never.
Have you ever listened to Charles Bradley? What do you think of his music? I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Don’t forget to also check out http://allaroundtim.com for the latest in the world of music, sports and travel!