New Music Discovery | Charles Bradley

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 . Don’t forget to also check out http://allaroundtim.com for the latest in the world of music, sports and travel!

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New Music Discovery | Alex Clare

No one said being a musician is easy — just ask Alex Clare. While trying to break into the London music scene, Clare trained to be a chef. After his debut album failed in the United Kingdom, Clare moved to Israel to sell real estate and go back to school. He was forced to do anything to stay afloat…until a commercial changed Alex Clare’s life.

I’m sure you’ve heard Clare’s hit song Too Close — you probably just don’t know it…

Yup, that’s Alex Clare. His song Too Close (watch the official music video here) is the voice of Microsoft’s advertising campaign for Internet Explorer 9. That one commercial turned Clare from a faltering musician into an instant success. Right after the ad’s debut, Too Close received 100,000 digital downloads, and quickly became an international hit. Too Close reached No. 1 on the German charts, and is now being distributed in the United States by Universal Republic.

Alex Clare Commercial Too Close

Alex Clare
Courtesy: AlexClare.com

Alex Clare’s The Lateness Of The Hour album goes well beyond Too Close though. I honestly didn’t even know Clare sang that jam until a week or so ago. I had seen the commercial, and even heard the song on the radio, but I honestly never thought much of it (I can’t say dubstep sings to my earlobes). My sister, who introduces me to more new music than anyone, wanted to play some of Clare’s songs for me, and that’s when I put two and two together. I think more of Too Close now than I did before, but it’s Clare’s variety that I really like.

Clare isn’t just a one-trick pony. He has something to offer to everyone. Up All Night has a reggae tinge to it, while Clare slows it down for I Love You, showcases his vocals on I Won’t Let You Down, and brings soul to Hands Are Clever. It’s hard to believe the same person sings all these tracks. The difference between Too Close and  I Won’t Let You Down are night and day, but I think Clare excels on several different levels.

Alex Clare says he’s out to prove he’s more than a one-hit wonder. He’s currently touring Europe and the United States, and says he plans on recording a new album at the end of the year that will be released in 2013.

What do you think of Alex Clare? Like him or not, I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. You can also find me on YouTube, Pinterest and LinkedIn. For more on the world of music — visit my website http://allaroundtim.com!

New Music Discovery | Allen Stone

When you see Allen Stone you’ll likely ask, “Who in the world is this guy?!” But, when you hear Allen Stone sing you’ll say, “Holy cow (for lack of a better word)!” The Chewelah, Washington, native is taking the music world by storm, and there’s no slowing him down. If this is your introduction to Allen Stone — get used to hearing his name, because his music isn’t going away anytime soon.

Allen Stone Music | Capitol Hill Block Party

Allen Stone performs at the Capitol Hill Block Party in Seattle

I’m not the only one who shares this opinion either. The New York Times says Allen Stone’s music “reaches back four decades to the late 1960s and early ’70s, when songwriters like Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Donny Hathaway and Bill Withers brought introspection and social commentary to soul music.” While MTV bluntly says ”Allen Stone has the best effing voice I’ve ever heard, and there’s no two ways about it.” And that’s just scratching the surface. NPR, USA Today, Billboard and many others have also given Allen Stone rave reviews. Oh, yeah…he’s also performed on the Late Show with David Letterman, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, and Conan.

Up until now, Allen Stone has created this success on his own. He released three albums by the time he was 24-years-old. His third album wasn’t out for more than 48 hours before it launched to No. 2 on the iTunes R&B/Soul chart. That was before he signed with a label — which is a different story now. Allen Stone recently signed with Dave Matthews’ label ATO Records. They’ve since taken Allen Stone’s song ‘Sleep‘ to the radio, and they’re re-releasing his already popular self-titled album on July 31st. Instead of just being on iTunes though, Allen Stone’s music will now be available in physical locations for the first time.

Even if you don’t like R&B or soul music; you have to listen to this. I hope you appreciate Allen Stone’s music as much as I do. Like I said before — it’s a very unique look with a very unique voice. Enjoy!

Pretty impressive, huh?!

Often credited for being from Seattle, Allen Stone was actually born in Chewelah (pronounced chew-EE-lah), a small town of about 1,500 people located in Eastern Washington (about 45 minutes north of Spokane). He began singing in his dad’s church, leading worship by the time he was 14. I actually learned about Allen Stone through a friend of mine that grew up with him in Chewelah. To say that there’s hometown pride is an understatement: I mentioned to a friend on Twitter the other day that Allen Stone is from Chewelah. Stone noticed the tweet and responded by simply saying, “CHEWELAHHHHHH”.

No matter where he’s from — it’s all about where Allen Stone is going. His music is ready for lift off, and we should all feel fortunate we’re along for the ride.

What do you think of Allen Stone’s music? Do you have a favorite Allen Stone song? I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment right here, or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook and/or Google+. Don’t forget you can also find me on YouTube and Pinterest, and read more about music right now on http://allaroundtim.com.