Thank God there has been a resurgence of SOUL music lately thanks to help from Daptone Records out of Brooklyn, NYC. They started it off recording with Sharon Jones & The Dap- Kings and have since acquired such a good roster of soul musicians that they are taking it on tour this summer with the SUPER SOUL REVUE featuring Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, The Sugarman 3, Antibalas, and my personal favorite Charles Bradley.
I think a good amount of people out there know about Charles Bradley, but I think he is still a bit under the radar for some. I first heard him at a random record store about a year ago and couldn’t believe when the salesman told me that he was a current artist. I thought for sure he was an old school artist by his sound and he then proceeded to tell me a little bit about his story.
Charles was a James Brown impersonator for years in NYC performing shows under the name “Black Velvet” while taking care of his estranged dying mother and trying to keep a roof over both of their heads. At the age of 63, Charles was discovered by Gabriel Roth, co-founder of Daptone Records while performing in a club in Brooklyn. He recorded and released his first album, No Time For Dreaming, in 2011 and in 2012 a documentary about his life, Soul of America, debuted at the SXSW Film Festival. I highly recommend watching this film. If you like under-dogs and a feel good real life story, this is one for you. I was blown away and completely fell in love with this man and his music after watching this film.
In my constant search for SOUL, Charles Bradley could almost be considered one of the most soulful people I have come across from a musical perspective. You can hear it in his voice and the man exudes authenticity. His story is very special and so is his sound and I’m very happy that this funk/soul sound from the 1960′s and 1970′s is making its way back into the mainstream.
Take a look at Charles’ new video released today for “Where do we go from here?” and I think you might get it.
Follow along with the crew at Daptone for their European summer tour called The Daptone Super Soul Revue on their daily blog here.