Saturday, September 23, 2017

Charles Bradley RIP

Very sorry to hear of the death at the age of 68 of Daptone artist Charles Bradley. He was suffering from stomach cancer and his death comes only ten months after the death of fellow Daptone star Sharon Jones. Charles was a late developer, only getting noticed in the late 1990s when he performed as a James Brown impersonator under the name of Black Velvet. He was noticed by Gabriel Roth, co-founder of Daptone Records, and released several singles but it wasn't until 2011 that his debut album 'No Time For Dreaming' was released. Subsequent albums were 'Victims Of Love' and 'Changes', which was released last year.
Charles was scheduled to appear in London in December. I only saw him once, when he opened for Sharon Jones at the Barbican in 2011. Here's what I wrote at the time. 'Opening the show for Sharon was fellow Daptone artist Charles Bradley, nicknamed the Screaming Eagle of Soul because of his swooping arm movements. Charles is no newcomer, having been through hard times for most of his 63 years, and his impassioned and heartfelt singing is a true throwback to the great sixties soul men. His set included deep soul songs that allowed him to show off his gritty voice to good effect, including Heartaches and Pain, No Time For Dreaming, Lovin' You Baby, The World Is Going Up In Flames, How Long, Golden Rule and the autobiographical Why Is It So Hard (To Make It In America). I would love to see him in a sweaty club somewhere, rather than the staid surroundings of The Barbican, as his is an act that really gets into your soul.' RIP Charles.


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