‘The World (Is Going Up In Flames)’ by Charles Bradley

I’ve only lately been getting into soul and funk and one of the labels I really enjoy listening to is Daptone Records. Recently they signed Charles Bradley, a man with a voice of raw soul. His sound is that of both beauty and power and as Daptone Records puts it, it’s a voice that’s “evolved from a lifetime of paying dues”. Bradley’s story is filled with decades of day jobbing and nomadic wandering. His bio tells of hard times and the challenges of life but it also speaks of a man who seemed destined to preform, thanks partly to seeing James Brown play The Apollo at an early age. From chef to handyman, Bradley traveled all over the states just trying to get by. While always sticking to his dream it seemed that luck just wasn’t on his side. Fortunately, Bradley was spotted in a small Brooklyn club by Daptones’ record head Gabriel Roth and was quickly signed to the label.

His first release through Daptone is the excellent ‘The World (Is Going Up in Flames)’ which features another of my favourite’s from the label The Menahan Street Band. The video, above, is a great insight into the man and his sound. Shot around the streets where he was raised in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn – it also features the Bushwick projects where he currently lives. It’s great to read the story behind such an amazing voice and terrific to see that he’s finally starting to get the recognition he deserves. His debut album ‘No Time For Dreaming’ will be released on the 25th and if early reviews are anything to go by it’s a terrifically raw and honest soul record that put’s Bradley’s story to the soundtrack it deserves.

Philip

January 17, 2011