Saturday, 23 March 2013

The Ad Libs - Liberty State Park (1991)

Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires - Live - London - 14/06/2013

Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires
Islington Assembly Hall

Friday 14th June 2013

Buy Tickets HERE

If you’re looking for a story that best summarizes the last year in the life of Charles Bradley, you'd be hard pressed to find a better one than the night he and his band showed up in Utopia, Texas to play an outdoor show in the middle of a thunderstorm. "It was just raining, raining, raining," Bradley recalls. "I walked out onstage, and there were about 800 people there – maybe more – all of them just standing out there in the rain and the mud." The band settled in and fought their hardest against the elements, but – for a moment, anyway – it seemed that nature was too much for even the mighty Charles Bradley. About halfway through the show, the power went out, leaving both the band and the drenched fans in total darkness.

At any other show, that would be understood as the meteorological signal for "Quittin' Time," but if there's one thing the last year of tireless touring before enrapt audiences has proven, it's that Charles Bradley does not put on typical shows. "I could hear them screaming, 'Charles Bradley! Charles Bradley we love you,'" Bradley smiles. "And so when the lights came back on, I said, 'If all of you can stand out there in the rain and get soaking wet because you want to see me perform – to see me do something that I love to do – then you know what? I'm gonna get wet, too.'" And with that, Bradley jumped off the stage and into the crowd. "They went completely crazy!" he laughs. "We were laughing. We were hugging. We were getting muddy. It was just love."

That's his whole persona in a single tiny scene: Charles Bradley, victim of love. Other artists appreciate their audiences, just as many are grateful for them, but few artists love their fans as much and as sincerely as Charles Bradley. By now, his remarkable, against-all-odds rise has been well-documented – how he transcended a bleak life on the streets and struggled through a series of ill-fitting jobs – most famously as a James Brown impersonator at Brooklyn clubs – before finally being discovered by Daptone's Gabriel Roth. The year following the release of his debut, No Time For Dreaming, was one triumph after another: a stunning performance at South By Southwest that earned unanimous raves; similarly-gripping appearances at Bonnaroo, Austin City Limits, Newport Folk Festival and Outside Lands (to name just a few); and spots on Year-End Best Lists from Rolling Stone, MOJO, GQ, Pasteand more. Victim of Love, Bradley's second record, is a continuation of that story, moving past the 'heartache and pain' and closer to the promise of hope.

"The first record taps into maybe two or three feelings," explains Thomas Brenneck of Menahan Street Band, Bradley's producer, bandleader and co-writer. "But the range of emotion on this record is huge. The last record was written by a man living in the Brooklyn projects for 20 years. This record is more than just a poor man's cry from the ghetto. This time, he's grateful." Bradley agrees. "I was singing about all these hardships that I've been through. I wanted people to know my struggles first, but now I want them to know how much they have helped me grow."

Drop into any moment of Victim of Love at random and that message is immediately apparent. Where the last record opened with the apocalyptic "The World (is Going Up in Flames), Victim begins “Strictly Reserved For You,” a track that sees Bradley grabbing his girl, jumping in a car and hitting the highway for a romantic getaway. In "You Put The Flame on It," Bradley sings "My life is gold – you put the flame on it," backed by a horn chart that sounds like it was lifted from a lost Four Tops single. And on “Victim of Love,” the song that gives the album its name, Bradley sings, "I woke up this morning, I felt your love beside me," over the kind of gentle acoustic guitar that wouldn't sound out of place on a classic Neil Young album.

Which brings up another point: with the new subject matter comes a broader musical scope. Where Dreaming hewed close to the rough-and-ready R&B sound Daptone has become known for, Victim is stylistically more restless, edging closer into the kind of psychedelic soul The Temptations explored in the early '70s. "I've been calling it 'New Direction Daptone,'" enthuses Brenneck. "People are not going to expect this. There's a lot of psych influences on this record, a lot of fuzz guitar. I'm pushing the band & the arrangements further out, which in turns has to make Charles go further out."

That new direction is most apparent in "Confusion." Opening with the kind of echo-drenched vocal and charging rhythmic cadence that characterized Curtis Mayfield’s "(Don’t Worry) If There's a Hell Below, We're All Going to Go," Bradley calls down fire on crooked businessmen and duplicitous leaders. "That song is about a lot of those big politicians who think they can make everybody's decisions for them," says Bradley. "The higher class think they can make up the rules for us. But a lot of those big wigs have never really been down to the harsh life. They don't know how it feels. So I'm trying to talk to people who are going through those hardships." As is typical of Bradley, the song comes off not as a roaring jeremiad, but as a deeply-felt note of sympathy for the oppressed and beaten-down.

But if the album has a summary statement, it's "Through the Storm." Over a deep gospel groove, Bradley expresses his gratitude – to his fans, his friends and to God – for their support, their dedication and their devotion. "When the world gives you love," he sings, "It frees your soul." This is the new message of Charles Bradley, the Bradley who has emerged from the heartache stronger and more confident, overflowing with love to share. This is Charles Bradley, victim of love -- gratefully returning the joy that has been given to him.

"It's all about what you give." Bradley says, leaning hard into that last word. "I don’t care how great a singer you are. I don't care how much talent you have. If you give, and if the people feel what you're giving, you're blessed."

"Charles is deeper than me and you put together," Brenneck says, "His message is, 'I've lived through this. I know what you're going through. And if I can make it, you can, too.' He gets offstage every night thinking he didn't give enough. I say, 'Charles, if you gave any more, you'd have a heart attack.'"

"All I've been trying to show the world is the love I have to give," says Bradley. "I hope that when you look at me, you're gonna see a person who walks this planet in a way that, when the Lord calls him home, He says, 'Well done, servant.' If God can see that I've loved all as He's loved us – that's all I can do. And that’s what I fight to do."

(taken from AGMP)

Charles Bradley - Strictly Reserved For You (Released 2nd April 2013 on Daptone / Dunham Records)

FUNK - A Documentary 1960s - 2013 - A Geoffrey Pheasant Film

Part 1

Part 2

Bill ''Ravi'' Harris & The Prophets - Funky Sitar Man (1997)

Bill Cosby - Blues Theme

Too damn Funky! And not even a "Cosby Sweater" in sight!

Buddy & Stacey (With Jimi Hendrix) - Shotgun (1965)

Soul Survivor - The James Brown Story

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Mo' Soul Guest Mix - Sasha Gonzo (Wake & Bake / Fun City Shingaling) -Soul2Soul

Welcome back to Mo' Soul!

It is with great pleasure that I drop my first Guest Mix here at Mo' Soul.

Sasha Gonzo is a member of the Fun City Shingaling DJ crew. They host the longest running Funk and Soul party and club nights in St. Peterburg, Russia. Guest DJ's at their great nights have included Keb Darge, Ian Wright, Jazzman Gerald, Snowboy and Tobias Kirmayer amongst others.

When Sasha isn't dropping rare records for the St. Petersburg crowds he is part of Russian Funk outfit, Wake & Bake, who have released several excellent 45s already on the scene. I strongly urge you to seek them out!

Sasha has kindly put together a nice Soul mix to help get your week off on the 'Good Foot' so head over to my Mixcloud page now where it's waiting for you. You can also catch more of Sasha's mixes over at his Mixcloud page HERE.

Stay safe and I'll be back here shortly with some more of the good stuff for you!

Track List

Clarence Reid – Good Old Days – Alston

The Magic Tones – It’s Better To Love – Mah’s

Ann Sexton – You’ve Been Gone Too Long – Seventy Seven

Darrow Fletcher – What Have I Got Now – Jacklyn

Sam Dees – Lonely For You Baby – SSS

Bobby Bland – Yum Yum Tree – Duke

Tower Of Power – This Time It’s Real – Warner

The Shades Of Blue – Lonely Summer – Impact

Towanda Barnes – Love Slips Thru My Fingers – Jo-Mar

Clarence Jones – Don’t Mind Waiting – Mar-Vel

Rocky Roberts – Just Because Of You – Stibbe

Lee Barry – I Don’t Need It – Downey

Detroit Soul – All Of My Life – Music Town

Willie Gresham – I Cried Boo Hoo – Majesty

The Ethics – I Want My Baby Back - Vent


Mo' Soul Guest Mix - Sasha Gonzo (Wake & Bake / Fun City Shingaling) - Soul2Soul by Mo' Soul on Mixcloud

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Boz Scaggs - Lowdown - 2004

James Brown & The JB's - Escapism / Make It Funky - Soul Train - 1973

B-Movie Monster Madness!

The Champs - Tequila - 1958

Muhammad Ali Duet With Sam Cooke - 1964

Pastor & Sis. Elma Butler Appreciation Musical

Otis Redding Special - Ready, Steady, Go!

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Whitey's Lindy Hoppers - Hellzapoppin'

Marva Whitney - Tell Mama

One for Mother's Day!

Bettye Swann - Man Who Said No (1965)

Lee Fields - Full Performance (Live on KEXP)

Chuck Jackson - Any Day Now - (1965)

Mr Ducktail (The Demon Barber Of Carnaby Street) - It's Something Hell's

It's Something Hell's

Unit 2:16
Kingly Court
Carnaby Street
W1B 5P

07931 270786


Opening hours: Open 11am-7pm - Mon-Sat

Tube: Oxford Circus

Little Richard - Rip It Up

Frank "Sugarchile" Robinson - Caldonia