LIVE MUSIC: Charles Bradley and His Extraordinaires @ The 9:30 Club - 4/5/12

Charles Bradley is the motherf@$#ing TRUTH.

I could just end this review right there and that would be all you ever need to know about Charles Bradley, but that would be selling his story short. In 1962, Bradley saw James Brown for the first time at the legendary Apollo Theater, and that performance would kick start Bradley’s life long love of music. But it wouldn’t be until 1996 when he returned to Brooklyn after travelling the country working odd jobs for 20 some years that he would see that love realized. Performing under the name “Black Velvet” Bradley performed mainly as a James Brown impersonator for years until Gabriel Roth (of Daptone records fame) stumbled upon in somewhere around 2002 and the rest is, as they say, history. A history that last Thursday, made its way to the stage of the 9:30 Club to deliver its message...of motherf@$#ing TRUTH.

Charles Bradley - a whole lot of "UGGGGH", sweat and love.One thing you must know is that Charles Bradley is no soul imitator. He’s not affecting the music of years gone by. He’s lived his music and pours every single last bit of himself into his songs. Summoning up the spirits of Otis and Marvin on tracks like “The World (Is Going Up In Flames)” and “Golden Rule”  (off of 2011’s killer No Time For Dreaming), Bradley preached his message of love, love and more love to anyone in the audience would who would hear it. But that love was by no means puritanical. Oh no. Drawing every bit of hip grinding sexuality out of his songs “Lovin’ You, Baby”, “I Believe In Your Love”, and well, pretty much everything else he sang, Bradley humped, sweated and side-splitted his way back and forth across the stage, becoming much more than your everyday 63 year old soul singer - he was a goddamn force of nature.

And that may be all you need to know about Charles Bradley. Delivering a performance that was soulful, emotional, and so deeply satisfying that it left more than a few (myself included) at a loss for words, it’s safe to say that Bradley and his Extraordinaires are what its all about. Music, life, love - you name it. It’s all wrapped up into a nice sweaty, sexy, funky, soul powered bow. So when Charles Bradley hugs his way through the audience telling people that he loves them (and he does!), return the favor and tell him you love him back. After all, the man likely just gave you one of the most life affirming musical performances that you are ever going to see, so giving a little back isn’t just fair, it’s sort of the whole point.

Click below to see the rest of our shots from the show!
 The motherf@$#ing TRUTH

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