The Screaming Eagle of Soul

I encountered the self-anointed Screaming Eagle of Soul, Charles Bradley for the first time just last week on the NPR program World Cafe. Bradley first began experimenting musically as a child by impersonating the singing and exaggerated stage antics of James Brown. However he spent a large portion of his life working odd jobs and living in obscurity. In 1996 he moved back to NYC after many years, and began performing as a James Brown impersonator. During these years, performing under the stage name Black Velvet, Bradley was discovered by Gabriel Roth co-founder of Daptone Records. Since being signed to Daptone in 2002 Bradley has released a ton of singles and two full length albums. The influence of Brown is unmistakeable, but soul is very much alive and reinvigorated by Bradley.


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