No Time for Dreaming
Released earlier this year, No Time for Dreaming is a CD that got shuffled off to the side of my desk at first. I mean, who is Charles Bradley anyway? Well, when the tray closes on this CD, prepare to be catapulted back in time. Suddenly it’s the early ’60s and you’re at an Otis Redding show. It’s hot and sweaty, and the band is on fire. This is what Chares Bradley is all about. He’s Wilson Pickett and James Brown at the same time. And he’s one of the music industry’s best-kept secrets of the new millennium.
At the tender age of 61, Mr. Bradley is just getting around to releasing his first album. His bio alone would make a better movie than most of those autobiographies written by spoiled teen brats who lucked into fame and fortune. The press release tells us that Charles’ profession by trade is a cook. And he’s been at it all of his life, all over the country, until he was discovered doing his James Brown routine at a small local club in Brooklyn during his night off. The eventual resulting recording session yielded No Time for Dreaming. It stands to reason he’s been cooking because this is one hot dish he’s served up. He should consider his dues paid in full. Not even the best BBQ joint in Memphis can compete with the lip smackin’, smoky goodness of these tunes. In fact, it’s a surprise the CD booklet isn’t grease-stained. The greatest soul singers are like preachers and listeners are the flock. When Charles sings “Heartaches and Pain,” “I Believe in Your Love,” or “Why Is It So Hard,” one realizes it’s coming from someplace real. You’ll want to get up and testify. Mr. Bradley has obviously lived the emotions expressed in these songs and there’s no better attribute for authenticity. Charles may not be venturing into new territory, but he’ll take you to familiar places you’ll love.
Album Of The Month
Tedeschi Trucks Band
Revelator is the first album from the Tedeschi Trucks band. By now, blues aficionados know Susan Tedeschi is one bad mama jama of a blues artist. Even from her very first album released way back in 1998, the Bonnie Raitt comparisons were expected, especially since both cut their blues chops in and around the Boston area. Fast-forward a few years after a few more solo albums, Susan eventually met up with future husband and full-fledged Allman Brother Derek Trucks. Things clicked. The two share an obvious chemistry, with Susan often taking the point and leading the way. Make no mistake, this girl can play guitar and sing while Derek seems to hang back, adding his tastefully restrained and measured slide guitar licks. He’s one of the best slide guitarists ever and Duane Allman and Lowell George would be justifiably proud.
The 11-member band has all the right grooves and together they traverse through funktified blues and gritty R&B, rockin’ and staying tight all the while. The band borrows many elements from the southern region of the country. Predictably New Orleans and Memphis figure heavily in boogie numbers like “Until You Remember” and “Bound for Glory.” Susan’s vocals, which seem to get better with every album, mesmerize on songs like “Midnight in Harlem” and “These Walls.” Susan manages to seduce you and then take you to church, which is alright with us. We highly recommend catching their act live, because they absolutely kill it. The only remaining question is, what’s this album doing on a classical music label?