Charles Bradley – July 12, 2012

Charles Bradley  -  World Financial Center  -  July 12, 2012

Here’s my suggestion for an SAT analogy question – oops, they’ve been discontinued.  Okay, let’s make it for the GAT – the Gambino Attitude Test:  Tina Turner is to Bettye LaVette as James Brown is to….Charles Bradley.  I would say he’s ripping him off, except upon learning of his hard-knock backstory, Bradley acknowledges the seminal influence that Brown has had on his entire act – singing voice and style, persona, wardrobe, dance moves, heck, even the facial expressions!  So it’s more of an homage.  To his credit, no JB covers were detected by me.  Instead a soulful cover of N. Young’s “Heart of Gold”.  Fortunately, at the end of the set he wanders the audience giving hugs of love, etc. so I could pounce early and get his autograph.  Band leader Brenneck comes from the DAPtone family, lending additional credence to the forging-ahead modern R&B vibe.  Opening group He’s My Brother She’s My Sister have a name too long to put on my header here.  Their interesting semi-psychedelic musical blend is matched by the outfits.  The rudimentary percussion setup is complemented by the drummer tap-dancing on a sound-platform.  The headliner for this gig was actually Neko Case, but light had faded by the time she started, so no sketches.  Unfortunately, for me, too much of this indie- alt- music has hewn to a formulaic sound; by now, about 15 minutes of such is plenty for me, and that was the case here, especially when the words are at least half unintelligible.  Oh well.

Charles Bradley

Extraordinaires Horns

Thomas Brenneck

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Lauren Brown

Oliver Newell

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