Funk, soul and R&B, especially in the traditional, more organic blends, are important musical genres in the history of modern American music, and have made significant contributions to the culture during the past 40 to 50 years, producing hundreds of chart-topping singles, of which there are dozens and dozens of the most revered songs ever recorded. Veteran musician Charles Bradley, 62, is at the center of the funk/soul/R&B revivalist movement in recent years, and his latest album, Victim of Love, pays homage to the roots of these uniquely American genres as the single, “Strictly Reserved For You,” so magically demonstrates.
In 2012, Bradley was the subject of the well-regarded music documentary, Soul of America, that premiered at the prestigious SXSW film festival (see trailer below) in March of last year. If you enjoy funk, soul, and to a lesser extent, R&B, the documentary is a must-see, and Victim of Love is definitely worth adding to your music collection. And as part of the revivalist movement of recent years, Bradley, and his label, Daptone Records (a spin-off label of Deuham Records), deserve the good reviews his albums, and the label’s efforts, have been racking up. Bradley is likely the best funk and soul male artist around today, and we predict his popularity will continue to grow.
Daptone co-founder Gabriel Roth first saw Bradley perform in 1996 under the moniker Black Velvet and introduced Bradley to Tom Brennek’s band. They recored together, largely ad-lib and on the fly, with Bradley making up lyrics to grooves right on the spot. Eventually those recordings were released on his 2011 debut, No Time For Dreaming. The commendable reception of his debut led to demand for him to tour across the United States as well as to Europe, Australia and Asia. On the heels of his sophomore release, Bradley is scheduled to perform next week in Maryland and Virginia, with more dates expected this summer. Spin wrote: “Charles Bradley’s rise to the limelight is utterly amazing.”
“Strictly Reserved For You” – Charles Bradley from Victim of Love on Dunham/Daptone Records on Dunham/Daptone Records