Charles Bradley – The World (Is Going Up In Flames) (2011)

“Charles Bradley may be the greatest soul singer you’ve never heard of. But at 62, the raw-voiced Bradley’s time has come.”

Charles Bradley is no stranger to hard times. Born in Gainesville, Florida in 1948 and raised in Brooklyn, New York, he spent the better part of his childhood living on the streets. One of the more optimistic moments of his childhood came in 1964, when his sister took him to see James Brown at The Apollo. Brown’s energy and showmanship would form a lasting impression on Charles. He went home and immediately began practicing microphone tricks with a broom attached to a string, imitating the Godfather’s every move. With his newfound inspiration came an urgent desire to get off the streets and make something of himself. [Source]


[via Peter Elsnab]

Eugene Evans – Too Much Pain (1968)

King’s Serious Soul: Too Much Pain compilation has turned out to be one of my favorite recent discoveries. It was released nearly six years ago, but I never checked into it until one of the soul kids brought it to my attention a couple of months ago. As the title might suggest, there are a host of gritty southern soul offerings on this LP, the majority of which are rare recordings by relatively obscure artists.

I had honestly never heard of Eugene Evans prior to copping Serious Soul, and I was disappointed to eventually learn that he only cut a couple of sides throughout the entirety of his career. Both singles were originally issued on Hollywood Records, and may have even been recorded during the same studio session.

Evans himself is credited as the songwriter on “Too Much Pain”, but the James Brown influence is palpable, emulating the Godfather’s more tormented and highly emotive material. I’m not the least bit mad at the fact that this track borders on being derivative~ its familiar essence fits as comfortably as a worn pair of kicks. Never, ever hesitate to get up on your good foot, soul bambinos! [Source]

[via Morten Katd Pay]