Charles Bradley Celebrates New Album At The Beacon

Charles Bradley Celebrates New Album At The Beacon 3-23-16

When I interviewed Charles for the first time three years ago, he opened up to the extent that not only do I feel like I really know him but I feel like he’s a friend.  He’s an amazing character.  As Graham Parker pointed out, ‘passion is no ordinary word.’  It’s a word I rarely use but it is exactly what the Screamin’ Eagle of Soul is overflowing with.  It makes him a compelling interview subject and an even more compelling live performer.  At one point he recalled doing a split while in front of a huge crowd in Texas and having the rough wood of the stage cut his leg. Guitarist Thomas Brenneck pointed out he was bleeding but Charles refused to stop the show.  In his words, the spirit had taken him over!

Thomas Brenneck deserves credit by the way for producing the outstanding new album Changes.  He is founder of the Menahan Street Band who are the guys who played on and wrote the record with CB.  Apart from making instrumental music under their own name, two discs worth so far, The MSB serves as the house band for Daptone imprint Dunham Records.  The rhythm section is comprised of Homer Steinweiss on drums and Nick Movshon on bass who have both played with Amy Winehouse, Sharon Jones and more recently, with Dan Auerbach in The Arcs.

When I spoke with Charles in 2013, he was just about to headline The Apollo for the first time.  When I saw him a few days ago, I  checked his head just ahead of his first time atop the marquee at The Beacon and a few weeks after the release of his third album Changes.  Here is a couple of bonus minutes of the interview in which Charles explains how he came to sing the Black Sabbath song that gives the album its name and what the words mean to him.

And a second bonus: a a nifty acoustic version of the song captured in Germany recently for a Cardinal Session…


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