Charles Bradley – Golden Rule (2011)
Like many an aficionado of 1960s deep soul, (and one of many who have worshipped at the shrine of Dave Godin), the first time I heard Charles Bradley I thought, “how on earth have I missed this guy”?
The sound, the delivery, the sentiment, seem to stem directly from the motherlode from which Otis Redding’s genius stands as only the most populist tip of an immense iceberg of heartache and pain.
But it turns out that Charles Bradley has been recording new material in the 21st century that is not only equal to, but often surpasses, the tracks we all love from the 1960s.
His debut album “No Time for Dreaming” is a flawless soul collection. So many highpoints, but Golden Rule is (just, and tonight) my favourite.
And it gets better, not only has Charles Bradley released records utterly essential for anyone with an interest in modern music (and life itself) but his history has been captured on a wonderful documentary Soul of America that charts his remarkable rise from James Brown impersonator to the greatest singer in the world today.
A perfect live version then the LP version and then live in Paris! Stunning.