It’s a lofty assumption to sing: “Don’t tell me how to live my life/ When you’ve never felt the pain.” Just what has Charles Bradley been through?
A lot, actually. The man is in his 60s. He was often homeless growing up. As an adult, he suffered harassment, crummy jobs, the streets and the shooting death of his brother.
Through it all, he sang.
Daptone Records discovered him performing as James Brown in the early aughts and released his debut album last year, all funk, soul and hard knocks-y hope.
It’s a sound you don’t just hear. It’s a sound you feel.