A new foreman in the soul revival, Charles Bradley understands that the soul of the blues runs in the family. His debut record, No Time For Dreaming, has been released on Dunham Records, an imprint of vanguard Brooklyn soul label Daptone, and produced by Dap-Kings and Budos Band member Thomas Brenneck. Rounding out Bradley’s raw emotion is his bombastic backing band: Daptone’s funky Menahan Street Band. But however many names are dropped, Bradley’s innate showmanship and voice—a mournful alto bellow—are all his own.
No Time For Dreaming is the book of Bradley’s life. Born in Gainesville, FL but raised in Brooklyn, NY, Bradley found inspiration in attending a James Brown show at the Apollo. Spending his days scraping by doing a James Brown routine didn’t cough up the cash, but it set the groundwork for a prodigious and oh-so-real record. If “The World (Is Going Up In Flames),” on which he sings of the strife of a life less than charmed, is the rising action, the no-nonsense title track—“gotta get on up, gotta do my thing,” he proclaims with an unwavering fire in his voice—is the climax, a testament to the 62-year-old Bradley’s perseverance.