Charles Bradley And His Extraordinaires

Charles Bradley And His Extraordinaires

The remarkable against-all-odds rise of Charles Bradley since the release of his 2011 debut album No Time For Dreaming has been well documented. He transcended a bleak life on the streets and struggled through a series of ill-fitting jobs before finally being discovered by Daptone's Gabriel Roth. The year following the release of No Time For Dreaming was one triumph after another including a breakthrough performance at SXSW, several television performances and having the album named to many year end “best of” lists. The soul singer’s ascent continued with the 2013 release of his triumphant second album Victim of Love, which saw Bradley emerging from his past heartaches stronger and more confident, overflowing with love to share.

The Brooklyn-based 67-year old is now set to release his third album Changes on Dunham Records, the imprint on “House of Soul” Daptone Records. Rolling Stone named Changes one of the “Most Anticipated Albums of 2016,” stating “The ageless, limitless ‘Screaming Eagle of Soul’ swoops back with Changes, an album named after Charles Bradley's affected rework of Black Sabbath's 1972 piano ballad.” Of that “smoldering” (SPIN) cover, Bradley notes, “I think about the lyrics very closely when I sing ‘Changes’ and get emotional. It makes me think of my mother and the changes in my life since she passed away.”

Bradley was close to his mother, as seen in the 2012 documentary Charles Bradley: Soul of America. The pair reconnected in the mid-90s after a tumultuous relationship throughout his early life, and he spent most of the last two decades as her primary caretaker. She passed away in January 2014, the same night Charles was set to perform to a sold out hometown audience at Brooklyn’s Music Hall of Williamsburg. Not one to disappoint his fans, he went on to perform that night and dedicated his emotional performance to her, and now also dedicates Changes to her.

The 11-track album kicks off with a spoken word intro from Bradley that leads into an impassioned version of “God Bless America” and, nodding to his rigorous international touring schedule, new track “Good To Be Back Home.” Changes also features a number of songs that Bradley has been performing live including “Ain’t It A Sin,” a track that SPIN says “cuts loose with the wicked abandon its title implies... The Screaming Eagle of Soul roars with hair-raising ferocity.” And here, even more than on his previous records, he calls on the power of love throughout several songs including the breezy “Things We Do For Love,” ballad “Crazy For Your Love” and the slow burning album closer “Slow Love.”

Bradley’s longtime producer and co-songwriter Thomas Brenneck returns to the fold though the album does see some changes from previous albums. Where the first two albums were recorded with Dunham Records house band Menahan Street Band, Changes sees Bradley collaborate and perform with musicians from across the Daptone universe including members of MSB, Budos Band, the Dap-Kings and Charles’ touring band The Extraordinaires, and a number of prominently featured background vocalists (Sha La Das, Gospel Queens, Saun & Starr). The result, in songs like "Change For The World" and "Ain't Gonna Give It Up," is Bradley's most contemporary sounding album to date.

In the last half decade, Bradley has become known for his emotional and riveting live show and was named #1 on Paste Magazine’s “Best Live Acts of 2015” list. He’s taken his show to venues and festivals across the globe including Coachella, Glastonbury and Primavera Sound. Bradley’s also performed on many famed stages including NYC’s Beacon Theatre and the Apollo Theater—the same place his sister took him to see his idol James Brown perform when he was just 14 years old.

With Changes, funk & soul powerhouse Charles Bradley brings music fans of all ages another unforgettable set of songs and will continue to bring his live show to stages around the world. Look for the album in stores April 1, 2016 via Dunham Records / Daptone Records.

Paul & The Tall Trees

The band Paul and The Tall Trees, formerly known as Pablo, led by Staten Island, NY's lone folksman, Paul Schalda draws from his musical upbringing -- during which music from Neil Young, James Taylor, the Zombies and Fugazi were household sounds. Back in 2004, Pablo rose from the ashes of Awek, Schalda's former project. Around the same time, his brother Will's quartet the Realistics was coming to an end. The brothers were reunited as they once were in the well-respected early-'90s quintet Three Steps Up.

By 2005, Pablo had recorded their first EP, which caught the attention of KEXP DJ John Richard in Seattle, who immediately played "Apparent Now" on his influential show "John in the Morning." In 2006, Paul had reunited with former Awek member Mike Sweeney and renowned music photographer Justin Borucki to form 230 Records, a label created to showcase the talent budding in the community. Soon after, the material that would become Pablo's first album, Half the Time, was ready to be committed to tape and shared with the world. With a lineup in place, Paul and Will Schalda teamed a group of backing musicians, including the brothers Strandberg -- Mike and William -- completing the album in only three days. It was licensed to Curb Appeal Records and released on October 24th, 2006.

Support from KEXP continued as the record caught the attention of CMJ and A couple of tours and a few years later, sparked by life challenges and family quarrels, Paul found inspiration in his experiences, using folk as an outlet, later making amends with his brother Will, emerging stronger. The newly revamped lineup led by the brothers Schalda found themselves in Levon Helm's studio in Woodstock, N.Y., to record a new batch of tracks. With co-producer Justin Guip taking over on drums, they were also joined by longtime friend and former Three Steps Up member Dan Foder, who had gone on to form the Budos Band. The result was the album There's Rope to Leave, self-released on October 9th 2009. The new lineup and matured sound continued to open doors.

With the new name, Paul and The Tall Trees, feeling like a fresh start, Paul is now working on his most promising material to date with producer and artist Tom Brenneck, a longtime friend known for his work with the Budos Band, Menahan Street Band, the Dap-Kings and beyond. A new EP is set to emerge from Brookyln's Dunham Studios in early 2011, recorded to ½-inch tape with his new backing band, The Tall Trees: Mr. Chris Edwards on drums, Mr. James Mignone on bass, Mr. Sergio Napoletano on guitar and William Schalda Jr. on keys.



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