Charles Bradley and His Extraordinaires

Charles Bradley and His Extraordinaires

Charles Bradley was down and out when Gabriel Roth of Daptone Records happened upon him performing his Black Velvet act at the Tarheel Lounge in Bed Stuy. Roth recognized his raw talent and directly brought him into the Daptone "House of Soul" Studios for a session with the Sugarman 3. "Take It As It Comes" was Charles' first single on Daptone and it proved him as a worthy vocalist. Roth eventually brought Charles out to Staten Island to see Dirt Rifle and the Bullets, a young funk band playing James Brown and Meters influenced songs. Thomas Brenneck, songwriter and guitarist for the Bullets, hit it off with Charles and they began working together. They released two singles on Daptone under the name "Charles Bradley and the Bullets," but the Bullets soon dismantled in order to form the afrobeat influenced Budos Band.
However, Brenneck knew that Charles had something more to give and after moving to Bushwick himself, he and Charles reunited. In time, they became close friends and Charles confided his life story in Brenneck. The young producer was moved when he heard Charles tell the painful story of his brother's death. Brenneck said, "Charles, we gotta put that story to music."
Formed in Brenneck's bedroom, Mehanan Street Band began as a studio project. Brenneck was looking to record music in between his busy tour schedules when he called in friends from all sides of the Brooklyn Soul Scene. Each track was recorded over time with a rotating rhythm section all topped with the unique horn stylings of Dave Guy and Leon Michels. The final result was exciting to all those involved, and Brenneck released the first Menahan Street Band single, "Make The Road By Walking" on his burgeoning label, Dunham Records, a division of Daptone Records. Dunham continued to release Menahan Street Band singles and eventually a full-length album, Make The Road By Walking.
Brenneck's new sound was the perfect compliment for the heartfelt and troubled lyrics that sprang from Charles' story. With drummer Homer Steinweiss, Brenneck launched Dunham Records in 2008 and released Charles' "The World (Is Going Up In Flames)" and "Heartaches and Pain" as its' second single. A departure from his Black Velvet act, the songs showed a new side of Charles as a compelling artist in his own right and proved to be a great success. Many late night writing and recording sessions later, he and Brenneck completed their first full-length record, No Time For Dreaming. Charles always knew he was born to entertain, but in the making of this record he discovered a proclivity for songwriting as well.
The record was a labor of love for both Charles and Brenneck. Charles and the Menahan Street Band have been touring, while Charles has been honing his passion as a singer and an entertainer. After years of working together, No Time For Dreaming is due for international release on Dunham 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.



Upcoming Events

  • Sorry, there are currently no upcoming events.