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Ghost Canyon

'Charles Bradley - Live From The House Of Soul'
(Charles Bradley, et al / DVD / NR / 2016 / MVD Visual)

Overview: 'Charles Bradley - Live From The House Of Soul' is the first installment of Daptone Records' new video series, Live From The House Of Soul. Directed by Poull Brien and shot in the backyard of Daptone's House of Soul in Bushwick, Brooklyn, this one also features the Menahan Street Band.

DVD Verdict: For those not in the know, let's take this back to the very beginning. Charles Bradley is an American funk/soul/R&B singer, signed to the Daptone Records label under the Dunham Records division. His performances and recording style are consistent with Daptone's revivalist approach, celebrating the feel of funk and soul music from the 1960s and 1970s.

The Menahan Street Band is a Brooklyn, New York-based instrumental band formed in 2007, that plays funk and soul music. The band features musicians from Antibalas, El Michels Affair, Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings and the Budos Band. The group was founded by Thomas Brenneck while living in an apartment on Menahan St. in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Bushwick. Their debut album, Make the Road by Walking, was released in 2008 on Dunham, a sub label of Daptone Records.

Here on the incredible 'Charles Bradley - Live From The House Of Soul,' it's immediately obvious to all (as he begins his set with 'Love Bug') that Bradley's voice has evolved from a lifetime of paying dues. I mean, having nomadically labored for decades at various day jobs from Maine to Alaska – singing and performing in his spare time – before re-settling in his hometown Brooklyn and eventually finding a musical home at Dunham, Bradley's vocals tones have themselves taken on a worn, reflective essence to them.

As he performs alongside the fabulous Menahan Street Band songs such as 'Victim Of Love,' 'The World (Is Going Up In Flames),' 'Crying In The Chapel' and even 'Strictly Reserved For You,' his distinctively rough-hewn timbre embodies each and every track perfectly. The unmistakable voice of experience – each note and gruff inflection a reflection of his extended, sometimes rocky, personal path - is there for all to see, to hear, and for that we have to still bow down to the great man.

Indeed, it’s only fitting that producer, Brenneck (also a member of The Dap-Kings and The Budos Band), would recognize in Bradley a kindred musical spirit – a singer whose performances exude both raw power and poignant beauty. Also included on this wonderful new DVD are some Bonus Music Videos such as 'Where Do We Go From Here?', 'Strictly Reserved For You', 'The World (Is Going Up In Flames),' and finally 'Heartaches & Pain.' At only 30 minutes long, it's a helterskelter musical ride, but oen well worth investing in. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.