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Title: Charles Bradley – Soul Of America
5 out of 5
Reviewed by: Sieto Kooijker

I think it was in the autumn of 2011 that I first heard the debut album of Charles Bradley. I read a positive review in a music magazine. Immediately upon hearing the first song I was hooked. The album was one of my favorites of 2011 and was in the top 50 best albums of 2011 by Rolling Stone Magazine.

The documentary ‘Charles Bradley – Soul Of America’ follows Charles Bradley leading up to the release of his debut album. Charles Bradley did not have an easy life. He was raised by his grandmother in Florida, until his mother took him and the rest of the children suddenly back to New York. He had not seen his mother for 8 years and because of that he did not know his mother until then.
As a young teenager Charles ran away. He lived two years on the streets. He then slept in subways and metro stations. He led this life until he enlisted in the education project of Job Corps, where he received and education as a cook. During this period he became a James Brown impersonator and discovered his love for being on the stage.

For years Charles Bradley was Black Velvet, the James Brown impersonator. He performed in clubs and pubs, until he came in contact with the guys from Daptone Records. Documentary maker Poull Brien picks up the story at the 62nd birthday of the debuting singer.

‘Charles Bradley – Soul Of America’ is a wonderful honest documentary. It is a film that not only shows the music, but even more the man behind the music. It is a story full of gratitude, love, life, but also full of great music.

Rating: 5/5
Reviewed by: Sieto Kooijker

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Charles Bradley: Soul of America OFFICIAL FILM TRAILER

 

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