Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Soul Surrender!: Charles Bradley with St.Paul and the Broken Bones at Lincoln Center

On a beautiful Sunday evening at Lincoln Center's Out of Doors Concert series, two of the greatest soul bands currently on the scene collided to create one cataclysmic explosion of pure passion and Libidinous soul music that shook Manhattan right down to it's core. The two outstanding opening acts were legend Bobby Patterson, who after 40 years just released an album titled "I Got More Soul!", and the Music Maker Blues Revue which included artists Dom FlemonsBeverly "Guitar" Watkins, and Ironing Board Sam within its rank.

After a great beginning to the night, "St.Paul and the Broken Bones" took the stage, and in one fiery performance sent personally from Birmingham, Alabama, obliterated it. Their set consisting of selections from their album "Half the City" and two outstanding covers of Otis Redding selections provided perhaps the most energetic live performance I've yet to see. St.Paul (Paul Janeway) immediately got the crowd on their feet and dancing to the tight sound crafted by him and the band, and left the audience with an almost religious feeling of awe that only the next act could possibly come close to topping.

And if anybody could come close, it's definitely Charles Bradley. The "Screaming Eagle" of Soul swooped down and delivered an intense and absolutely heart wrenching performance consisting of selections from his two albums, with his 2nd album "Victim of Love" being the most prevalent. Bradley captivated the audience with his deeply personal songs and stories he had to share, and during breaks in the performance shared little bits of wisdom that definitely reinforced the positive ideals held and appreciated in soul music. Perhaps the best part of what was already an amazing night was Bradley's incorporation of a Bra thrown by an attendee into his already devious stage act. It was truly a sight to see.

All 4 performances this night showed one thing, Soul is alive and well in America. St.Paul and Bradley are two of the most powerful and refined voices out there right now and will continue to provide powerhouse performances that invigorate audiences everywhere and put skeptics who believe the "golden age" of soul has long passed, to rest. Find out where these guys are playing, and go witness what I can only describe as a complete mastery of the genre.


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