Tag Archives: James Brown

Blogaroo: Day 14: Charles Bradley

23 May

Charles Bradley, or “the Screaming Eagle of Soul,”  was born in 1948 in Gainesville, Florida, where he lived with his grandmother until he was 8 years old. It was then that Bradley moved to Brooklyn, New York to live with his mother, where his sister took him to see James Brown perform at the Apollo Theater in 1962. And the rest, as they say, is history.

After running away from home — living in the streets and on subway cars — Bradley joined the Job Corps and worked as a chef in Maine for 10 years. While he performed with a band about five or six times, he went solo after his fellow bandmates were drafted into the Vietnam War.

Following the break up of his band, Bradley moved west — hitchhiking across the country and moving to upstate New York, Seattle, Canada and Alaska before settling in California, where he worked odd jobs and played small shows for 20 years.

While he was known to work as a James Brown impersonator, Bradley eventually signed with Daptone Records, where he became known for his funky yet soulful R&B style.

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Blogaroo: Day 15: Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears

25 May

Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears got their start in Austin, Texas in 2007. Joe Lewis was working at a pawn shop in Austin when he picked up a guitar and started performing at various open mic nights around the city. While Lewis was performing shows as part of a local blues trio,  Zach Ernst, a member of the University of Texas Music and Entertainment Committee, booked him to open for Little Richard at the school’s annual Forty Acres Fest.

The band has grown substaintially since Lewis got his start. The Honeybears are now eight members strong and includes Ernst, Matt Strmiska,  Ian Varley, Bill Stevenson, Jason Frey, Derek Phelps and Joe Woullard. The group opened for Spoon and Okkervil River in 2007, signed to Spoon’s Lost Highway Records in 2008 and played at both Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits the same year. In 2009 Esquire listed Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears as one of the “Ten Bands Set to Break Out” at the SXSW Festival.

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