Charles Bradley & Menahan Street Band: Live From The House Of Soul

DVD Review: Eagle-dancing veteran bares his soul in Brooklyn.

Charles Bradley & Menahan Street Band: Live From The House Of Soul DVD artwork.

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Y’all know by now about Charles Bradley and his hard-knock life. This 30-minute film was recorded with the Menahan Street Band in the back yard of Daptone, the record company that gave the former James Brown impersonator another shot.

It’s gritty, raw and most definitely no-frills. Crying In The Chapel, with its pleading horns, is a convincing stab at Stax greatness. It’s all so heartfelt, with sad song after sad song, that it feels like sacrilege to suggest that a couple of pretty girls and happier tunes wouldn’t go amiss.

The seven songs are interspersed with mini interviews, while the extra features include a dazzling video for Where Do We Go From Here, which benefits from Funkadelic-style guitar and fuzz keyboards.

Charles Bradley: From James Brown Impersonator To Late-Blooming Soul Star.

Claudia Elliott

Claudia Elliott is a music writer and sub-editor. She has freelanced for BBC Radio 2's Sounds of the 60s, Uncut, History of Rock, Classic Rock and The Blues magazine. She is a 1960s music specialist.