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CD/LP/Track Review

Robert Bradley's Blackwater Surprise: New Ground (2002)

By Published: March 1, 2002
Robert Bradley's Blackwater Surprise: New Ground Vocalist/bandleader, Robert Bradley struggled through the ranks of the music world while establishing his roots, singing in his native Alabama, and subsequently moving to Detroit. Born sightless at birth, Bradley’s unique vocal style, and storytelling type lyricism shines forth in gleaming colors on this exceptional release; framed around folksy tales and a hybrid Country Blues/Rock-Soul approach.

Bradley possesses an edgy drawl tinged with Gospel and Soul-like attributes, whereas, the lead instrumentalists supplement their staple of high-impact Rock/Pop motifs with well-placed textural treatments. However, enough cannot be said of the powerful material, awash with Bradley’s soul-searching choruses and emphatically stated musings. Besides, each piece boasts a memorable melody and you won’t find any filler here.

On “Willy Lee,” Ruffino’s tasteful slide guitar work (or non-credited pedal steel guitar) sets the stage for a poignant, Soul-Blues ballad, where Bradley sings with heartwarming sentiment. “Born In America,” is a lovely testament and of course serves as a topical statement in lieu of the 9-11 attacks on the USA. With this piece, the band’s climactic overtures stress the importance of the vocalist’s moving discourses. Essentially, “Blackwater Surprise” comes as a major surprise! And given the proper marketing and exposure, Bradley’s innate star potential should blossom as he reaches out to the hearts and souls of the international community. Strongly recommended!

Vanguard Records


Track Listing: 1.Train 2.See Her 3.Profile 4.Lindy 5.Feel The Fire 6.Exist For Love 7.Nightlife 8.Willy Lee 9.Ride My Wave 10.Fast Lane 11.Young Girls 12.Born In America

Personnel: Robert Bradley: lead vocals, vocals

Record Label: Vanguard Records

Style: Beyond Jazz



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