216

Robert Bradley's Backwater Surprise: Time To Discover

Ed Kopp By

Sign in to view read count
Robert Bradley is a 50-year-old blind blues singer from Detroit who's become an unlikely crossover success. Bradley's latest album Time To Discover has made a lot of pop critic's top 10 "Best of" lists for 2000, and deservedly so. This is a funky release that's part blues, part '70s-style soul, part classic rock. The album is elevated by Bradley's smoky voice, which is a bit like Richie Havens', but with greater range.

Bradley's life story is more incredible than fiction. When he got bored with his life in Alabama (where he ran a store for the blind), Bradley moved to Detroit and learned how to play guitar. Before long, he was raking in $500 a week playing the blues on sidewalks. In 1990, members of an alternative rock band heard the blind singer entertaining on the street outside their studio and persuaded him to jam. Occasional sessions evolved into regular gigs, and thus was born Robert Bradley's Backwater Surprise, a band that broke through with a hit video on MTV in 1996.

Time to Discover offers infectious hooks, funky guitar playing, modern percussion flourishes, and some wonderful soul-drenched singing by the leader. It also features Detroit rap-rocker Kid Rock, whose performance is comparatively subtle and doesn't ruin the proceedings (surprisingly). In fact, Time to Discover has little to do with modern rock or pop, despite some understated hip-hop touches. It's more of a cross between Sly and the Family Stone and Blues Traveler. If you dig quality classic rock with a blues bent, you should like this one a lot.


Track Listing: Higher; Ride; Baby; Gambler; You & Me; Take Love and Recieve It; Time to Discover; Ultimate Sacrifice; Mr. Tony; Tramp; Uncle John; Untitled

Personnel: Robert Bradley (Guitar, Lead Vocals); Michael Nehra (Bass, Vocals); Andrew Nehra (Drums, Organ, Vocals); Jeff Fowlkes (Organ, Vocals)

| Record Label: RCA Victor | Style: Blues


Shop

More Articles

Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "United" CD/LP/Track Review United
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: April 11, 2016
Read "The Magnificent Thad Jones" CD/LP/Track Review The Magnificent Thad Jones
by Greg Simmons
Published: November 10, 2016
Read "Life and Other Transient Storms" CD/LP/Track Review Life and Other Transient Storms
by John Sharpe
Published: November 21, 2016
Read "All Things" CD/LP/Track Review All Things
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 26, 2016
Read "America's National Parks" CD/LP/Track Review America's National Parks
by Mark Sullivan
Published: October 10, 2016
Read "Rivers" CD/LP/Track Review Rivers
by James Nadal
Published: June 13, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!