Robert Bradley's Blackwater Surprise

Blackwater Surprise

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Robert Bradley was a Detroit street singer for years before he was convinced to enter the studio by a group of young alternative rockers. The resulting album, Blackwater Surprise, is indeed surprising -- an effective collaboration between a blind blues musician and a sympathetic Detroit rock trio. The band wisely decided to stay in the background and let Bradley do his thing -- namely, improvising blues and soul shuffles and stomps in his extraordinary voice. On paper, the music sounds simple, but there's unexpected depth -- there are shades of gospel, soul, Motown and hard rock on the album, and a string section appears on a handful of cuts. Most of the album consists of first takes, and the music has an infectious, spontaneous feeling that is exhilarating. It may have taken Bradley a long time to enter the studio, but this unique record was worth the wait. [The CD was also released with a bonus track.]

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