It wasn't Charles Bradley's first visit to Studio 1A at KUTX — indeed, the whole affair had the feel of a victorious homecoming. Dressed in black from his shades to his boots, and sporting denim emblazoned with a rhinestone skull, the man called "The Screaming Eagle of Soul" carried himself like a superstar for an intimate audience who'd raced to the station April 30 to see him in action.
As Bradley's keyboardist introduced him to the crowd like a champion prizefighter, we all suddenly felt as if we'd been transported to the Apollo, circa '66. Bradley manhandled his mic stand, whipping the cord like a lasso, high-kicking and jumping and generally invoking the spirit of James Brown and Joe Tex.
But this was no retro or neo homage to music of another era. Charles Bradley's vital, high-octane soul is powered with a dash of rock, a double shot of showmanship and a take no prisoners, pitch-perfect passion that's impossible to fake. In other words: the real deal.