Charles Bradley and the Menahan Street Band
3017 SE Milwaukie Ave.
[SOUL] Referring to the music of Charles Bradley as "retro soul" isn't really fair. Sure, the Florida-born, New York-raised singer owes his late-life discovery to the industrywide reinvigoration of the classic Motown sound that began in the late aughts. But the 55-year-old Bradley isn't some new-jack trend-jumper. More than any other vintage-style crooner who's popped up in recent years, Bradley legitimately sounds like an artist who was frozen in the 1960s and happened to thaw at the right time. That's not all that far from the truth: Bradley's much-touted biography is that of a man out of time, a kid who dreamed of being the next James Brown but ended up living on the streets and working odd jobs for decades before getting picked up by Daptone Records and putting out one of the best albums of the throwback soul boom, 2011's No Time for Dreaming. While most R&B revivalists celebrate the form's elegant romanticism, Bradley's brand aches with genuine pain—on the appropriately titled "Heartaches and Pain," for instance, Bradley recounts, in crushing detail, the day his brother was murdered—bringing soul music back to its blues roots. Now that's a throwback.
Where: Aladdin Theater
Address: 3017 SE Milwaukie Ave.