Photography: Charles Bradley “Black Velvet” Mural and Bushwick Collective
Throughout a significant portion of this site’s 8-plus year history, I’ve written quite a bit about longtime JOVM mainstay Charles Bradley, and as you may recall, Bradley led a rather remarkable life, overcoming unimaginable adversity and heartache throughout his life to achieve international acclaim late his life, which included an emotional and in-depth documentary Charles Bradley: Soul of America, three full-length albums 2011’s No Time For Dreaming, 2013’s Victim of Love and 2016’s Changes; but perhaps much more important, Bradley was best known for a powerful and heartfelt live show, centered around his understanding and belief that the great pain and tribulations of his life should be a cry for universal love, brotherhood, sisterhood and empathy. He preached it passionately and constantly — and as many would say, it seemed that he believed that if he loved harder, more passionately, and just more — if we all just loved each other a bit more — we could all make the world a much better place.
November 5, 2018 would have been Charles Bradley’s 70th birthday and in celebration of the man, his life and his music, Dunham Records, an imprint of Daptone Records posthumously released his fourth and final album Black Velvet the other day. Featuring 10 tracks lovingly curated by his friends, bandmates and family, the album chronologically spans Bradley’s recording career — but instead of a greatest hits-like anthology or a rehashing of say, several different versions of known and beloved songs, the album focuses on deeper, mostly unreleased cuts recorded during the sessions from each of Bradley’s three albums, as well as highly sought-after beloved covers including his soulful takes on Nirvana‘s “Stay Away,” Neil Young‘s “Heart of Gold,” Rodriguez‘s “I’ll Slip Away,” and an alternate full-band electric version of “Victim of Love,” among others. Along with simultaneously held birthday and record release celebration at Union Pool and in Los Angeles, Daptone Records commissioned artists in Brooklyn, Chicago, Paris and elsewhere.
Yesterday, I specifically went to Our Wicked Lady in Bushwick, Brooklyn to see the Charles Bradley Black Velvet mural — and because I was so close by, I stopped by the Bushwick Collective to check out the amazing pieces there, too. Check out some photos below.
For these photos and more, check out the Flickr set here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmvEaZXQ