Get to Know Charles Bradley, The Soul of The American Dream

charles bradleyFall down seven times, stand up eight. If anyone is the embodiment of this motto, it’s Soul singer Charles Bradley. Award-winning director Poull Brien’s 74-minute documentary, titled “Charles Bradley: Soul of America,” reports on the months between Charles’ 62nd birthday and the release of debut album No Time for Dreaming. His story is truly inspiring, full of trials and triumphs that influence the music conveyed through his deep, soulful voice. This documentary epitomizes the American Dream and shows that anyone can achieve their goals through hard work and perseverance.

Growing up, Charles’ childhood was plagued with tragedy. He was abandoned as a child, lived in constant poverty, was homeless and suffered the loss of his brother. Instead of getting down on himself, he found the drive to turn all these negative experiences into heartfelt songs about the struggles of making it in America. Charles began to develop his unique voice and kept pursuing his dream of becoming a professional singer, while acting as a James Brown impersonator to pay the bills. Eventually, his hard work and talent came to fruition and he earned a spot to perform on tour with Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, where he delivered passionate performances that struck a chord with audiences around the country.

At that point in his life, Charles was still plagued by financial and emotional burdens. The release of No Time for Dreaming with the support of Daptone Records could not have come at a better time, and it became a hit among fans and critics alike. Rolling Stone magazine ranked it as one of 2011’s Top 50 Albums, and Charles secured spots on talk shows such as The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Last Call with Carson Daly. Charles was finally living his dream and his fan base has been growing ever since. It’s hard not to connect with Charles — he always wears his heart on his sleeve and bears his soul for the world to hear, making each performance a moving and transcending experience.

Charles Bradley: Soul of America” premiered at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin, Texas, is screening around the U.S. starting this month, and was just released wide on iTunes and Amazon Instant Video, so you can witness Charles’ path for yourself. Even better, you can also witness Charles working his magic live — full dates below.

“Charles Bradley: Soul of America” Screenings

August 22: Bellingham, WA — Pickford Film Center
August 28: Portland, OR — Hollywood Theatre
September 25: San Francisco, CA — Roxie
September 27: Brooklyn, NY — BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music)

Charles Bradley Tour Dates

August 3: Chicago, IL — Lollapalooza
August 4: Montreal, QC — Osheaga Music and Arts Festival
August 10: Burnaby, BC — Burnaby Blues + Roots Festival
August 11: Regina, SK — Regina Folk Festival
August 17: Denver, CO — Larimer Lounge
August 18: Lyons, CO — Folks Festival
August 20: Phoenix, AZ — Crescent Ballroom
August 23: San Diego, CA — Belly Up Tavern
August 22: Tucson, AZ — Rialto Theatre
August 24: Los Angeles, CA — FYF Fest
August 27: Crystal Bay, NV — Crystal Bay Club Casino
August 28: Salt Lake City, UT — State Room
August 29: Boise, ID — Visual Arts Collective
August 31: Seattle, WA — Bumbershoot
September 1: Bellingham, WA — Wild Buffalo
September 4: San Francisco, CA — Great American Music Hall
September 5: San Francisco, CA — Great American Music Hall
September 6: Arcata, CA — Van Duzer Theatre
September 7: Portland, OR — Crystal Ballroom (Music Fest NW)
September 14: Burlington, VT — Grand Point North Festival
September 20: Brooklyn, NY — Williamsburg Park (Daptone Soul Revue, FREE SHOW)
December 4: Madison, WI — High Noon Saloon
December 5: Minneapolis, MN — First Avenue
December 6: Chicago, IL — The Metro
December 7: Bloomington, IN — Bluebird
December 8: Grand Rapids, MI — Pyramid Scheme
December 11: Kitchener, ON — The Centre In The Square
December 12: Toronto, ON — Kool Haus
December 13: Ottawa, ON — Ritual
December 14: South Burlington, VT — Higher Ground

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