Artist: Robert Bradley’s Blackwater Surprise
Title: “Blackwater Surprise”
“Blackwater Surprise” comes with a back story that might be even better than the record.
Members of a Detroit alternative rock group Second Step met Robert Bradley after the blind blues man spent years busking in the Motor City streets.
Bradley’s craggily croon is the most defining characteristic of the music. Most of the songs have enough bluster to amuse, with the tension coming from Bradley’s blues and Second Step’s rock influences.
While some efforts are standard blues rock fare, “Once Upon a Time” finds a history of black music in Bradley’s voice as well as his lyrics, dropping the names of Marvin Gaye, Otis Redding, Sam Cooke and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
The platter closes with “For the Night,” a funereal blues burner that shows one of Bradley’s best efforts.
It’s probably found in the discount rack now, but “Blackwater Surprise” isn’t without its charms.
Our Music Year is Daily Republic popular culture writer Nick DeCicco’s yearlong online review in 2012 of albums he had previously not listened to. The reviews will appear in print on their corresponding days during 2013. Reach him at 427-6966 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ndeciccodr.