Sunday, June 15, 2008

Live in Concert: Robert Bradley's Blackwater Surprise 6/12/08

Contrary to popular belief, I don’t actually like going to live music. Most people assume that since I go to so many concerts, I must really enjoy it, but that isn’t the case.

The truth is, I have a sort of mental checklist going of everyone I’d like to see live. It changes often as I grow to like more bands, or read about someone getting a lot of pub, but I’m not a fan of taking the time to see someone I’ve never considered on the list. It would be like going to the movies with a bunch of friends and the only thing that no one has seen being “The Rugrats Movie” so that’s what you see. It doesn’t accomplish anything.

So, I was pleasantly surprised when a bunch of coworkers dragged me to see Robert Bradley’s Blackwater Surprise. I had probably heard of them, but they were nowhere on my radar. But, it was one of those work groups that’s made up of largely “cool” people, so being invited sort of makes you cool too. (Someone in a single’s ward I in once suggested that I was one of the “cool” people, to which I replied, “I’m not, I just stand by them”).

I’m also leery of anyone professing to be a “blues” based band. I’m not a musician, but the blues seem so easy. It’s the same chords played the same way. The only deviation is in the singer, and a lot of them are posers. Luckily, the blues was only a launchpad for the Surprise. In truth, they can best be compared to some of the bands they’ve opened for like Big Head Toad and the Monsters and Widespread Panic. Bradley is stone blind and had been a homeless street performer when he was discovered by some Detroit musicians wanting to start a band. That’s the hook. He doesn’t so much sing, as yell in a soulful drain that adds some good heft to the tunes, which might be somewhat pedestrian without him.

I wish I could highlight the good songs and powerful encores, but no knowing anything going in I wouldn’t know what to pinpoint. It ended up being a thoroughly enjoyable evening with good friends, good company, and good music that I was glad I attended.

The opener was a guy named Paris Delane and Tye Dye Skye. I liked him a lot too. He’s a big burly black guy (apparently, he’s the brother of Michael Clarke Duncan, the actor from The Green Mile), who also seems like a blues singer, but isn’t really. In fact, I guess his day job is as a member of Sonia Dada, another Big Head Todd like band. I thought he was great, and I told him so when I passed him in the hall after his set, which he took as a chance to guilt me into buying his cd. I caved. I didn’t have the heart to tell him I was going to go home and download his stuff for free. Haven’t listened to it yet, but I’m sure it’ll be great. He was excellent.


Paris Delane said...

I guilt you into buying my CD? That's funny! I am glad that you enjoyed the show though, and thanks for not calling me a blues singer, I'm so much more than that.

One love,

Paris Delane

Brooke and Jake said...

Whoa. Awesome that you have celebs commenting on your blog. This doesn't have anything to do with your post but have you listened to the Black Angels?