Thursday, May 05, 2011

Mr Bradley and Mr Brenneck

Charles Bradley. Photo: LA Times

Tommy Brenneck is a guitarist with Sharon Jones and the Dapkings, and also runs the Dunham Records label, an offshoot of Daptone records. Their latest release is a fabulous soul album from Charles Bradley and the Menahan St band, led by Brenneck.

The LA Times had a nice piece on Brenneck and his collaboration with Bradley. Brenneck lists some of his favourite artists, and lets slip that he may be producing the third album from Rodriguez, who's first and second album were produced by Motown legend Dennis Coffey way back in the early 70s. They were reissued recently on Light In The Attic.

“You could tell he [the 63 year old Bradley] was just in this shell,” said Brenneck, who continues to work with the Dap-Kings in a studio-recording capacity. “He was a James Brown impersonator and he was dressing like him all the time, rocking a James Brown wig, full time. He had not found himself as an artist.”

About four years ago a collaboration between Brenneck’s own Menahan Street Band and Bradley started to take shape. “The music came, and then he slowly crawled out of his shell,” Brenneck said. “I think he’s finally casting off that James Brown mask. Even if he does do a James Brown spin or mannerism, he owns it now.”

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