Bumbershoot Preview: Charles Bradley

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Charles Bradley “Stay Away”

Every year at Bumbershoot there’s always one artist I get really excited about seeing live and this year that artist happens to be 63-year-old soul revivalist Charles Bradley.

Charles Bradley first popped up on my radar while listening to the mostly atrocious SPIN magazine Nevermind tribute record called Newermind. He and the Menahan Street Band covered “Stay Away” and it is the most mind-melting Nirvana cover I’ve ever heard. I listened to it five times in a row after hearing it for the first time. To say he zigged where Kurt Cobain zagged is an understatement. Go ahead and listen to it for yourself by clicking play above.  See, I told you it was good.

Of course after getting my mind blown by Bradley’s take on “Stay Away” I sought out the rest of his catalog and it turns out that not only does he sing Nirvana songs well, his own material is also very easy on the ears. Check out a clip from his SXSW performance for KEXP below and be sure to check out his set at Bumbershoot performance Sept. 5 on the Fisher Green stage at 5:45 p.m.

Here’s the original of “Stay Away” for comparison purposes:

Travis Hay

About Travis Hay

Travis Hay is a professional music journalist who has spent the past 13 years documenting and enjoying Seattle's diverse music scene. In 2009 he established Guerrilla Candy and is currently the site's editor and publisher. He has written for various media outlets including MSN Music, the Seattle-Post Intelligencer, Seattle Weekly, Crosscut.com and others and was the founder and former editor of the defunct music site Ear Candy.