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Friday, February 19, 2010

What to Do This Weekend: Robert Bradley's Blackwater Surprise

Posted By on Fri, Feb 19, 2010 at 9:00 AM

Surprise!
  • Surprise!

Robert Bradley’s life sounds like a movie. Alabama-born and blind since birth, Bradley was busking in the early ’90s outside the open window of White Room, the Detroit studio of pop-punk visionaries Second Self. Brothers Andrew and Michael Nehra heard Bradley’s music drifting in from the street and invited him in — an invitation he didn’t accept until months later. When he finally did, Bradley and the Nehras connected over the brothers’ love of bluesy stomp-rock and Bradley’s old-school soul, and Blackwater Surprise was launched. The band found an audience (Kid Rock was an early fan, producing a track on its sophomore album in 2000) but bounced from label to label as it honed an identity. The Nehras departed before 2002’s New Ground, leaving Bradley to assemble a new band and step firmly to the foreground and become Rober Bradley Blackwater Surprise’s lone songwriter, moving the group in a more classic R&B direction, perfected on 2008’s Out of the Wilderness. Bradley plays the Beachland Ballroom (15711 Waterloo Rd., 216.383.1124, beachlandballroom.com) at 8:30 p.m. Saturday. Fugitive Kind opens. Tickets: $15. —Brian Baker

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