Soul singer Charles Bradley died in late 2017, and last year, Daptone Records released the posthumous album Black Velvet, a collection of unreleased tracks that he had recorded over the years. Now, we’re getting two more.
In late 2016, shortly after being diagnosed with stomach cancer, Bradley stopped by New York musician and producer James Levy’s home studio for an impromptu recording session. The result was the devastating ballad “Lonely As You Are.” “No one can chain me, if it call for me to die,” Bradley sings. “I’m so lonely, lonely as hell.”
“Charles knew ‘Lonely as You Are’ could comfort people and help them find a way to deal with their own loneliness,” says Bradley’s former co-manager Morton Lorge. “He was always looking for ways to make people feel better, even when he was confronting his own pain and suffering. He asked that ‘Lonely’ be played at his funeral; he wanted to share it with the world.”
Nashville producer and multi-instrumentalist Paul Defiglia plays bass, piano, and organ on “Lonely As You Are,” and he brought in the Avett Brothers’ Seth Avett and Mike Marsh for acoustic guitar and drums. A second track from the same session, “Lucifer” will be released next month. Listen to “Lonely As You Are” below.
“Lonely As You Are” is out now via Innit Recordings. “Lucifer” is out 5/31.