Robert Bradley's Blackwater Surprise

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Robert Bradley's Blackwater Surprise
Background information
Origin Detroit, Michigan, United States
Genres Soul, Rock, R&B, Blues
Years active 1994–present

Robert Bradley's Blackwater Surprise is an American band. It formed in 1994 when former members of the band Second Self met the blind street performer, Robert Bradley. Bradley was born in Alabama, but gained musical experience and spirit by singing as a child at The Alabama School for the Blind. He had spent several years in Detroit by 1994, performing occasionally on the street busking, and playing on Saturdays in Detroit's Eastern Market,[1] when guitarist Michael Nehra, bassist Andrew Nehra, and drummer Jeff Fowlkes (formerly in the Detroit band SECOND SELF) overheard Bradley through an open window while rehearsing for a new project. After listening to Bradley sing for an hour, they invited him up to the studio to record several acoustic songs, then invited him to become their vocalist.[2]

Film and TV work[edit]

Love N' Dancing (2009)[edit]

This romantic comedy starring Amy Smart and Billy Zane features six original new Robert Bradley songs, including Smart's grand finale dance number "You're My Lady." Film and soundtrack were released in May 2009.

Playing for Change (2006)[edit]

Robert Bradley appears as himself in this 2006 music documentary. The soundtrack was recorded live on the streets and in the subways of the three focus cities: Los Angeles, New Orleans and New York.

Lackawanna Blues (2005)[edit]

Robert Bradley appears in this HBO movie starring S. Epatha Merkerson and Terrence Howard about Lackawanna, NY 1956 at the dawn of integration. He performs on-screen, and has three songs featured on the soundtrack (including a duet with Macy Gray).


Blackwater Surprise (1996)[edit]

On September 17, 1996, RBBS released their 11 track debut on RCA Records. The result was marked as “an effective collaboration between a blind blues musician and a sympathetic Detroit rock trio.” [3]

Time to Discover (2000)[edit]

In 2000, After the minor success of his 1996 debut RBBS released Time to Discover, an album featuring Guitarist Michael Nehra and bassist brother Andrew, and guest vocals by Kid Rock. Allmusic reviewer Mark Morgenstein praised Time to Discover as “the first modern blues classic of the new millennium.” [4]

New Ground (2002)[edit]

Even though it was seen by critics as one of the bands less successful efforts, it was noted as “earnest. . .exuding a hard-won optimism and working-man's head-down forbearance.” [5] It also peaked at #38 on the Billboard’s Top Independent Albums chart.

Still Lovin’ You (2003)[edit]

Still Lovin’ You was also released on Vanguard Records and was produced by Cherokee Studios co-founder Bruce Robb (producer).

What About That: New Year's Eve in Bloomington (2006)[edit]

A two-disc live album, it documents the singer's once-annual New Year's stops at The Bluebird nightclub in Bloomington, Indiana.

Out of the Wilderness(2008)[edit]

Five years after their last studio record, Robert Bradley’s Blackwater Surprise released Out of the Wilderness. The songs “Love You in the Daytime,” “Cryin’ My Eyes Out,” and “Everybody Wanna Party” are featured in the motion picture Love N’ Dancing starring Amy Smart and Billy Zane due in US theatres March 2009.

  • Out of the Wilderness (Quarter 2 Three Records, 2008). Bruce Robb (producer) Producer, Engineer, Mixer
  • What About That: New Year's Eve in Bloomington (Kufala, 2006)
  • Relix Magazine Music Sampler July 2006 (Relix, 2006) [CD] [IMPORT] [COMPILATION] featuring "Once Upon a Time"
  • Lackawanna Blues Soundtrack (HBO Films/Vanguard, 2004) Produced by Bruce Robb, featuring Robert Bradley's "Dark Road," "Something Inside Me," & "Down on Me" - duet with Macy Gray
  • Still Lovin' You (Vanguard, 2003) Bruce Robb (producer) Producer, Engineer, Mixer
  • It'll Come to You - The Songs of John Hiatt (Vanguard, 2003) Compilation featuring "It'll Come to You"
  • New Ground (Vanguard, 2002)
  • Monitor This February/March 2002 (2002) Compilation featuring "Train"
  • Wish You a Merry Christmas (2001) [LIMITED COLLECTOR'S EDITION] Rare 3 Track CD Single
  • KFOG Live from the Archives 8 (KFOG, 2001) [LIVE] [LIMITED EDITION] Compilation featuring "Baby" recorded live in studio
  • KBCO Studio C Volume 12 Compilation Live In KBCO (KBCO, 2000) Recorded at a Boulder, Colorado Radio Studio, featuring "Baby" recorded live
  • Time to Discover (RCA, 2000) Produced by Michael and Andrew Nehra. Engineered and Mixed by Michael Nehra.
  • Live (RCA, 1999)
  • Believing in Detroit: A Tribute to Vladdy and Sergei (JFW, 1998)[CD][LIMITED EDITION][COMPILATION] [ORIGINAL RECORDING] featuring "Shake It Off"
  • Authorized Bootleg: Live(RCA, 1997) Limited Edition CD Featuring 4 Live Tracks
  • Authorized Live (Single) (1996)
  • Blackwater Surprise (RCA, 1996) Produced by Michael and Andrew Nehra. Engineered and Mixed by Michael Nehra.


  1. ^ [1][dead link]
  2. ^ "Robert Bradley's Blackwater Surprise | New Music And Songs | MTV". Retrieved 2014-06-29. 
  3. ^ Owens, Thom (1996-09-17). "Blackwater Surprise". Retrieved 2008-11-06. 
  4. ^ Morgenstein, Mark (2000-03-21). "Time To Discover". Retrieved 2008-11-06. 
  5. ^ Unterberger, Richie (2002-02-05). "New Ground". Retrieved 2008-11-06. 

External links[edit]