Robert Bradley's Blackwater Surprise
|Robert Bradley's Blackwater Surprise|
|Origin||Detroit, Michigan, United States|
|Genres||Soul, Rock, R&B, Blues|
Robert Bradley's Blackwater Surprise was formed in 1994 when former members of the band Second Self came across a blind street performer by the name of Robert Bradley. Michael and Andrew Nehra developed and produced the project, delicately crafting the Motown influenced roots. The first two recordings symbolize a magical unity of a time that will resonate with effusive soul throughout history.
Recorded at White Room Studio's in Detroit, the music was delicately captured with vintage analog recording equipment to compliment performances of a lost era. The Nehra's intended upon meeting with Robert to interpret how they could work with the 25 plus year veteran that had been singing in Detroit's Eastern Market for a couple of decades. The intension was to determine if they could craft the raw intensity and soulfulness of Robert's voice which captivated them when singing outside of the White Room. This all took place on a day when Robert was kicked out of Eastern Market where serendipity embraced them all. A week or so later, the Nehra's realized within minutes of turning on their amps and testing the waters, the initial concept to develop Robert with a production deal and musicians to complement was insignificant. Their vision instantly unequivocal when the room fell silent. A pure, honest, marriage of ecstasy that no one expected was born. At this moment forward, the group wrote and performed live, instantly garnishing a buzz in the local Detroit music scene.
The Nehra's continued to record and produce a collection of songs full time with the intent to eventually get the group signed. As the word spread, Peter Robinson of RCA records took a stand to get behind music that those in the mainstream did not quite grasp. Those who helped contribute and pay homage to the undeniable beauty of the project, were crusaders, spreading the word as everyone could witness the ethereal spell that drenched the listener with a timeless classic.
Furthermore, string arranger Paul Riser and other Motown veterans were included in the vision when recording the tracks. Paul arranged some of the most legendary tracks throughout the Motown years. The sound of the music was truly an amazing mix of influences that eventually formed RBBS. The crossroads of the Rolling Stones, Al Green, The band, and Motown was a perfect cocktail led by the soulful, timeless voice of Robert. Detroit-based rocker Kid Rock and Robert Bradley are long time friends, but also share a mutual respect of each other’s music. Robert Bradley was featured on the Kid Rock track "I Got One for Ya" from his Devil Without a Cause LP, and Kid Rock guested on “Higher” and “Tramp 2” for RBBS’s Time To Discover. The Nehra's also contributed to production and song writing on Devil Without a Cause, recorded at White Room. The community was brewing.
- 1 Film and TV work
- 2 Discography
- 3 External links
- 4 References
Film and TV work
Love N' Dancing (2009)
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)
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)
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)
Time to Discover (2000)
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.” 
New Ground (2002)
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.”  It also peaked at #38 on the Billboard’s Top Independent Albums chart.
Still Lovin’ You (2003)
What About That: New Year's Eve in Bloomington (2006)
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)
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.
- Robert Bradley's Blackwater Surprise Official Website
- Allmusic's Profile of RBBS
- Bruce Robb (producer)
- Official RBBS Facebook Fanpage