Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Robert Bradley's Blackwater Surprise - The Governor (Soul/Blues video, information, & lyrics)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post showcases the Soul/Blues song entitled "The Governor" by Robert Bradley's Blackwater Surprise.

Information and comments about this song and its vocalist, composer, and band are also included in this post.

The content of this post is presented for cultural, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to Robert Bradley and Robert Bradley's Blackwater Surprise for their musical legacy. Thanks also to all those who are quoted in this post and special thanks to the daily kos blogger whisper for hipping me to this song and this vocalist & band.

From MUSIC BLOG: Blues + Whiskey, but I could use some MORE help here. By Wisper
"Second Self was a mediocre-at-best struggling rock band in Detroit and some of its former members were rehearsing in some warehouse space one Saturday with the windows open and overheard a street performer playing blues at Detroit’s famous Eastern Market.

What they heard was Robert Bradley; an older black blind man singing and playing music he learned as a child in The Alabama School for the Blind in Talladega. Mr. Bradley had moved to Detroit and performed off and on on the streets for money. And this Saturday he was ON.

So these three young white guys (a guitarist, a bassist and a drummer) are sitting by this open window for an hour listening to this guy just kill it on the street before they get smart enough to go down and invite him up.

The result was the formation of Robert Bradley’s Blackwater Surprise that put out their first album in 1994. It wavers a bit between blues and rock, but there is enough blues on it for our purpose and I’ve had one song in particular saved on my phone since about 1997: Governor

That voice has a kind of Otis Redding rasp to it. The bass and drums are perfect. And the lyrics channel true Delta emotion right into the cold heart of Detroit Michigan.

I like how the song starts falling apart structurally as it progresses. It rolls right a long to about 1:20 when Bradley gives a little moan and there is an actual short break in the music, then it picks right back up and the rhythm is back on point but the vocals are now hanging a bit on the “I wish the governor..” refrain while the other lyrics are coming a little looser through to 2:32… another break and then Bradley starts really riffing while still keeping the “I wish the governor” line on point. We coast through an organ solo and when he comes back at 3:45 he’s just pouring out the blues.

He comes right back on beat with a strong “I wish the governor….” and then I love the “Ya’ll those folks down there in Washingotn DC: I wish you’d just leave me alone. You know I need to go to work and get some money for the Baa-ayyy-bee.”

I love this song. I have always loved this song."
This excerpt from that article is given as is.

"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, and 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, and playing on Saturdays in Detroit's Eastern Market,[1] when guitarist Michael Nehra, bassist Andrew Nehra, and drummer Jeff Fowlkes 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 asked him to become their vocalist.[2]"

(Robert Bradley)

I wish the governor
Would just leave the poor man alone
He's messing up my home
I wish the governor y'all
Would just leave the poor man alone
He's screwing up my home

You know my taxes are gettin' too high
I can't pay the rent
Oh Lord, how can I make it by?
My woman wanna leave
They cut off the phone
Now I got to spend all of my nights alone

I wish the governor would leave me alone
He's messing up my home
I wish the governor y'all
Would just leave the poor man alone
He's messing up my home

I went down to the grocery store
They got a food tax
I got to sleep on the floor
Tired of workin' three jobs
But I know the governor
He ain't got it so hard, so hard

I wish the governor
(Oh Lord)
Would just leave me alone
(I'm doing alright out here by myself)

I wish the governor

(Would get his hands out of my pocket)
Would just leave me alone
I ain't bothering nobody
(Here we go)

I wish the governor
All you folks down there in Washington DC
I wish you would just leave me alone
You know I need to go to work
And get some money for the baby

I wish the governor
All y'all up on capitol hill
I know you gettin' your thrills
But I just want you to leave me alone

Me and my cat and my dog
And my car in the garage
Just leave us alone
You know I get nervous
Hey, hey, hey, hey

Leave my mother and my brother
Why don't you just leave us alone
I'm gonna say goodbye now

The recording begins with the words "Just leave the poor man alone" (sung two times). Those lyrics are followed by some words which I can't decipher. The song then begins as given above.

SHOWCASE SONG: The Governor by Robert Bradley

beegreen313 Uploaded on Apr 26, 2011

A simple message from Detroit.
Here's the comment that I posted to that YouTube video's discussion thread:
So I'm scanning the list of dailykos articles and come across one about Blues songs. That article by whisper includes "The Governor" by Robert Bradley's Blackwater Surprise.. I'd never heard of this song or this singer & band. So I check[ed] it out and love it!!

Thanks for creating this video which highlights the political nature of the song and also showcases the creativity that occurs "in spite of" often purposeful blight.

I showcased this video along with that excerpt from that above mentioned dailykos article and the lyrics on a post this my cultural blog [I added the link to this blog page]

Thanks again!"

Thanks for visiting pancocojams.

Visitor comments are welcome.

No comments:

Post a Comment