New Ground

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Steve Klinge
Robert Bradley's voice is soulful to the core: It's deep and expressive, with raspy edges and a southern drawl retained from his Alabama roots. On New Ground, the third studio album from Robert Bradley's Blackwater Surprise, Bradley's earthy vocals can't help but echo the soulful past, summoning memories of Otis Redding and Ted Hawkins, even while subtle modern touches surface in the background. New Ground is no archival re-creation; instead, it's a thoroughly contemporary revitalization of classic styles. "Fast Lane" nods to gospel with its backing choir, "Willy Lee" grabs some country twang from a pedal steel guitar, and "Ride My Wave" strips down to a minimal funk ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Steve Klinge
Robert Bradley's voice is soulful to the core: It's deep and expressive, with raspy edges and a southern drawl retained from his Alabama roots. On New Ground, the third studio album from Robert Bradley's Blackwater Surprise, Bradley's earthy vocals can't help but echo the soulful past, summoning memories of Otis Redding and Ted Hawkins, even while subtle modern touches surface in the background. New Ground is no archival re-creation; instead, it's a thoroughly contemporary revitalization of classic styles. "Fast Lane" nods to gospel with its backing choir, "Willy Lee" grabs some country twang from a pedal steel guitar, and "Ride My Wave" strips down to a minimal funk groove. On the modern side, "Nightlife" rides upon programmed drums, "Profile" builds on electronic loops into a dramatic rock anthem, and "Feel the Fire" uses glossy keyboards for a mid-tempo R&B ballad. Threading it all together is Bradley's gritty, timeless voice. With a new band of young bucks behind him only drummer Jeff Fowlkes remains from previous RBBS albums, Bradley succeeds in integrating the old with the new, from New Ground's stirring opener, "Train," through the heartfelt "Exist for Love" to the timely patriotic closer, "Born in America."
All Music Guide - Richie Unterberger
Robert Bradley's Blackwater Surprise is essentially a bar band, distinguished quite a bit from innumerable similar acts by their lead singer. Bradley sings with an earnest slur that has more authentic echoes of blues and R&B than most such frontmen, landing in a sort of netherland twixt Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello, and Ted Hawkins at times. His songs are earnest too, exuding a hard-won optimism and working-man's head-down forbearance. The production takes some unusual chances, with synthesizers that manage to assert themselves not as gratuitous concessions to modernity, but as reasonably effective counterpoints to the songs' coping-with-urban-tribulations vibe. "Profile" puts some funky hard backbeat and non-rap electronics to good use, and "See Her" would be a logical choice to push as a single with its upbeat soul groove. "Born in America" is the sort of non-ironic patriotism that you could expect to be hearing a lot of in the period immediately following late 2001, though it was actually written in 1979 on the first day after American hostages were taken in Iran. New Ground is nothing special, and not very new ground, but it's a respectable maximization of what this journeyman band has to offer.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/5/2002
  • Label: Vanguard Records
  • UPC: 015707959728
  • Catalog Number: 79597
  • Sales rank: 140,455

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Train (3:36)
  2. 2 See Her (3:36)
  3. 3 Profile (3:55)
  4. 4 Lindy (3:45)
  5. 5 Feel the Fire (4:26)
  6. 6 Exist for Love (4:38)
  7. 7 Nightlife (3:06)
  8. 8 Willie Lee (2:42)
  9. 9 Ride My Wave (5:29)
  10. 10 Fast Lane (3:53)
  11. 11 Young Girls (3:38)
  12. 12 Born in America (5:45)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Robert Bradley's Blackwater Surprise Primary Artist, Indexed Contributor, Piano, Vocals, Track Performer
Giles Reaves Keyboards
Mickey Raphael Harmonica
Bob Britt Lap Steel Guitar
Etta Britt Background Vocals
Vickie Carrico Background Vocals
Jay Joyce Guitar, Keyboards, Loops
Randall Sly Keyboards, Vocals
Jeff Fowlkes Drums, Vocals
Carl Hergesell Keyboards
Jen Cohen Background Vocals
Maria Taylor Background Vocals
Emma Grandillo Background Vocals
Max The Dog Background Vocals
Matt Ruffino Guitar
Tommy Wilber Bass
Technical Credits
Jay Joyce Producer, Engineer
Leon Zervos Mastering
Brodie Becker Booking
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