AUGUST 21

One summer day in 1992, Detroit resident Robert Bradley was infuriated. A blind street-corner soul singer, Bradley was interrupted by a rock band’s electrified racket blaring out the window above his usual spot. Toying with the idea of marching inside to cuss out the upstarts, Bradley instead waited for their din to cease, and then poured his emotions into his songs. The combo was stunned by the eloquence of his gritty timbre as it emanated upward. The suburban-raised crew headed out the door and befuddled the streetwise Bradley by saying they wanted to record with him. Four years later, the eponymous CD by Robert Bradley’s Blackwater Surprise was released. The album dispenses an unusual mix by combining four songs he co-wrote with his Cream- and Led Zep-loving cohorts with seven of the hundreds of Stax-inspired tearjerkers composed on acoustic guitar or organ by the rural Alabama-born 47-year-old. While the collaborations emphasize bombastic rock instrumentation and force Bradley’s raspy quaver into a nearly generic howl, Bradley’s songs utilize elegantly crisp, bluesy strumming and melodramatic pop melodies that allow this stirring unknown to confess melancholy tales of Greyhound rides, unexpected downpours in the sunshine, and times spent listening to Marvin Gaye while the Vietnam War raged on. With Huffamoose and Blue Yard Garden at 9 p.m. at the Bayou, 3135 K St. NW. $7. (202) 333-2897. (Steve Kiviat)

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