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Brown still red-hot

Someone to Love
Someone to Love
By Charles Brown

Bullseye / Rounder Records: 1992

This review first appeared in the October 16, 1992 issue of the North County Times.

Since Charles Brown began his recording comeback with "One More for the Road" (reissued by Alligator in 1989), he has been red-hot. That album was accompanied by a documentary video with fellow R&B veteran Ruth Brown, several W.C. Handy nominations and a follow-up album on Rounder, "All My Life," nominated for a Grammy.

Now comes the third outing of what may fairly be called Brown's second career (the first, in the 1950s, spawned such hits as "Driftin' Blues" and "Please Come Home for Christmas"), and "Someone to Love" is every bit as good as the earlier two post-comeback efforts.

Seamlessly blending jazz, R&B and blues, Brown's sophisticated keyboard stylings here branch out into organ, and his vocals are still as smooth and smokey as fine Kentucky bourbon.

The man is well into his 60s, but it's all still here – that perfect sense of timing, the ability to turn a song into a story, piano played so perfectly you want to cry. He influenced a generation of performers, from Nat "King" Cole through Ray Charles to Randy Newman, but this latest release shows that Charles Brown is not yet ready to be consigned to the history books.