When you hear some soul singers, you realize that it would be odd for them to have any other profession. Rockie Charles had another profession as a tugboat captain, but on the album Born for You, he showed both that he was born to be a soul singer and why he was known as the President of Soul.
When you listen to the title track that opens the album, you can't help but be drawn in by Charles's vocals. There is a little rasp similar to Charles Bradley. When he hits the higher notes, it's hard not to think about Al Green.
You can hear some blues throughout this album. "Oh My Darling, Look what You're Doing to Me" is one of those bluesy soul songs. A lot of the blues influence in this song is in the harmonica. You can also hear it in the bass line. It also has an easy tempo that makes it easy to imagine hearing this song being played on a front porch.
It's interesting to hear the differences between songs on this album. "Festus Believe in Justice" brings Bo Diddley to mind. Specifically, it sounds a lot like one of the songs on Bo Diddley is a Gunslinger in which Diddley sings about the Old West. In this song, Charles sings about someone named Festus, who rode his horse through the streets of Cheyenne while the guitar provides a little southern-blues twang.
"I Need Your Love So Bad, I'm about To Lose My Mind" is the kind of song that wouldn't be out of place in a Quentin Tarantino film. This one has the whole package: organ, saxophone, and female backing vocals. Play this tune for your friends with only the instruction that they listen and enjoy.
This is a great soul album that will make you wonder why Charles didn't garner more attention when he was alive. If you're a fan of old soul music, this will be a great addition to your collection. This album was initially released in 1996, but was re-issued on Nov. 24 and is available in all formats now.