“Get up on your feet, Edmonton!”
Preceded by his band, the Extraordinaires, Charles Bradley walked onto the Folk Fest main stage Thursday night accompanied by a baseline to end all baselines. He immediately injected soul and funk into the otherwise mellow folk fest crowd, and kept the energy moving throughout his entire set.
The 64 year old Bradley sang like a preacher with moves that would make a congregation blush, sliding and thrusting up and down the stage, no doubt channelling his idol, James Brown. As he belted out songs like “You Put the Flame on Me” and “The World (Is Going Up in Flames), he made sure everyone in the audience felt his emotion through his every scream or slight quiver in his voice.
“Soul music is the roots of my life:, says Bradley. “It’s something where you just have to be raw and reach deep down in your soul to bring it out. That’s my definition of soul music.”
No stranger to struggle, he gave some words of wisdom to those trying to make it amidst all the obstacles, saying “If you’ve gone through some rough times, and you keep your heart clean and your mind right, then you got something to say to the world.”
Keep your eyes peeled for our full story and interview with Charles Bradley, coming out in issue 3 in October.
By Brnesh Berhe
Photos credit: VSM Photo