Posts Tagged ‘Charles Bradley’

Saturday at Middle of the Map Fest 2016.

May 19, 2016
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Crowd at CrossroadsKC for Manchester Orchestra during Middle of the Map 2016

Middle of the Map Fest 2016 wrapped up with a diverse mix of artists from indie rock to rap. Here’s my rundown of Saturday at Middle of the Map:

Past interview subjects Pink Royal got the day rolling at CrossroadsKC with some potent, groovy indie jams.

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Pink Royal at Middle of the Map Fest 2016

Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based Light Music brought their trippy electronica-tinged indie jams to CrossroadsKC. The past interview subjects played one of the strongest sets of the fest.

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Light Music at Middle of the Map Fest 2016

Past interview subjects Bassh showcased their indie pop jams. The Nashville-based band delivered a tight set. Their single “Body” was a big highlight.

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Bassh at Middle of the Map Fest 2016

Charles Bradley and His Extraordinaires delivered an extremely passionate and soulful set at The Midland. I was fortunate to meet the Screaming Eagle of Soul before his set. He is a class act and an inspiration.

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Charles Bradley and His Extraordinaires at Middle of the Map Fest 2016

Manchester Orchestra smashed the CrossroadsKC crowd with their epic style of indie rock. The Atlanta-based band’s songs sounded even bigger live.

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Manchester Orchestra at Middle of the Map Fest 2016

St. Louis-based rap group Illphonics delivered a hard-hitting set of hip hop late night at The Tank Room. The set closed out my coverage of Middle of the Map.

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Illphonics at Middle of the Map Fest 2016

The quality and diversity represented in the artists playing Middle of the Map helped to make it a wonderful experience. Over the course of the 20 sets I witnessed in three days, I saw no bad sets. The emphasis on local artists really showcased the strength of the Kansas City music scene. It will be fascinating to see what the future holds for Middle of the Map Fest.

The Inspirational Soul of Charles Bradley at Middle of the Map Fest 2016.

May 10, 2016
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Charles Bradley and His Extraordinaires at the Midland 5/7/16

I consider myself to be a funk evangelist. It’s one of my many missions in life. I truly believe in the importance of spreading the good word of funk to the world. A lot of people are funk deficient and they don’t even know it. The wonderful and soul enriching power of music is so beautiful. No matter how funky you are, you could always be funkier. It is a never-ending, joyous journey. Charles Bradley’s set in Kansas City Saturday night reaffirmed my dedication to bring the funk to the people.

Charles Bradley is an underrated soul singer. Bradley overcame a rough childhood and homelessness to pursue his love of music. Known as the Screaming Eagle of Soul, he is signed to the excellent funk and soul label Daptone Records. The 67-year-old Bradley began his career as a James Brown impersonator, but has carved out his own path. He is not an artist just mining nostalgic ideas. Bradley is honest, real and in the now.

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Charles Bradley and His Extraordinaires at the Midland 5/7/16

Over 500 people came out to the Midland to see his set as a part of Middle of the Map Fest 2016. Bradley and his tight band, the Extraordinaires, burned through an hour of simmering ballads and uplifting soul. It was one of the funkiest shows I’ve seen in years.

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Charles Bradley and His Extraordinaires at the Midland 5/7/16

Live, the songs took on even more emotion and energy than the recorded versions. Bradley left so much of himself on that stage. The passion he has for his music is infectious.

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I was fortunate to briefly meet Charles before his set. I told him about my funk deficiency theory and said he is a catalyst for positive change in funk. “I’ve paid my dues,” he said in a gravelly voice. Charles Bradley’s humility, positive outlook and his love of music is inspiring.

 


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