XPN Fest Recap: Charles Bradley and his Extraordinaires supply plenty of soul to close Saturday’s Wiggins Park slate

Charles Bradley and his Extraordinaires | photo by Jeremy Zimmerman for WXPN

If you didn’t know better, you might have thought Charles Bradley was a soul pioneer, still belting out decade-old classics for an audience reliving the music of their childhood. The reactions from the crowd after every number played by Bradley and his Extraordinaires during their closing set on the River Stage Saturday evening pointed to such a notion being true. Heck, even Bradley’s age would make that seem like the logical interpretation. He’s 67 years old.

These assumptions would be incorrect. Bradley broke out just six years ago when he was finally discovered. After experiencing his live product for the first time, I can say with confidence that we were robbed of many years of heart-on-his-sleeve performances that would have been rivaled by few. Because that’s what Bradley and his band gave us in Wiggins Park Saturday. His age did not factor into his performance, except for the fact that he’s had more years than most to perfect his dance moves. I’d have a lot of fans too if I could pelvic thrust and do the robot like he does. But all jokes aside, Bradley and his Extraordinaires brought wicked amounts passion to each breath, whether that was from his howling, soulful vocals or the blasting brass courtesy of the band. Continue reading →