What would happen if George Clinton came down the chimney instead of Santa Claus?
Check out Everett Bradley’s funky take on the holidays, “Holidelic,” to find out.
It’s hard to miss Bradley onstage. He’s the guy with the white afro with Christmas lights in it. “It’s definitely the period of the late ’60s, early ’70s, and if you were a black man, you had an afro growing up,” says Bradley, aka Papadelic. “When you put one on, it instantly transports you back to the era, to that ’70s funk and soul music. Add in the idea of Christmas and the holidays, and you make the afro white like snow.”
Bradley’s “Holidelic” is a new take on Christmas, one that deals with family dysfunction, shopaholics, overeating and details of the holiday that need to be fixed, all set to an original score.
“My father always played Nat King Cole’s [‘The Christmas Album’] and I still have that on vinyl and I still play it every year to get me into the spirit,” Bradley says. “I listen to the Gap Band, Parliament Funkadelic and Sly Stone, so I took that combination and it got a little deeper when my parents passed away. My mother died in 20003 at Christmas and my father died in 2005 at Christmas, so it’s just odd.”
One might recognize Bradley without his white afro wig. The South Carolina native’s been the percussionist for Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, the musical director for “The Meredith Vieira Show” and played on Broadway as the musical director for “Stomp,” part of the creative team of “Swing!” and in the Cotton Club musical revue, “After Midnight.”
No, Bradley will not be part of the stripped down E Street Band that comes to Madison Square Garden next month and the Wells Fargo Center in February.
“I know what it’s like to work on a project and decide that I need to do this myself,” says Bradley of Springsteen’s decision to drop the choir and horns from the E Street Band. “I wasn’t really surprised at not being included. I am open now, just concentrating on Holidelic and after that, it’s the first time in a long time I have a little bit of freedom.”
New York vs. Philly
Bradley, who first debuted "Holidelic" at Joe's Pub in New York, is looking forward to some Brotherly Love.
“Philly knows how to party. They like to go out, have a drink and dance and watch a band,” he says. “In New York, it almost feels like an obligation: ‘We need to go out.’ In Philly, it’s ‘I need to dance!’”
If you go
Saturday, Dec. 19, 8 p.m.
World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St., Philadelphia
Sunday, December 20, 8 p.m.
Highline Ballroom, 431 W. 16th St., New York