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Funkadelic's Soulful Glory

Posted: Nov 17, 2010

Funkadelic's Soulful Glory

“I recollect with mixed emotions
All the good times we used to have,
But you were making preparation
For the final separation
And you blew everything we had.
You get your love on credit
And your lovin’ days are done
Checks you signed with love & kisses
Come back signed insufficient funds,
Can you get to that?”
            “Can You Get To That?”
             George Clinton/Ed Hazel

North Carolina native George Clinton began gathering musicians to form Funkadelic in 1964. Clinton also originated Funkadelic’s sister band Parliament. Yet, Funkadelic’s guitar-based Funk N Roll soared far higher and way lower than its sister group. In 1968, Funkadelic relocated to Detroit. They were a wild bunch…

The band’s zenith era included core members George Clinton, guitarist Ed Hazel, bassist Billy Nelson, guitarist Tawl Ross and drummer Tiki Fulwood. Later, keyboardist Bernie Worrell  played on Funkadelic albums. Members of the group extended into musical families of the Motown session players, James Brown's group and Sly & The Family Stone.

The group’s seminal albums such as Funkadelic, Maggot Brain, Free Your Mind And Your Ass Will Follow and America Eat’s Its Young rank as some of the most gritty and soulful music you’ll ever hear. When you hear them sing, “But I read an old quotation in a book just yesterday/Said you’re gonna reap just what you sow/The debts you make, you’ll have to pay,” you know the song transcends time.

Later, Funkadelic seemed to lose their snakebite after the departure and early death of guitarist/songwriter of Ed Hazel. George Clinton later dissolved the group, but still tours with P-Funk. In fact, I caught his band at Wanee in April. The group’s soulful songs stand the test of time even though everything else about Funkadelic disappeared into ashes and dust.

Free Your Mind And Your Ass Will Follow,

James Calemine  

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