LARRY GRAHAM’S FUNK HIGHLIGHTS BERKS JAZZ FEST
For those of us who came of age with GRAHAM CENTRAL STATION, the Saturday night show with the 70 year old Larry Graham was a much anticipated climax of the opening weekend of the Berks Jazz Fest. The buzz started when Larry emerged from the back of the ballroom with a white SUPERFLY outfit and a slow motion entrance that energized the packed ballroom.
Once he got on stage with his double drum and keyboard team, side horn section, and the glamour touch of lead singer Ashling “Biscuit” Cole. ”We are going to take you back to the days of records, and whip a couple of cassettes on you. But I ain’t giving up my 8 tracks”!
Beginning with ‘Thank You For Letting Me Be Myself’ to ‘It’s A Family Affair’, Larry Graham gave the crowd everything that asked for and more. It was the greatest ballroom party I have ever witnessed as Graham Central Station covered Funkadelic, James Brown, Tina Marie, and ‘Roller Coaster’ by The Ohio Players, then came back with ‘Hot Fun In The Summer Time’.
They also got a little church and spiritual uplift as Larry went around the room and asked what couple had been married the longest, and found a loving senior couple who had been together 61 years and serenaded them with his wedding hit, ‘One In A Million’.
Three wardrobe changes and a triple encore that ended with a Midnight rush of the stage at the invitation of Larry Graham, his wife Tina, the 1,100 souls who were smart enough to fill the Hilton Double Tree ballroom.
The show ended at a quarter-to-one o’clock in the morning with a mosh pit party as Larry invited everyone to dance and party on the stage as he continued to perform in the center of a swirling and ecstatic ‘Family Affair. © 2017 Malcolm Lewis Barnes.
Graham Central Station is scheduled to roll through DC on April 20th at the Birchmere. For those who missed Larry Graham at the Berks jazz fest, don’t miss this run-away-train on his only local east coast tour!