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February 18, 2015

Rockin’ the Region with George Clinton

Rockin’ the Region with George Clinton

The Godfather of Funk is coming to the Pickle Barrel Nightclub this Thursday, Feb. 19 at 8 p.m. Don’t miss the first ever appearance of George Clinton in Killington, Vt. You don’t just get George when he plays; you get his whole entourage, and there could be 20 to 30 people on that stage movin’ and groovin’.

73-years-old and George Clinton is still funkin’ it up like ever before. Clinton is in the midst of a huge tour that will run until August and see him cross the U.S. and head overseas to Australia, New Zealand and Japan. He has recorded as both Parliament and Funkadelic and is best known as P-Funk. He is considered to be one of the most influential innovators in funk music alongside James Brown and Sly Stone.

Clinton started performing in 1955 when he formed a barbershop quartet, literally. He started a doo-wop group called The Parliaments while he was working in a barber shop in Plainfield, N.J., inspired by Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers and what they were doing in the music scene. He scored a major hit with them in 1967 with “I  Wanna Testify,” then started experimenting with harmonies, melody and rhythm, and taking cues from the psychedelia movement, forever separating himself from the Motown era. The Parliaments really took off in the 70s when they started performing as Parliament and Funkadelic. Clinton and P-Funk dominated the music scene in the 70s with 40 R&B hit singles (including three number ones) and three platinum albums. He showed us how to take the art of our minds and turn it into the art of this world. His concerts were flashy, trippy and downright crazy but all in all, the best funk music you can hear. He has some of the biggest hits funk has ever seen, like “Give up the Funk,” “Flashlight,” “One Nation Under a Groove,” “Atomic Do”’ and many more. He also started a successful solo career in 1982.

2014 was a good year for him as he released a book titled “Brothas Be, Yo Like George, Ain’t That Funkin’ Kinda Hard on You? A Memoir by George Clinton.” In that musical memoir Clinton talks about four decades of hit songs, drug abuse, the evolution of pop, rock, and soul music, his legal pitfalls, and so much more. He also released his latest album with Funkadelic titled, “First You Gotta Shake The Gate.” It’s a three CD set of 33 songs for the 33 years since the last official Funkadelic release. This album has something for every type of funkateer: a little old school, a bit of new school, R&B, classic funk, hip-hop, and even some hard rock. Clinton has some special guests with him like Sly Stone, Blackbyrd McKnight, Lili Hadyn, Danny Bedrosian, Soul Clap and many more. If you go to his website and look under discography, there are 118 albums listed. He made his first album in 1958.

The man is a legend. Clinton was inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 1997 along with 15 other members of Parliament. His music fused such diverse genres as Motown, soul, funk, psychedelia, classical and even music from The Beatles. Clinton cites The Beatles as one of his many influences along with James Brown, Sly Stone, Jimi Hendrix, Frank Zappa, all the doo-wop groups like The Shirelles, The Coasters, The Cadillacs and many more. He loves all kinds of music and as a kid would go to New York City to see anyone he could. He is also the influence for so many super stars like the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Prince, Primal Scream, LL Cool J, Digital Underground and Primus. He is considered a major influence on the development of hip-hop music. Clinton ranks second on the list of most-sampled artists in music history, with more than 400 times to date, including the music he made with and for Parliament, Funkadelic and Bootsy Collins’ Bootsy’s Rubber Band. He’s been sampled by OutKast, Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Missy Elliot and many more.

Clinton is an artistic visionary, visual icon, merry prankster, absurdist philosopher, and savvy businessmen, all rolled into one. The accolades for George Clinton could fill a book. There is only one George Clinton and he is like no other in the music world. There is no end in sight for him, either. “I ain’t going nowhere,” he declares. “I feel like I’m starting over right now…for real!”

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