By GREG JORDAN
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
A local musician who has been singing southern gospel music since she was child is performing Friday for the Chicory Square 2014 Concert Series.
Carla Bragg, of Princeton, said Friday’s performance could be the fourth time she has sang to Chicory Square in downtown Bluefield. The concert starts at noon.
“I sing southern gospel music. It’s just me,” she said. “It all started when I was about 5 years old and my dad led song service for Brother Leonard Repass at the Upper Room in Princeton. And daddy loved southern gospel music, and he took me on a TV program and I sang ‘Jesus Loves Me’ and I’ve been singing ever since.”
There are several varieties of Christian music, Bragg said.
“You’ve got what you call your soul gospel, and then you have your Christian music and even today there’s rock Christian music. Southern gospel is more like your old-style Christian music; it could even cross with country gospel. It’s kind of country sounding.”
Southern gospel is usually performed by groups such as The Gaithers and The Martins, she said.
Bragg has made five albums of southern gospel music.
“I have five CDs out right now, and I’ll just be choosing selections off each of those,” she said of her upcoming performance at Chicory Square. “Some of them I wrote, so I’m a singer and songwriter and I record in Nashville. They have everything down there. On this last CD, Gordon Mote, who performs with The Gaithers, plays the piano. It was great. They have wonderful musicians down there.”
The atmosphere at Chicory Square is one of the reasons Bragg likes to sing there.
“I like where it’s an open atmosphere and people come and go if they want to,” she said. “They feel more comfortable. It’s more open. They have food and drawings that they do. It’s just a more inviting atmosphere. This Friday is West Virginia Day, so hopefully that will free up a lot of people to come out.”
The Chicory Square Concert series is sponsored by the Bluefield Daily Telegraph. This week’s sponsor is Hearthside Book Store in Bluefield.