Gene McDaniels and a last word on Amy
Blues, rock and roll, soul, fifties and sixties pop, cajun, jazz, folk, vinyl records, LPs, EPs, singles, New Orleans, Memphis, UK rock, nostalgia, girl groups, ska, rocksteady.
Here are some more photos from Porretta. This is me with Harvey Scales. And here is Harvey with Dave Thomas and Dave Carroll.
Day 2 of Porretta, and a vintage one at that, with four top soul and blues artists and no filling.
The Porretta Soul Festival - Italy's annual tribute to Memphis soul - got off to a slightly faltering, and distinctly chilly, start last night, despite some impressive performances from William Bell, Toni Green, Percy Wiggins and Chick Rodgers.
Not being a great fan of 60s British pop, I was never a great lover of the Kinks. They started as a fairly average rock and roll and blues band. But I have to admit that they were one of the better groups to emerge at the time, with some early punk-style hits such as You Really Got Me, and later some distinctively British sounding records including Dedicated Follower of Fashion, Waterloo Sunset and Lola.
Old British rockers never retire it seems: they keep on rocking until they drop. One such is Jackie Lynton, who I went to see playing with his band at a pub in deepest Surrey last night with John Spencely. Jackie made a string of unsuccessful, and mostly middle of the road, singles in the early sixties which were released on Piccadilly, Decca and Columbia, including Over The Rainbow, All Of Me (his best - see link below), Chuck Berry's I'm Talking Bout You and Teddy Bear's Picnic, and also sang with the Savoy Brown band for 18 months in the early seventies. As a candidate for Keith Woods' annual tribute to the legendary 2Is coffee bar his credentials are hard to beat. He had a residency there in his earliest days and his first manager was the 2Is proprietor Toni Littlewood. He was also one of the first British acts to play in Hamburg and one of the Larry Parnes stable of singers.
If James Brown was the hardest working man in show business, then Sharon Jones must be the hardest working woman. She shook, shimmied and boogalooed her way across the stage at the Barbican last night in a high energy show that was reminiscent of the sixties heyday of her inspiration, JB himself. Backed by the excellent Dap-Kings and vocal duo the Dap-ettes, Sharon never stopped moving and her retro soul/funk style was infectious. Her energy demands a stand up crowd, which is exactly what most of the audience did, although the venue is not suited to dancing (apart from half a dozen young ladies who were invited on stage at one point), which is what Sharon Jones is all about. I was very impressed when I first saw this 55 year old ball of fire in Lafayette, Louisiana, last year and she did not disappoint this time.