Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Porretta final day + photos

The final day of the Porretta Soul Festival featured all the acts (excepting Fred Wesley and the New JBs who had left by this time) and was another delight. There were some new numbers and some reprises of songs previously heard, and included some real highlights.
These, for me, included a sweet rendering of Soul Serenade from the saxophone of Nancy Wright, part of the Anthony Paule Band, and a raunchy, rocking version of her new song Midnight by the gorgeous Falisa JaNaye, this time wearing a short black dress. John Ellison was superb on What Can You Do When You Ain't Got Nobody: no animal prints this time, but a blue suit, the jacket of which he took off before he even started to sing. Also excellent was Stan Mosley, whose southern soul number You Can't Keep Throwing Our Love Away was a masterpiece. Toni Green appeared in a shiny green outfit and gave her usual diva like performance on Ain't Working Out, with high drama as she lay on the floor and wailed. Theo Huff was excellent - his best set of the weekend - with Johnnie Taylor's Stop Dogging Me Around and Last Two Dollars. George McCrae once again delivered his disco pop, which the bulk of the audience much enjoyed, Vasti Jackson's choice of Nothing Compares To You was a strange one, but effective, and Frank Bey once again gave a polished performance. The Anthony Paule Band was once again excellent and special mention must be made to the drummer D-Mar.
It was left to Bobby Rush to round off the evening with another stand out performance, featuring Mizz Lowe, which included Got To Be Funky, They Call Me The Howling Wolf and My Babe. As a finale all the artists came on stage to sing The Blues Is Alright and clearly enjoyed themselves immensely, as did the audience.  Here it is on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJiabQbkIJo This was the best finale Porretta has seen and was a suitable climax to a great weekend. Graziano we salute you: long may this brilliant festival last!
I took loads of photos during the action packed weekend. Here are a few of them.
This is Bella Black, of James and Black, who made a good impression on day one.
Here's Fred Wesley, who kicked off proceedings on the second day.
Falisa Janaye, from Mississippi, impressed both with her energy and voice, and also looked great. Here are a couple of her in action.

Stan Mosley was another act who exceeded expectations. A brilliant soul singer.
George McCrae kept lovers of disco happy, especially with his great hit Rock Your Baby.
Here is Vasti Jackson, an excellent guitarist who also backed Bobby Rush.
Frank Bey appeared on three nights with his regular band led by Anthony Paule, all of whose members worked their socks off over the weekend.
The star of Anthony's band was drummer D-Mar whose athleticism and enthusiasm surely has no equal.
Jerry Jones provided some well delivered straight ahead soul during the weekend.
Here is Soul Brothers Six lead singer John Ellison, wearing his animal print outfit.
Toni Green, the Queen of Porretta, wore amazing costumes on each of her performances.
Here's Toni doing a duet with Theo Huff.
Here's another one of Theo.
Bobby Rush was great as ever: charismatic, funny, funky and bluesy.
Here's Bobby with Mizz Lowe.
More photos will follow. Here are some Youtube clips that I filmed. John Ellison:    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ktib9FmODc   Falisa Janaye:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUZMORUZ_iU    Stan Mosley:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fgdOH9raIdA


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