Friday, July 20, 2018

Porretta time again

Once again I'm back in the usually sleepy Italian spa town of Porretta Terme for the annual soul festival, which never fails at attract great soul acts. This time we visited Siena on the way, along with San Gimignano, with its many medieval towers, and a stay with my friend Nick in Bologna. The weather is hot so far and the music looks pretty hot too.
The first evening always features Italian bands and the first of these, a seven piece outfit called Groove City were pretty good. They were here three years ago but this time they featured a different female singer by the name of Daria Biancardi. She is very popular with the locals and I can understand why as she possesses a powerful voice and a good stage act. She began with 'LoveThe One You're With' and other songs included 'Damn Your Eyes ', 'Spirit In The Dark' and a lively version of 'Son Of A Preacher Man'. She was loud but effective. After a duet with regular MC Rick Hutton, she gave way to piano player Mitch Woods, who has recently recorded an album with Van Morrisson, Taj Mahal and others. His set comprised jump blues and boogie woogie numbers, including 'Solid Gold Cadillac', 'Down Boy Down', the Professor Longhair styled 'Mojo Mambo' and 'Boogie  Woogie Barbecue'. A solid set and a good way to kick off the festival. The second act, the JBees, turned out to be a glitzy disco act and didn't appeal, but the best of this superb festival is yet to come.  More reports and photos will appear shortly.


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