“Porretta belongs on every serious blues and soul festival-goer's bucket list, a confluence of positive forces to be honored and treasured.”
Dick Shurman, Paul Harris Living Blues 2017

ART DIRECTOR Graziano Uliani


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Antonio Cotecchia


Mural #2 Soul Men

Solomon Burke (1940 – 2010)

Charismatic, histrionic, original, certainly one of the legends of Black Music. In 1987 he held his first concert in Porretta and returned four more times. His “Everybody Needs Somebody To Love” was revived and relaunched by the Blues Brothers. 240 kilos, 21 official children and at least 4 others out of wedlock, over 100 grandchildren. Preacher of great charm, he was bishop of his church and also a funeral director. He has always said that he is a descendant of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. His bond with Porretta was so strong that in 2017 the bridge of the station was dedicated to him in the presence of his son Selassie.

Wilson Pickett (1941 – 2006)

Horse race of the golden years of rhythm & blues dominated the charts with songs that have become soul standards such as “In The Midnigh Hour”, “Funky Broadway”, “Land Of Thousand Dances”, “Mustang Sally”. Irascible, violent, often struggling with legal problems, he played with the nickname “wicked”, which was given to him by Atlantic Records producer Jerry Wexler. He is an icon, remembered by two cult films like “The Commitments” and “Blues Brothers”. In 1995 he arrived in Porretta with his historical band The Midnight Movers.

James Carr (1942 – 2001)

“The Dark End of the Street”, written by Dan Penn and Chips Moman, remains one of the highest expressions of deep soul and James Carr’s most famous song. He didn’t have the same commercial fortune as Otis Redding and Solomon Burke but his voice was on the same level. His recordings for Goldwax in Memphis are considered by critics to be unsurpassed. One of his rare appearances in Europe took place in 1992 at the Porretta Soul Festival. His troubled life, often on the fringes of society, ended in 2001 at the age of 59 with lung cancer.

Eddie Hinton (1944 – 1994)

One of the greatest “Blue-Eyed” soul singers of all time. Songwriter and guitarist has become a cult object. The Porretta Soul Festival boasts of having had him in his only European performance in 1991 where he performed with the Memphis All Star R & B Band. On that occasion, the cast of the festival also made a performance at the Sanremo Blues. Fortunately, fans can enjoy many recordings on CD from European Zane Records. As a session man in the Muscle Shoals studios he has played on the records of Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, Solomon Burke, Percy Sledge, Johnnie Taylor, Staple Singers and many others. Look for his first album “Very Extremely Dangerous” for Capricorn Records. You will not regret it.

Mural #13 Carla Thomas

Carla Thomas (1942)

Carla is the major daughter of Rufus Thomas, sister of Vaneese and Marvell who for many years has directed the Memphis All Star R & B band in Porretta. Carla was the most famous female voice to Stax since his first hit “Gee Whiz” of 1961 and then for the album “The King & The Queen” with Otis Redding in 1967. After the successes of the 60s and his presence Constant in the rankings it was almost absent for over a decade and then recur in the middle of the 1980s. She numerous her participations of her at Porretta Soul Festival, since 1990, paired with Brother Marvell, her father Rufus and recently with her sister Vaneese. In 1993 she was awarded the prestigious Pioneer Award, along with heavyweights of music like James Brown and Solomon Burke, from the Rhythm & Blues Foundation in honor of her successful her career.