Catching up...

OK, I’m waaaaay behind again!  BUT, I’m determined to get caught up on reporting all the stuff that’s been happening.. I know it's almost Christmas but I’m gonna go back to summer - it sure sped by fast, how was yours?  Things didn’t slow down one bit in September and October, but before I get ahead of myself let’s go back to the summer...

     In early July I joined up with my pal Raphael Wressnig’s “Soul Gift Revue” to celebrate the release of his CD “Soul Gift” along with drummer Silvio Berger, guitarist Enrico Crivellaro, and soulful Chicago singer Deitra Farr. What better place to start things off than at Rudi Kolleritsch’s great schnapps brewery in Mureck, Austria. Great friends, great food, wine, schnapps, and music under the vines..

      The Gaildorf festival was a pleasure as usual, once again seeing lots of old friends, then we headed to northern France and Vache de Blues, where I settled in for a few days of workshops and performances. First up was the Soul Gift Revue, on fire!

     It was so fortunate that the entire Igor Prado Band from Brazil was there to perform with Lynwood Slim. I’ve toured and recored with Igor and the band and I always have a ball with their amazing sax man Denilson Martins!  After a quick horn-section rehearsal with Denilson we took the stage and WOW, did that show take off!  Special thanks to all the great people at Vache de Blues for inviting us to this beautiful event, currently one of my favorites...


     ...and, how often to you see a band with members from 3 different continents?  Well, that’s just what I organized to play later that month at the Porretta Soul Festival and some other dates around Italy. And, how hard is it to get band members from 3 different continents together to rehearse?  Well, thanks to Vache de Blues, my own “International Soul Caravan” featuring Raphael Wressnig (Austria) and Igor & Yuri Prado (Brazil) had it’s first rehearsals early in the day on a side stage at Vache de Blues, with a few bleary-eyed blues campers looking on!

     Later in July I was lucky to get to be a part of the horn section of Nashville-based organist (and Bobby Rush bandleader) Paul Brown’s Heart and Soul Band, which served as the back-up band for most of the artists at the always-incredible Porretta Soul Festival in Porretta Terme, Italy.  These guys and gals were amazing, learning 50+ songs, dealing with 6-hour rehearsals, 2-hour soundchecks and a 5-hour show for a couple days in a row!  We played behind Latimore, Bobby Rush, Toni Greene, David Hudson, Falisia Jaye, and Charlie Wood. Everybody in the band was great and it was a real pleasure for me to get to work with some of Nashville’s top horn guys Steve Hermann (tenor & bari sax) and Kenny Anderson (trumpet).  They even let me get out front and do a song - “Get Into It” - from my new CD “SHOWTIME!”  


Gordon, Kenny Anderson (trumpet) & Steve Hermann (tenor & bari sax) with Mizz. Lowe and Bobby Rush.

Paul Brown's Heart & Soul Band with David Hudson

     My own group arrived in time to check out the scene and then it was time for the debut of “Sax Gordon’s International Soul Caravan” featuring Igor Prado on guitar, Yuri Prado on drums, and Raphael Wressnig on Hammond B-3 organ. We also prepared 2 songs to perform with a group of local horn players...they rocked!

Yuri Prado, Gordon, Raphael Wressnig & Igor Prado in Porretta Terme, Italy.

      We stayed in Porretta after the festival and played some smaller gigs in the beautiful surrounding area.  Big thanks to festival director/organizer Graziano Uliani for having us and always making Porretta such a special event.  If you’ve ever thought of making a getaway to a beautiful place in Italy, then combine that with diggin the best soul music on the planet and you’ve got a great summer vacation destination.. Book it for next year now! 

 Gordon & Graziano Uliani in Porretta Terme, Italy

     After Porretta we drove south to some dates in San Severino where I got the biggest advertisement I’ve ever had!

       The Soul Caravan’s summer tour ended in Baia Domezia, a beautiful little seaside town between Rome and Naples, but we couldn’t resist hanging around one more day to relax in the sun and then hear our pal Junior Watson, who was performing with the Red Wagons from Rome...

 Gordon, Junior Watson & Igor Prado at the Baia Domezia Blues Fest, Italy

     We all went our separate ways but it wouldn’t be long before I’d be seeing Raphael, Enrico, Silvio, Deitra, Igor and Yuri again. In the meantime I worked around home and got together with Boston-based sax killer Mike Tucker to do a few “Tough Tenors” shows around New England, including gigs at the Salem Jazz Festival and Chan’s in Woonsocket, RI.  Look out for more New England dates in the future for this project.


     I feel very fortunate to have such great friends and musical collaborators and to be able to travel around and see so many beautiful places, especially many out-of-the way places that I’d never see if music didn’t bring me there.  So, thanks to everybody out there that helps make it happen - musicians, promoters, club owners, festival organizers, blues societies, sponsors, and most importantly YOU!  The wonderful audiences everywhere!


Go Back