THE PORTLAND SOUL ALL-STARS
"Saturday night's tribute to 'the Wicked Pickett' was a smash hit, doing turn-away business at Jimmy Mak's." --The Oregonian
"James Brown might be gone, but his spirit remains." --The Oregonian
"As heavy as [Memphis soul's] impact has been, don't forget how flat-out good the music was. The Portland Soul All-Stars will remind you." --The Oregonian
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Back in 2006, when soul music giants Wilson Pickett and James Brown passed, Louis assembled the Portland Soul All-Stars to perform tributes to them. Later came a heartfelt tribute to Etta James. In each case, the band didn't simply play the artist's hits, but played lesser-known songs as well, all while putting the music into the context of the artist's remarkable life and career.
This tribute band, the Portland Soul All-Stars--made up of some of Portland's top vocalists & musicians--has subsequently come together to reprise the Pickett & JB shows, as well as to stage tributes to Memphis Soul, Romantic Soul, Blue Christmas, Sweet Summer Soul, and, most recently, Philly Soul. Each and every one these shows--whether at the Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival or at Portland's Jimmy Mak's, has been hugely successful, both artistically and in terms of audience turnout and response.
Recent appearances: The Portland Soul All-Stars, featuring the dynamic pairing of vocalists Andy Stokes and Lisa Mann and dubbed King Louie's Portland Blues Revue for the occasion, set attendance records at Bend, OR's prestigious "Jazz at the Oxford" series in October, 2013. The same line-up tore it up the following July at the Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival, then again at Camas Washington's "Concerts for a Cause" series in August, 2014, this time with LaRhonda Steele added as a third vocalist. Then in October, the group returned to Jazz at the Oxford (with all three vocalists) and broke their own attendance record! Most recently, the super-group--this time dubbed "King Louie's Blues Revue"--was the closing act on July 4th at the Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival, performing for approximately 20,000 people!
The group also performs in a downsized format, as when a five-piece version of the Portland Soul All-Stars, featuring Andy Stokes and LaRhonda Steele as vocalists, performed for the LPGA's Portland Classic VIP dinner in late August 2014. They were immediately invited to return in 2015. A similar downsized version of the band will be performing on August 1, 2015 at the Soulful Giving benefit event in Troutdale, OR. [See details of that event at the Gigs tab on this website.]
LaRhonda Steele having fun with the audience at "Concerts for a Cause"
Below is a review of the first Portland Soul All-Stars show--a heartfelt tribute to the recently deceased soul music great "Wicked" Wilson Pickett.
The Portland Soul All-Stars are a regular at Jimmy Mak's, Portland's top jazz & blues club