Willy Porter continues on a musical and personal odyssey spanning over two decades, 11 albums, and multiple continents. His journey has been defined by an inquisitive love for humanity and the language that describes what we all hold to be true. Porter’s songs weave a universal perspective about the questions, struggles, and triumphs of human existence. His live shows are guitar-driven grit, soul, silence and muscle– at times electrifying, dynamic, and unique in the way that Porter’s voice blends and fuses with his fret work.
A largely self-taught musician, Porter began treating audiences to his brand of guitar playing and wry storytelling in the late ‘80’s while living in Madison, Wisconsin. In 1990, he released his first full-length independent album, The Trees Have Soul, and the touring life has flowed steadily ever since. Porter has literally logged millions of miles across America, Canada, the UK, and Europe, touring solo, as well as with various incarnations of the Willy Porter Band and in support of artists like Tori Amos, Paul Simon, Jethro Tull, Sting, and Jeff Beck.
A partnership with Milwaukee-based singer/ songwriter Carmen Nickerson resulted in the album, Cheeseburgers and Gasoline (2013). This spartan production illuminates themes of life-longing and relationship repair, all while balancing the dream of self-actualization on the axle of a carnival’s Tilt-a-Whirl. The record also includes Porter’s brilliant cover arrangement of Peter Gabriel’s “Digging in the Dirt.”
After touring extensively together for more than two years, Porter and Nickerson released a full-length disc of original co-writes: Bonfire to Ash (2016). Produced by Grammy winning producer Ben Wisch (Marc Cohn, Jonatha Brooke) and featuring Bassist Zev Katz and Drummer/Producer Ben Wittman, Bonfire to Ash is a record that charts the experiences bridging the intimate with the universal.