Willy Porter at the Empire in Grand Forks
If I'd known how fantastic this concert was going to be I'd have tried to recruit far more people to see Willy Porter. Not only was Porter a guitar genius, he had a terrific voice and songs I really liked. After the first song, I knew I had to buy a CD so I could take this man home with me! Of course, I didn't have any cash with me so now I plan to buy his High Wire Live CD online simply because it features so many of the songs I enjoyed at his concert. He also has a new album coming out in January and he played a couple songs off that one too.
The promotional material for Porter mentioned his accomplishments and a number of names (Tori Amos, Jethro Tull, Sting, Jeff Beck and more) of musicians with whom he's played. And after chatting with my friend Nancy I learned that Porter's also pals with Martin Sexton, another favorite of mine. She encouraged Porter to record with Sexton or possibly do a concert together. I think her words were, "If you and Sexton were to perform together, I might spontaneously combust!" I wholeheartedly agree.
What made Porter's concert so memorable for me was the way he introduced each song. Instead of just launching into a new tune he was actually quite chatty and told us humorous anecdotes from his past or stories about his son. Each of those stories was entertaining on its own, but it became clear as the following song unfolded just how the song emerged from the story. As a writer who is always seeking to understand inspiration and how stories, poems, and novels have come to be written, I really appreciate this glimpse into his creative mind.
Furthermore he wasn't just a fine storyteller and an amazing musician, he was witty and wise. Even his comments about Palin were profound and thought provoking. I guess what I am saying is that while his music was wonderful, anyone who uses the word "aplomb" in the midst of a concert has my heart. This was the best $15.00 I've spent in a long time.
October 3 Playlist
1. Angry Words (High Wire Live, Dog Eared Dream)
2. Unconditional (High Wire Live, Willy Porter)
3. Tilt a Whirl (on the new cd in Jan)
4. Hard Place (on the new cd in Jan)
5. Instrumental (not sure--Moonbeam, maybe?)
6.Tribe (High Wire Live, Falling Forward)
7. Paper Airplane (High Wire Live, Falling Forward)
8. Happy Accident ??? Song we wrote together using the words black cat, pregnancy, working, sugar beets, tuna fish sandwiches... and of course he had to work Sarah Palin's debate appearance into the song, actually tying it to the song.
9. Nascar marketing demo-- spoken word focusing on the ads on the cars
10. Jesus on the Grille (High Wire Live,Dog Eared Dream)
11. Breathe (High Wire Live, Willy Porter)
12. Mr. Roger's Neighborhood Encore/Sunday visit/Bootsy collins
You can hear some of these songs from another live performance if you follow this link.
He also has a myspace page where you can hear a handful of his songs.