WILLY PORTER: Wisconsin native Willy Porter is a guitar virtuoso with an insinuating voice that sneaks past your defenses and gets under your skin. The Washington Post has called him “a dazzling acoustic guitarist with a moody baritone,” while the Boston Globe describes him as “an acoustic picker with the Olympian speed of Leo Kottke bolstered by rootsy vocals and twisting, offbeat lyrics.”
Willy has toured with Tori Amos, Paul Simon, and Jethro Tull, whose leader, Ian Anderson, said of him: “Willy Porter’s music demonstrates admirably that the technical excellence of his guitar-playing will never overwhelm the essence of the song itself. In perfect symbiosis, the disciplines of performance and songwriting combine together to create the unique work for which he is admired by professional peers and audiences alike. Oh – and a damn fine singer too. Thank goodness he doesn’t play the flute.”
His music is engaging, original, and occasionally haunting, and between songs he tells hilarious stories, perhaps inspired by his background in improv comedy. Each tour date became a unique event, a musical experience much greater than just a review of past, present and future recorded work.
One his latest disc, Human Kindness (2015), Porter brings all of his acoustic, electric and multi-string chops to bear in service of a great collection of songs. This album is a driving, tuneful return to the pop sensibilities of his best work that also showcases Porter’s growth as a writer, musician and producer.
He toured the UK in Autumn 2013 and February 2014 with Martyn Joseph, along with a solo UK tour is October 2014, and his performances went down a storm every night with audiences all asking the same question…”When he is coming back?”
“I enjoy the security of obscurity,” Willy said in a recent interview, but he’s an artist who deserves an even wider following.
Support from ANNA COOGAN: Anna Coogan was born in Boston, raised in rural Vermont, and spent the first decade of her adult life in Seattle, Washington. She began her music career at a young age studying opera, which eventually landed her at Das Mozartuem in Salzburg, Austria. There, in addition to opera, she learned Austrian German, Tirolian Italian, and true meaning of the word heimweh (homesickness). She returned to the US in 2001 and obtained a degree in fisheries biology before turning to songwriting. Now celebrating her tenth year as a performing songwriter, Coogan has released five critically acclaimed full- length records and toured extensively around the US, UK, and Europe. An intense and prolific songwriter who has been compared to Emmy Lou Harris and Neko Case, Coogan currently lives in upstate New York. Her music has been described as “absolutely gorgeous” (BBC Radio Scotland) and “simply divine” (Maverick Magazine), and she was listed as one of the top acts to see of the 2013 UK festival season by the Times of London. Inspired and driven by collaboration, Anna plays electric guitar for several upstate NY outlets, including Mary Lorson (Madder Rose) and Johnny Dowd. She is currently performing solo and with songwriting partners JD Foster (Calexico, Patty Griffin) and Willie B (Jamie Lidell, Neko Case).