Carmen Nickerson and I first joined forces in 2010 after the release and tour of my album, How to Rob a Bank. We immediately found we had strong chemistry as both performers and songwriters. This flowed naturally into the next several years of touring and collaborations on the album Cheeseburgers and Gasoline (2012) and the full band recording, Human Kindness (2015). Both of those albums have led to this new Porter Nickerson project, Bonfire to Ash.
I am excited about this project because it represents a different direction for me musically. Through the years, the guitar has often been “the band” in my songs to some extent. I continue to enjoy writing complex rhythmic parts to fill out the role of the rhythm section in live performance. And I look forward to doing more of that in the future. However, Bonfire to Ash focuses more on our voices and the collective voice we’ve created. While the songs were all written on the guitar, its role has shifted somewhat on this project.
Willy Porter’s music manages to do so many of these things, while bringing the audience into his walk through the world.
Some of his songs are soft love poems, others observances from a dusty street corner. Some are songs about life’s obstacles, regrets, or a glimpse of a mother and child riding a bus.
For folks who want to hear remarkable guitar-playing, he does that, too – better than just about anyone you’ve ever heard.
If you have never heard of this guy before, you are in for the musical discovery for a lifetime…” and “…he can still play guitar perhaps greater than anyone else on the planet.”<i> Listen To This</i>
“An acoustic picker with the Olympian speed of Leo Kottke bolstered by rootsy vocals and twisting, offbeat lyrics that evoked John Hiatt…”