Willy Porter and Carmen Nickerson are a duo that embody the best of what live music has to offer: heart, grit, and the kind of raw musicianship that transforms listeners into long-time fans. Willy Porter’s searing finger-picking guitar style deftly blends with Carmen Nickerson’s lush vocals to create an unforgettable sound that resonates long after the last chord fades.
A virtuoso guitarist, Porter has more than ten albums to his catalogue including Dog Eared Dream (1994) which yielded the top 10 AAA single, “Angry Words.” He has shared the stage with rock and pop luminaries such as Jeff Beck, Sting, Paul Simon, Tori Amos and Jethro Tull. Nickerson is an accomplished Jazz, R&B, and Rock vocalist from the Midwest who has also contributed her talents to studio and voice-over work in L.A.
The pair met following the release of Porter’s 2010 album How to Rob a Bank and, finding their musical sensibilities a quick match, began collaborating soon after. The result has been a rich experience of performing and writing: Nickerson’s vocals feature on the yearning “Iowa Sky” from Porter’s 2013 EP Cheeseburgers and Gasoline and on the song “This Train” from 2015’s Human Kindness. In 2016 the pair were featured music guests on NPR’s A Prairie Home Companion, performing on one of Garrison Keillor’s last broadcasts.
Some of Willy Porter’s 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 play guitar perhaps greater than anyone else on the planet.” Listen To This
“An acoustic picker with the Olympian speed of Leo Kottke bolstered by rootsy vocals and twisting, offbeat lyrics that evoked John Hiatt…” Boston Globe