May 1, 2009
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – Singer-songwriter and guitarist Willy Porter will return to Illinois Wesleyan’s Blue Moon Coffeehouse to perform on Saturday, May 16 at 8 p.m. The performance will take place in the Young Main Lounge of the Memorial Center (104 E. University St., Bloomington). Doors will open at 7:30 p.m. and coffee and light pastries will be available for purchase.
Porter, originally from Mequon, Wis., started his musical career playing the viola, but was drawn to the guitar after hearing Leo Kottke’s 6 & 12 String Guitar record. Porter, who has been making albums for more than 17 years, plays with a combination of folk, rock and pop.
He released his first CD, The Trees have Soul, in 1990. To get music sold, he traveled around in his Volkswagen selling discs out of his trunk. In 1994, Porter released his second album, Dog Eared Dream. The song “Angry Words” from this album was a popular top-10 hit on Triple AAA radio stations around the country. A year later, Porter signed with Private Music/BMG records and toured in America and Europe with Rickie Lee Jones, Tori Amos and The Cranberries. In 1999, he switched to Six Degrees Records and released a pop-folk CD Falling Forward, which was produced by Grammy winner Neil Dorfsman. In 2002, Porter released a self-titled album and in 2003, a solo live album titled High Wire Live.
Porter’s combined experience with both major and independent record labels led him to start his own label, Weasel Records, in December of 2005.
Billboard Magazine said, “Willy Porter’s greatest songwriting attribute lies in his quietly reverberating stories,” and The Washington Post said, “Willy Porter is a dazzling acoustic guitarist with a moody baritone.”
Another critique by Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull said, “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 two disciplines of performance and songwriting combine together to create the unique work for which he is admired by his professional peers and audiences alike.”
Porter currently lives in Milwaukee, Wis., with his wife and two children.
Students, faculty and staff can attend the concert for free with a valid ID; tickets for the public are $15 and are currently available at The Garlic Press (108 W. North St., Normal), through the telephone request line at (309) 556-3815 and on the night of the show at the venue.
Contact: Allegra Gallian, ’09, (309) 556-3181