On Sunday evening, July 19, Willy Porter provided an audience of several hundred residents and visitors of Door County with a powerful, free outdoor concert at the Peg Egan PAC, Egg Harbor’s open-air amphitheatre. Willy’s music and his wit combined for a delightful and thought-provoking performance as the sun set in the western skies over Green Bay. He opened with an incredible instrumental piece and then went on to demonstrates how admirably he combines his guitar-playing virtuosity with his brilliant songwriting. Ranging from the comical to the heart rending, his works left me thinking about everything from love and the brevity of life to topical issues like our war veterans and the economy.
Door County Style Magazine cam crew was there to provide you with the following chance to experience a bit of what you missed or remember what you saw and heard if you were lucky enough to have been there. Willy is a master of the six and 9-string guitars and his songwriting skills are just as finely tuned. This lyrics of this Willy Porter song, “Paper Airplane.” touched my heart. Here’s an intro:
I wanna walk through all your open doorways.
I wanna drink down all your cheap wine.
I wanna answer the phone when your old man calls ya.
I wanna tell him that your doin alright.
I wanna erase all doubt.
I wanna stand naked before the sun.
I wanna lay down beside you when the working day is done.
Through your open window my paper airplane flies.
People say I lost my footing.
They should look into your eyes.
Here’s a link to hear the song that drew me to attend Willy’s recent Door County concert: “How To Rob A Bank” – another example of his Woody Guthrie-style, would-be bank robber’s directive:
You can’t walk in there brazen with an Uzi like Patty Hearst.
I’m gonna secure myself a seat on the board of directors first.
That’s how you rob a bank.
It’s also the title of his latest CD release, a rich blend of salt and sugar with tracks that move easily from rough-hewn electric edges into soulful irony with equal aplomb. Each song is a fresh cross-pollination of styles, genres and musical forms.
On How To Rob A Bank Porter fills out the production with a deep supporting cast of musicians he has known and toured with for years. The LA-based folk/rock quartet Raining Jane bring their vocal harmonies, cello, sitar and percussion to the disc in warm and subtle ways. LA über-session artist, Reggie Hamilton, lends his virtuosity on upright bass to the title track and Weasel Records label-mate Natalia Zukerman sews her lap-steel, dobro and vocal chops into several tunes. For the core heavy lifting on the album, Porter enlists his own seasoned backing band of Dave Adler (keys), Steve Kleiber (bass), and Dave Schoepke (drums and percussion).
“In his most recent offering on Weasel Records “Porter [is] at the top of his game, working off his creative debt to Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan,” (Dave Tianen – Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel) while showing his listeners How To Rob A Bank.
The Peg Egan Performing Arts Center Sunset Concert Series of live music in Door Countyis presented free to the public and begin at 7 pm at the new open-air Egg Harbor Amphitheater on Church Street. Bring your lawn chairs and blankets! Meet and greet the artists after each show at the Door County Outpost Gallery & Cafe.
Sunday, July 26 • Patty Larkin
Patty is a rare combination of talents. Over her 10 CD history, she has honed a reputation as a “musician’s musician”, working with some of the brightest talents in American music. Long a favorite with critics, Patty is that unique level of artistic sophistication – one that her audiences have come to appreciate and her new fans will love.
Patty Larkin is the recipient of an Honorary Doctorate of Music degree from Berklee College of Music, recognized for her outstanding contributions to contemporary music, alongside synthesizer pioneer Dr. Robert Moog. Over the years, other recipients of this prestigious honor have been Duke Ellington, Sting, Natalie Cole, among others. Patty Larkin has won an unprecedented 11 Boston Music Awards and is the recipient of the Distinguished Alumnae Award from Berklee College of Music and “Patty Larkin Appreciation Day”, a proclamation by Boston’s mayor Thomas Menino.
Sunday, August 2 • Steppin’ In It
This Lansing, Michigan quartet brilliantly updates a resurging American musical genre. These guys are real showmen of old-time country swing. Sponsored by: Edward & Terri Martin, H.J. Martin & Son, Inc. In memory of Patrick and Mary Ellen Martin.
Sunday, August 9 • Lawrence University Jazz Ensemble
The members of the Lawrence Jazz Trio improvise and interact upon an eclectic repertoire of jazz, classical, folk, and ethnic music. Each artist brings a broadly based conservatory education, an extensive jazz background, and unique world music experiences to this creative music collective.
Sunday, August 16 • Harmonious Wail
Smoldering vocals laced among the jazzy mandolin and guitar; an infectious blend of continental jazz, swing, gypsy music and melodic vocals. The band has toured throughout the United States and Europe over the past 17 years.
Sunday, August 23 • Karen Savoca & Pete Heitzman
Karen Savoca’s live performances are uplifting and hypnotic, and she and partner Pete Heitzman put some funk in the folk. At the Vancouver Folk Festival ‘99, as the Sunday sun was setting, for the first time in 22 years, 10 thousand people inexplicably removed their shoes and waved them over their heads.
Sunday, August 30 • Santa Cruz River Band
Arizona’s Santa Cruz River Band plays folk music in styles rooted in the Southwest and Mexico. Breathtaking stories and vocals!
In case of a rain out, events will be held indoors at The Orchards Golf Course, 8125 Heritage Lake Road in Egg Harbor… call 920-868-2483.