Date:   2/1/2006

Willy Porter, guitarist extraordinaire, performs at Thrasher

Willy Porter is performing at the historic Thrasher Opera House in beautiful downtown Green Lake on February 11, at 7:30 p.m.  Porter is a talented singer, songwriter, vocalist, and guitarist from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He truly is a folk musician at heart. All of his songs begin with a stripped-down, folk-based arrangement, but he absorbs as many influences as he can and eases them into his various performances.

 

When Porter is not playing with his four-piece rock ensemble, he takes his act on the road solo. He can captivate an audience as completely as an entire rock band. Each time Porter takes the stage, he varies his set list as well as his song arrangements. Every show includes a healthy dose of outstanding unreleased material that seems to endlessly flow from some hidden well.

 

Although his musical career didn’t begin until 1990, his ambition began at a very early age. "I knew from the time I was five I was going to be in music on some level," said Porter.  His father, who was his first musical inspiration, played the piano. Porter decided to try his hand at guitar but when his instructor tried to teach him the “proper” technique at lessons, he decided he was better off teaching himself.

 

Still creating his own musical rules, Porter is most noted for his on-stage improvisation. "I would show up for the gig and if I didn't have a new tune, I'd have to make one up because I was embarrassed going week in and week out without a new song… so I would do this improv thing where I would write a song with the audience,” said Porter.

 

That special repertoire Porter has with his audience is what inspired his latest album High Wire Live. The album is composed of all live songs he has performed around the globe. “When you walk out in front of people by yourself with your instrument, you’re walking on a wire. Every mistake you make is out there; it’s fantastic,” said Porter.

 

On the road, the Willy Porter Band has opened for artists such as Tori Amos, The Cranberries, Jethro Tull, Sting and Paul Simon.  Porter has also released five critically acclaimed solo albums and has recorded tracks on Tori Amos' album From the Choirgirl Hotel.

 

Don’t miss a chance to see this talented vocalist, genius songwriter, outstanding guitarist, and of course, Wisconsin native, bring down the Thrasher Opera House on February 11.  Tickets for this exciting event, sponsored in part by the Heidel House, are $18 and can be purchased at the Thrasher office, Knowledge Emporium, Green Lake State Bank (Green Lake); Pick N’ Save, Ripon Drug (Ripon); Twister (Princeton); Berlin Chamber or by calling (920) 294-4279.  Online tickets available at www.thrasheroperahouse.com. 

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