Date:   2/14/2009

Willy Porter, a Thrasher favorite, returns on February 14

Thrasher Opera House favorite Willy Porter will return to Green Lake for a performance at the renowned historic Thrasher Opera House on Saturday, February 14. In the early 1990s, Porter traveled in his Volkswagen selling discs out of the trunk, mesmerizing audiences with his guitar chops and original tunes. In 1994, he released his second independent CD entitled Dog Eared Dream that marked Porter’s artistic growth from his constant touring and a more developed songwriting perspective. The song “Angry Words” became a top-10 staple on Triple AAA radio stations around the country. Dog Eared Dream highlighted his pop songwriting sensibility and also his acoustic guitar work that would grow into a style uniquely his own – a mixture of Leo Kottke, Michael Hedges, Richard Thompson and Lindsey Buckingham.


As Porter’s star rose, he ultimately signed with Private Music/BMG in 1995. European and American tours with Rickie Lee Jones, Tori Amos and The Cranberries followed over the next year and a half.  In 1999 Porter signed with San Francisco-based Six Degrees Records and released the folk-pop gem Falling Forward.  Produced by Grammy winner Neil Dorfsman (Dire Straits, Sting), Falling Forward was supported nationally on tour with legendary artists Paul Simon, Sting, Jeff Beck and Jethro Tull. 


In 2002, Porter brought seemingly disparate elements together on his eponymous self-titled disc, Willy Porter. The album combined his fiery acoustic guitar work with career defining songwriting and vocal work—equal parts rock muscle, and folk-based intimacy.


Porters’ combined experience at both major and independent record labels ultimately fueled the drive to release a wider variety of music on a more frequent basis, and led Porter to start his own imprint, Weasel Records in December 2005. His latest release, Available Light (Ryko Distribution), features Porter at the peak of his powers as a guitarist, singer, songwriter & recording artist.  Billboard Magazine wrote that “Willy Porter’s greatest songwriting attribute lies in his quietly reverberating stories,” while The Washington Post raves that Porter “is a dazzling acoustic guitarist with a moody baritone.”


This program is supported in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts.  Additional sponsorship is provided by Pinnacle Plumbing, LLC, with accommodations provided by the Heidel House and hospitality by The Waterfront Grill.

Tickets for Porter’s much-anticipated return are only $20 and available at the Thrasher office, Knowledge Emporium, Green Lake Bank (
Green Lake); Pick N’ Save, Ripon Drug (Ripon); Twister (Princeton) or by calling (920) 294-4279.  Online tickets available at 


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