Date:   2/15/2014

Celebrate Valentine's Day with Willy Porter and band

Thrasher Opera House favorite, Willy Porter, will be joined by band members Carmen Nickerson on vocals, Bryan Mir on bass and Dave Schoepke on drums when they make their return visit to Green Lake on Saturday, February 15 for a performance on the renowned historic Thrasher Opera House stage at 7:30 p.m.

"Porter honed his chops the natural way, busking across Europe and playing every little coffee house and dive bar on both sides of the Mississippi. He's a veteran performer who takes his audiences with him on the journey. He elicits a rare kind of communication between artist and audience, mostly because he's able to read his audiences so well.

Raised near Milwaukee, Porter's first big breaks were playing theater-sized shows there and in Madison. As could be expected from someone from this part of the country, there's an element of blues in his singing and songwriting and in most of his live shows, although he's best thought of as a contemporary singer/songwriter, straight out of the world of folk music.

 Among the breaks he caught in the '90s were opening slots for the likes of Jeff Beck, Rickie Lee Jones, Tori Amos, Paul Simon, the Cranberries, and other pop and rock stars after Private Music/BMG re-released Dog Eared Dream ('94) and put their significant marketing and promotional forces behind Porter and his music. He's been joined on subsequent recordings under his own name by the likes of Ian Anderson and Martin Barre from Jethro Tull, who Porter opened for on a tour in Europe. Given his artful blending of blues, country, and traditional folk influences and his extraordinary fingerpicking guitar stylings, Porter will be a force in the worlds of Americana and contemporary folk and folk-rock music for years to come." ~ Richard J. Skelly, Rovi

"Willy's latest CD, Cheeseburgers and Gasoline (November 2, 2012), released as a digital download album, represents a series of recording sessions at his home studio, Dog Tracks, in Milwaukee Wisconsin. He has captured this batch of songs as live animals¡ªlargely as they would be heard at a live show.  This collection shows the growing collaborative spirit between Willy and Milwaukee-based singer songwriter Carmen Nickerson. Their duet on their first commercially released co-write, "Iowa Sky¡± is a thing of beauty. The vocal grit and steam they've combined with Porter¡¯s deep-tuned 9-string acoustic baritone guitar on Peter Gabriel¡¯s, "Digging in the Dirt¡± is at once both fresh and thought-provoking. This may be largely a live endeavor; however, the detail captured in the way the guitar has been recorded and mixed leaves a lot to be discovered on repeated listens. There is a lot more gasoline than cheese here." ©¤


Tickets for this special concert are $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

This program is supported in part by grants from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts. Accommodations provided by The Heidel House Resort & Spa.


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