Guitarist, singer and songwriter Willy Porter has been touring solo and with ensembles of different sizes and shapes for over 30 years now. His current band combines Porter’s acoustic and electric fret work with the dynamic drumming of longtime collaborator Dave Schoepke, ever-present keyboardist/collaborator Dave Adler, songstress Carmen Nickerson on vocals and recent band addition Eric Madunic on Bass & vocals. Their live sound is a blend of grit, soul & space that moves seamlessly from folk & bluesy Americana to alt and progressive rock in service of Porter’s original tunes.
In an Asheville recording studio during the final days of tracking her EP Game Changer (2019), songwriter Rachael Kilgour unexpectedly declared, “I think I’m gonna make a Dad album.” Little did she know that this impulse would evolve into her fourth full-length collection, My Father Loved Me, a poignant tribute to her late father recorded in his native Canada. The album, produced by JUNO Award-winning songwriter Rose Cousins, captures the complexity of a father-daughter relationship and serves as a reflection on identity, inheritance, and grief. Kilgour, known for her unapologetic lyrics and masterfully crafted indie folk sensibilities, delves into the emotional landscape shaped by her father’s dementia diagnosis, death, and the immediate aftermath. The songs, initially written for personal catharsis, evolved into a reassurance beamed beyond the grave, affirming her father’s worthiness and the enduring nature of his love. Collaborating with Cousins and Canadian musicians, Kilgour’s restrained yet evocative production amplifies the emotional resonance of each track. While the album explores themes of loss, regret, and pain, Kilgour’s sober observations infuse the work with trustworthiness and an underlying sense of hope. Through songs like “Family Secrets” and reflections on her father’s early life in Canada, Kilgour challenges listeners to find strength in inherited qualities, embracing both the good and the challenging. As the album progresses, it transforms from a child’s elegy into a broader exploration of what the living owe each other. Kilgour’s contemplative question in “Ghost of My Father” lingers—what does a dying man owe us? In the end, My Father Loved Me becomes a celebration of ordinary lives, affirming their inherent value and impact, challenging the notion that grandeur is a prerequisite for significance.
This event is supported in part by grants from the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation and the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Doors and bar open at 6:45 p.m.
Michael & Aileen Ellis