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Porter Nickerson is duo of Milwaukee-based Willy Porter (lead, backing vocals, acoustic, electric guitar) and Carmen Nickerson (lead, backing vocals, percussion). Specializing in stylish lead vocals and eloquent harmony vocals their music in the main is warm, gentle and caressing.
A mixture of the remnants of America’s 1960-1970 California sound coupled with blues (from Porter’s picking style) not adverse to a little Americana folk blues is a base they work round. While their seamless harmonies are first class it is the lyrical content of some of the songs that really turned my head. Among the best efforts you have the finely crafted “Living Proof” and “Echo Of Love”; especially strong when instrumental support in minimal and the listener is left with little but the beauty of the human voice.
After some low-key fare Porter lifts the mood with an instalment of more urgent guitar picking on “In Bloom”, and it doesn’t stop there as their vocals are likewise well fuelled. As already noted the lyrical content of the songs is superb. Intelligent and of a kind that draw the listener to them and in the form of “Loving On Her Mind”, the well documented observation of a girl searching out a possible date along the bar is a fine effort.
Produced by Ben Wisch (acoustic, electric piano, organ and harmonium) the record also has Zev Katz (acoustic, electric bass) and Ben Wittman (drums) lend support. With Porter and Nickerson both superb vocalists the listener gets to enjoy a beautiful set of work, although I could claim a couple of songs tend to merge but that would be splitting hairs. As for the opening and closing tracks a better pair you could not wish for; the sparkling “Old Red Barn” is action packed and the playing real classy. “Sign” has a grittier feel as they close the album in great style, it also has some nice piano work as they express their belief of one another. The earthy texture of the playing and Porter’s lead is akin to something the late Bap Kennedy might have done, and been proud of his work! Enough and more for you to be eager to catch them live.
Porter Nickerson UK Tour, May 2017
5th May - HEBDEN BRIDGE Wadsworth Community Centre
Billy Lane, Old Town, Near Hebden Bridge, HX7 8RY
Tel: 01422 344458 | Website: http://www.wegottickets.com/event/387846
6th May - HUTTON RUDBY, NORTH YORKS Community Hall
Enteropen, Hutton Rudby, N Yorkshire, TS15 0EJ
Tel: 07981 260861 | Website: www.wegottickets.com/event/391286
7th May - STOKE ON TRENT Fulford Village Hall
Fulford Road, Fulford, Stoke on Trent, ST11 9QT
Tel: 07480 615671 | Website: https://www.wegottickets.com/event/388769
10th May - LONDON The Green Note
106 Parkway, London, NW1 7AN
Tel: 020 7485 9899 | Website: http://www.greennote.co.uk
11th May - EAST GRINSTEAD The Dorset Arms
58 High St, East Grinstead, RH19 3DE.
12th May - CARDIFF Snails Live
Snails Deli, 6 - 8 Beulah Rd, Rhiwbina, Cardiff, CF14 6LX
Tel: 02920 620415 | Website: http://www.snailsdeli.com/snails-live/
13th May - EXETER St James’ Hall
Mount Pleasant Rd, Exeter, EX4 7AH
Tel: 07508 169049 | Website: https://twiggsgigs.wordpress.com/
14th May - PENZANCE Acorn Arts Centre
Parade St, Penzance, Cornwall, TR18 4BU
Tel: 01736 363545 | Website: http://theacornpenzance.com
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