Willy Porter and Carmen Nickerson
33 West St.
Annapolis, MD, 21401
Doors 7:00 PM / Show 8:00 PM
This event is 21 and over
Willy Porter and Carmen Nickerson
Midwest artists Willy Porter and Carmen Nickerson are an exciting addition to the indie-duo scene. With their liquid harmonies and unassailable, playful performance chemistry, these two solo artists have joined their unique talents to create the unforgettable sound of Porter Nickerson.
Porter has been turning first time listeners into die-hard fans for more than two decades. His blistering guitar playing and rich songwriting provides the perfect architecture to support Nickerson’s lush vocals, complimenting and elevating Porter’s songs to make them feel both fresh and timeless. The pair first collaborated on the 2013 EP Cheeseburgers and Gasoline and again on Porter’s 2015 record Human Kindness. In 2016 the duo performed as the featured musical guests on NPR’s A Prairie Home Companion.
Porter Nickerson are excited to bring listeners the new disc, Bonfire to Ash, their first album of original co-writes produced by Grammy Award-winning producer Ben Wisch (Marc Cohn, Jonatha Brooke).
Bonfire to Ash charts experiences that bridge the intimate with the universal. From the thirsty shoots of new love (“Old Red Barn”), to the urgency to save love from skidding out of reach forever (“Loving On Her Mind”), and again in the anthemic elegy to relationships and legacies forged in America’s heartland on the song “Living Proof.” Porter and Nickerson perfect a unique dialogue through the songs on this record that carries over into their unassailable stage chemistry.
Together these highly accomplished artists take audiences on a singular musical ride full of heart, grit, energy, and fun that showcases the best of what live music has to offer.
"Ash burns brightest when Porter and Nickerson share their voices and different perspectives of a lonely relationship on "Echo of Love."" -Piet Levy, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
“He’s an amazing guitar player, singer and songwriter. (Carmen Nickerson) produces a very smooth, accurate harmonic blend with him. Did I say I liked this? I REALLY do.” –Al Kooper, music legend/producer on Cheeseburgers and Gasoline
“Willy is an entertaining performer, an excellent guitarist, and someone who obviously loves what he does.” –No Depression
“Willy bursts through our traditional ideas of singer songwriters by breaking through the clutter. Willy needs to be heard.” -Bruce Warren, WXPN
“Porter accentuates well - rendered tales with spit - fire - percussive acoustic guitar strumming and fiery color - chord picking." -Billboard
“Tony Furtado is a major musical force without a doubt. He has his black-belt in voice and bottleneck guitar and his banjo playing scares the crap out of me.”
– David Lindley, musical adventurer
Very few musicians of any stripe so personify a musical genre as completely as Tony Furtado embodies Americana roots music. Tony is an evocative and soulful singer, a wide-ranging songwriter and a virtuoso multi-instrumentalist adept on banjo, cello-banjo, slide guitar and baritone ukulele who mixes and matches sounds and styles with the flair of a master chef (he’s also an accomplished sculptor, but that’s another story). All of the music of America is in Tony’s music. Relix hit the nail on the head when writing of Tony: “True talent doesn’t need categories.”
A native of Pleasanton, California, who now makes his home in Portland, Oregon, Tony Furtado took up the banjo at age 12, inspired by the Beverly Hillbillies TV show and a sixth grade music report. He first attracted national attention in 1987, when he won the National Bluegrass Banjo Championship in Winfield, Kansas. Not long after that, Tony opted for the life of a full-time professional musician, joining Laurie Lewis & Grant Street. A second victory at Winfield, in 1991, bookended his years with Grant Street.
In 1990, Tony signed a recording deal with Rounder Records, one of the country’s preeminent independent record companies. Beginning with Swamped in 1990, he recorded six critically acclaimed albums for the label, collaborating with such master musicians as Alison Krauss, Jerry Douglas, Tim O’Brien, Stuart Duncan, Kelly Joe Phelps and Mike Marshall. During this period, Tony also performed and recorded with the band Sugarbeat and the Rounder Banjo Extravaganza with Tony Trischka and Tom Adams.
Beginning in the late 1990s—influenced by such musical heroes as Ry Cooder, David Lindley and Taj Mahal—Tony added slide guitar, singing and songwriting to his musical toolbox and began leading his own band. He is a tireless road musician who performs in a dizzying variety of formats: solo, in a duo or trio or with his full five-person band. He especially values the opportunities he has had to tour with such legendary musicians as Gregg Allman and with such esteemed slide guitarists as David Lindley, Derek Trucks and Sonny Landreth.
Tony has performed throughout the world at top venues and appeared at such prestigious music festivals as the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, High Sierra Music Festival, Jazz Aspen, Kerrville Folk Festival, Strawberry Music Festival, Winnipeg Folk Festival, Sisters Folk Festival, San Jose Jazz Festival and countless others. “I love playing live,” he says. “All my energy is focused on the love of playing music and rolling with the moment. It’s a give and take from the audience to the stage, and back. And the music that is created is something that otherwise might not occur without that flow.”
( Jon Hartley Fox )