LIVE: Willy Porter @ Caffe Lena, 4/19/15

Willy Porter
Willy Porter

Review and potographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

The best concert this year so far, and I’ve seen 47 or so, since January. Willy Porter played a nine-string guitar in a finger-picking style. The lower three strings are bass strings, which he plays simultaneously with the upper standard six in both chord structures and soloing. Amazing stuff, really. And the bass patterns were not a one note kind-of-a-thing, either. I actually thought there was a backing track from a computer until the Caffe Lena sound engineer Joe Deuel told me that there was not – Porter was doing it himself live.

Between he and Carmen Nickerson (who also played a solo set during the show), there was a seamless vocal range of about five octaves. One highlight of the two-hour straight show (no intermission) was the encore of the Peter Gabriel hit, “Digging in the Dirt.” This was in Joe Cocker territory, by which I mean their cover version outdid the original. It was superb!

Willy Porter and Carmen Robinson
Carmen Nickerson and Willy Porter
Carmen Robinson
Carmen Nickerson

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