Willy Porter's Dream

House of Blues - Chicago

December 19, 1996

First Appeared in The Music Box, February 1997, Volume 4, #2

Written by John Metzger


On December 19, Willy Porter gave Chicago a wonderful Christmas gift with a show at the House of Blues. If you are not familiar with Porter's work, he is a delightful singer and exceptional acoustic guitar player. His songs are heavily rooted in folk music, although he colors his tunes with splashes of bluegrass, blues, and funk.

Porter currently has two albums to his credit Dog-Eared Dream, his national debut, and The Trees Have Soul, his local debut which was just re-released across the country. I first caught Porter opening for Blues Traveler at a free concert sponsored by WXRT, and I was immediately hooked.

At the House of Blues, Porter first took the stage by himself pounding out some very cool rhythms on his guitar. He was soon joined by his latest band, which features Chuck Berry-influenced guitarist Greg Koch.

Throughout the 2 hour show, Porter pulled several selections from his first two albums and gave the audience quite a taste of his forthcoming release, which should be outstanding. Porter also threw in excellent covers of The Beatles' A Day in the Life and Stevie Wonder's Superstitious.

Porter was easy-going and quite comfortable on stage, and even made up two songs on the spot. The first was about a guy right in front of the stage, and the second was about how he missed Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead.

This was my first excursion into the House of Blues, and I have mixed feelings about the club. It seems they have no organized way of getting people into the venue - we waited more than 45 minutes in a line that went nowhere while the needlessly complicated ticket taking, hand stamping process took place. Once inside, the club actually has a good sound system, and some very nice lighting effects. I'm also concerned that House of Blues will undermine many of the other long-standing clubs in the city by grabbing their performers away.

Willy Porter's Dog Eared Dream is available from Barnes & Noble.
To order, Click Here!


Copyright 1997 The Music Box