Monday, October 23, 2006

Willy Porter – In The Groove

We saw Willy Porter in concert on Friday. As a student of groove, I was impressed. My ankle hurt the next morning from keeping time with him.

If you haven’t seen Willy, he’s an amazing solo guitarist, songwriter, and high energy performer. If you get a chance see him in concert. He moves around the neck of the guitar, with incredible rifts, all the while keeping in perfect time. I paid close attention to how he used his whole body to maintain the groove. When he was doing complex guitar parts, he maintained the rhythm by moving his head or tapping his foot. He wasn’t reliant on his right hand to maintain the rhythm.

A great part of his show was his on the spot songwriting. At one point a drunk told him he’s number two because he was still lusting after warm-up act, Angie Stevens. Willy on the spot created a song about being number two. Later in the show, he asked the audience to be co-writers and wrote a song with phrases provide by the audience. Each time, he set the groove first and then added the lyrics. Note to songwriters – with the strong rhythm, the lyrics can just flow.

The only constructive comment I could make about his show was that he tended to fall into one groove throughout the show, it seemed repetitive. My take away point here is to make sure to vary the rhythms throughout the set.


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