Willy Porter and Carmen Nickerson – Tickets – World Cafe Live Philadelphia – Upstairs – Philadelphia, PA – March 16th, 2018

Willy Porter and Carmen Nickerson

Willy Porter and Carmen Nickerson

Joseph Alton Miller

Fri · March 16, 2018

Doors: 7:30 pm / Show: 8:30 pm

World Cafe Live Philadelphia - Upstairs

$22 ADV - $24 DOS + Fees

Willy Porter and Carmen Nickerson
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 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.

Press Quotes:

"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
Carmen Nickerson
Joseph Alton Miller
Joseph Alton Miller
For years, Joseph Alton Miller has embraced the life of a wayfarer.

Whether it was hiking up Mount Katahdin in Maine or backpacking through Yosemite National Park in California, his "abandonment from society," as he calls it, has always allowed him time to reflect and pen his folk tunes.

Such an untethered lifestyle was the primary muse for his latest work, "Songs of Travel for the Vagabond," a striking new EP released in May. It's a work that deserves to introduce him to a much wider audience.

His sound is reminiscent of a modern-day Woody Guthrie -- perhaps unsurprisingly, Miller names the genre luminary as one of his influences, and he included a cover of Guthrie's "Do Re Mi" on his new record.

But there's an extra layer to the 30-year-old songwriter. While the word "folk" is tattooed onto his left forearm, his right arm reads "hip hop."

The mix of influences is most apparent when listening to Philly blues artist Kuf Knotz rap over Miller's twangy guitar riff in "Dude, Where's My Whiskey?"

In the autobiographical tune, he sings about New Jersey -- his newly found home state, after growing up in the Finger Lakes region of New York.

"When I first moved to Jersey, I was very alone and acting like a bit of a recluse -- drinking often, sleeping with way too many women and just not being the best me that I knew I could be," the Hazlet resident said, in a recent interview. "I was ... thinking about my life, knowing it might be finally time to grow up. I wrote the song a couple of years after that trip."

"Songs of Travel for the Vagabond" is Miller's first release under under his full name. While Miller built a fan base of a few thousand through playing local shows over the years as "Joe Miller," he said it was difficult to market himself with such a common name. He's wiped the internet clean of his four previous records and aimed for a fresh start.

Part of that fresh start is his lovely evocation of his "vagabond" existence, which you hear throughout the new EP.
In "American Crow," he serenades in his smooth low-tone voice, "I'm making a friend with an American crow... Let me fly to another destination." Miller plucks away a groovy guitar riff while New Jersey blues musician Sandy Mack's old-timey harmonica quivers in the background.

"The American crow is a species that can be found in every area of North America -- adapting to all types of places and climates," Miller said. "I think we humans should be able to do the same thing -- leaving home every once in a while to experience what our planet has to offer."

Though more sedentary days seem to be on the horizon as Miller settles into the role of a new father. He and his wife Jarysel welcomed daughter Gabriela into the world June 11, just a week or so after the release of his new record.

Miller wrote in an Instagram post announcing Gabriela's birth that his daughter is "the reason I was ever put on Earth." Still, he admits it's difficult to promote a new album with a newborn baby in the house.

"Normally, I'd like to head out on the road and tour around to try to promote an album," he said, noting he wouldn't have even been able to finish the project with an infant to command most of his time. But he was able to release the EP via his own label, Worn Out Joke Records.

"I wanted my daughter to see what her papa could do under pressure. I want to bring her up knowing that hard work pays off."

Miller will promote his new record with a July 16 show at the Asbury Hotel in Asbury Park. He plans to embark on mini tours throughout the Northeast later in the year, to share the stories he has eloquently woven into songs and tromp along more trails in pursuit of musical inspiration.

And he always remembers a bit of advice a professor and mentor once gave him.

"(He) told me to get out and see what I can before I die," he said, "and I plan to summit many more mountains before that day comes."

- Sydney Shaw for NJ.com/NJ Advanced Media
Venue Information:
World Cafe Live Philadelphia - Upstairs
3025 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA, 19104