Bio

Porter Harp & Friends

Super Secret Mission Statement

Hi, we were wondering if you could help us. We are looking for shows, airplay, label support, reviews, promotion, management - and especially more opportunities to showcase our awkward 'rawk moves'… sometimes people come up to us and say, “Hey – you guys sound OK.” Thanks!

Porter Harp & Friends - Porter, Tim Fekete, Andrew Linnemann and an ever evolving cast of musical wizards…

Porter Harp & Friends is an atmospheric, layered, cross-genre exploration of psychedelia and Americana-inspired space rock warmly wrapped in the hazy cloud of a late night, whiskey-mellowed, Crazy Horse-style jam session. The band’s power trio core features Porter on guitar and vocals; Tim on bass, vocals and keys; and Andrew on drums.

Although the band carries its weight quite well as a three piece – it truly hits that elusive sweet spot when graced with the presence of past, present and future uber talented all stars including: Dave Voss (RIP), Jeff Baars, Jim Roth, Dave Keppel, Anne Marie Ruljancich, Gudrun Smith Valentine, Aaron Starkey, Will Alan, Tom Branigan, and Bobby Marsden.

Porter also enjoys playing solo acoustic sets on rare occasion.

Drinking Season - Jim Roth, Tim Fekete, Jeff Baars, Anne Marie Ruljancich, Dave Keppel, and me

Seattle-based singer/songwriter/guitar player, Porter Harp, assembled an all-star line up of his criminally talented musician pals for this remarkable 'solo' debut; friends he's collaborated with in various bands and projects for the last 10 years, including: Jim Roth (the Delusions, Built to Spill), Tim Fekete (the Delusions), Jeff Baars (Mike Johnson's live band), Anne Marie Ruljancich (Jesse Sykes & the Sweet Hereafter, the Walkabouts), and Dave Keppel (the Delusions, Lazy). The resulting magic of this unique synthesis transports the listener through a psychedelic weave of atmospheric, Americana-inspired space rock warmly wrapped in the hazy cloud of a late night, whiskey-mellowed, Crazy Horse-style jam session.

"Drinking Season" was produced and engineered by the infamous Phil Ek (Built to Spill, Modest Mouse) along with Porter Harp and Jim Roth. Together they managed to create a sound that appeals to the over 30 crowd weaned on '70s rawk, that the can kids dig too. Think Wilco meets Neil Young at a Pink Floyd recording session with the benefit of a modern perspective and lots o' vintage gear, yet somehow transported back to the fall of 1978, and you'll begin to get the idea.

Credits: Recorded by Phil Ek. Basic tracks recorded at the Hall of Justice June 1-5, 7-9, August 22-25, September 28-29, 2002. Mixed at AVAST! Recording Co., Seattle, WA October 21-24, 2002. Mastered by Rick Fisher at RFI CD Mastering, Seattle, WA. Produced by Phil Ek, Porter Harp and Jim Roth. All songs written by P. Harp and arranged by Harp, Fekete, Roth & Baars (except track 8 by Neil Young & track 10 by Steve Earle), ©2004 Drinking season carols, inc. CD Layout & design by William Alan Photo. Photos by Will Alan and Deron Lord.

Notes About Porter - Singer, Song-writer, Guitar Wanker, Grumpy Pants

Porter Harp has been an active musician performing on his own as well as collaborating with multiple bands and projects since arriving in Seattle just prior to the sonic nuclear grunge explosion of 1990. 

Along with his best friends from the University of Iowa, Dave Voss and Joel Syester, Porter formed Way Beyond – the world’s most gawd awful grunge band. His Mom was and is still his biggest fan. Way Beyond enjoyed a front row seat to the unique confluence of events that transpired during the heady, hazy days of the early ‘90s - leading them through amazing adventures and irreplaceable experiences that couldn’t possibly have been replicated anywhere else during that exceptional period now relegated to the Valhalla of music lore.

After cutting his teeth in the shadows of giants, Porter was fortunate enough to move on to perform with more appealing and ultimately more artistically soul-nourishing bands and projects including: Bugbear, Goody Blick & The Country Kind, The Ballard Bridge Trolls, Mugwump, Daily Values, Colonel Packwood, The SuperChamps!, and finally Porter Harp & Friends. All of these bands centered around original material and featured a massive spectrum of genres and influences: Grunge, Punk, Pop, Classic ‘70s Rock, Alt-Country, Americana, Delta & Chicago Blues, Glam, Southern Rock, British Invasion, Alternative, Indie, Psychedelic, Space Rock, and Laurel Canyon-esque singer songwriter styles.

Porter’s wheelhouse remains in writing accessible cross-genre tunes with big guitars featuring dynamic rhythm sections that cement the foundation of intricate soundscapes showcasing the amazing skills of the multi-instrumentalists he is privileged and honored to collaborate with to date. Building songs that flow organically via a tight but loose structure – leaving plenty of space for exploration, improvisation, and interpretation while embracing firmly rooted elements of light and shade.

Much like the big shots in the business world, Porter adheres religiously to the golden rule of ‘hire into your weakness.’ Surround yourself with the absolute best and the result will be greater than the sum of the parts. His methodology espouses continually building artistic bridges that soar above mere black dots on a printed page. Look no further than Doug Martsch of Built to Spill for a textbook example of this theory in ultimate sonic motion at a black belt level.

Porter also shamelessly authors his own bios (in the third person of course) and leans heavily on hyperbole whenever it suits his ego.

The SuperChamps! Antidepressant - Porter, Tim, Kevin White, Dave Voss, Jim Roth, Gudrun Smith Valentine

Antidepressant is an entertaining voyage of rootsy garage rock featuring guitars retrofitted with lasers and tight musicianship. The album was recorded and mixed at Ft. Lawton Studios on 1/2" 8 track by Jim "I am your God" Roth during various moments throughout 1999.

Track Listing

1)    Hey Man
2)    Don't Run
3)    Our Town
4)    Memory
5)    Wasted Days
6)    Garden
7)    Take A Look Around
8)    Yellow Chair
9)    Smoke
10)    I Was Down
11)    Set Free

Credits:

  • Col. T. Porter Harp - electric and acoustic guitars, vocals
  • C. Timothy Fekete - bass
  • Kevin "Kubby" White drums

All songs written by P. Harp & arranged by The SuperChamps!.

Superstar guest appearances by:

  • Jim "Stackey" Roth - guitar tracks 1,8,10 backing vocals tracks 2 & 9 organ track 2 lap-slide track 3 pedal steel track 6
  • Dave "What's on your list today?" Voss - guitar tracks 1,9,11 backing vocals tracks 1-7, 9-11
  • Goody Smith (a.k.a. the one and only, Goody Blick) - vocals tracks 2,3,5-7,9,11

CD Layout and design by Eric Carnell. Front and back cover art licensed from Time Tunnel, inc.
Contact: porterharp.com
©2000 Drinking Season Carols, Inc., Strangler Lewis Records

 

Daily Values / Mugwump (1996 – 1998) - Dave Voss, Porter, Don Grabrick

Mugwump was the first live performing incarnation of Dave’s secret bedroom-recorded solo efforts under his eventual permanent moniker, Daily Values. After fine tuning his exceptional musical chops in the Delusions, Bone Cellar and Happy Stars - accompanied by some divine pop streamlining of his killer song-writing skills; Dave became a straight up madman loaded for bear with a pent up tidal wave of radio ready, straight forward, catchy hard rock / punk pop songs. We recorded 25+ songs in a shockingly short period of time by today’s standards. The bulk of which were tracked and guided by the infamous, Zachary Lansdowne, of The Purdins @ Electric Eel in Georgetown.

This was during the peak of Dave’s extremely prolific songwriting career – and I was just damn glad to be along for the ride. In hindsight, Mugwump was the band we should have started out with in 1990 (instead of poopy ol’ Way Beyond). But alas, as the grunge fad had completely jumped the shark by ’96 we were about 5 years too late to ride that epic sonic wave… I’ve been listening to this material a lot lately – as we culled several of these tunes for the recent Dave Voss Tribute concert, and I am blown away by how well this material stands on its own. This chunk of Dave’s work has aged well – and I was extremely lucky to be a co-conspirator. More to come on this later…

Dave Voss - electric and acoustic guitars, vocals, general mayhem
Porter – bass, vocals, guitars
Don Grabrick – drums and vocals
Tim – bass (later on)

Goody Blick & The Country Kind (GBCK) - Gudrun Smith Valentine (Goody Blick), Anne Marie Ruljancich, Jim Roth, Porter Harp, Tim Fekete, Kevin White

Years Active: 1993 - 1997
Goody Blick and the Country Kind (GB&CK) was probably the closest I ever came to being able to quit my day job.
Permanently.

For the time, this was what we now call a “super group” and I gladly admit to being the weakest link in the chain.

We were an alt.country rock band in the early to mid '90s based in Ballard (Seattle), Washington. As you can imagine, we stuck out like the "One of these things is not like the other" bit on Sesame Street. This was 15 yrs pre-Mumford & Sons, mind you. Imagine Patsy Cline and Emmylou Harris fronting a hybrid of Wilco and '77 era Skynyrd and you'll begin to get the idea.

Although some our shtick was a bit campy; i.e. vigorous covers of ABBA’s “Fernando”, Juice Newton’s “Angel of the Morning”, Van Halen’s “Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love” and a very cool (and earnest) version of Neil Young’s “Down by the River”; we primarily did original material that also spanned the spectrum from kitschy to the dead on serious. In short, this band was a helluva lot of fun. When we were on top of our game and the audience was fully engaged - it was magic.

In due course, the band stumbled on many of the cliché self-inflicted obstacles that all young promising artists encounter - fragile egos, high expectations, hormones, chemicals, polar opposite personalities, failed relationships and competition for the spotlight. Hence, GBCK met its way too soon “Fleetwood Mac” style demise… My ultimate soooper secret plan is to release a "best of CD" and convince the gang to reunite for a show or three... one can always hope I guess.

Band Members (where are they now):

1. Gudrun Smith (Goody Blick) - Lead Vocal – Goody was and is one of those one-in-a-million natural born KILLER songwriters and singers; charismatic, charming, endearing and, yes, a very beautiful woman. Although her voice is unique, one can not miss the Patsy Cline influence. She went on to make an awesome record with Jim, Dave Voss and Tim called “The Groceries”. Please feel free to bug her to put it out there somewhere – or you can contact me for a bootlegged CDR. Goody returned to her native New Hampshire in 2000. We still stay in touch, and I understand that she still plays and writes on occasion (hint, hint: let’s hear some of it – GAWDDAMMIT!).


2. Anne Marie Ruljancich - Violin, Vocals – Anne Marie is not only a classically trained, extremely talented violinist and viola player; her voice will simply break your heart. She sounds like Emmylou Harris back when she was singing with Gram Parsons. She went on to numerous projects / bands, most notably being Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter – which also features Phil Wandscher of Whiskeytown. She now lives in New York – look her up – whatever she is doing now I’m sure is just as amazing as ever.


3. Jim Roth - Guitars, Vocals – where do I begin with Jim? Jim was the KING of grunge (before grunge was even on the radar) back in Iowa with his band Voodoo Gearshift. After they relocated out here, I convinced him to pull double duty by playing with us. After the Gearshift finally disbanded, he went on to create The Delusions with Dave Keppel (another personal favorite of mine) and is now a bona fide full time rock star with Built to Spill. If you do not know Built to Spill, you should – I suggest starting with “Perfect from Now On”. In my humble opinion, Jim is one of the top 100 living guitar players on the planet.


4. Porter Harp - Guitars, Vocals – yeah I did my best to balance the “rawk” part of the band by weaseling in my Skynyrd / Zep / Crazy Horse leanings in both my playing and songwriting contributions. Playing in this band was sheer joy for me and a much needed soul-nourishing breath of fresh air. I had grown weary of trying to hammer square pegs into round holes via ludicrous grunge volume levels and nonsensical tempo / key changes in tunes that were definitely NOT tuneful for the sake of shear wankery in previous projects. Remember, they called Nirvana “grunge”, but Kurt could sing his ass off and was one hell of a song-writer. To this day, the only “grunge” band that really lived up to what I consider grunge to be (or was) – and pulled it off masterfully – was Soundgarden. Just as impossible as it is to revisit Liverpool in 1964; Seattle crica 1992 is best left to its surviving elder statesmen (SG, Pearl Jam, Mudhoney, Jack Endino, Love Battery and Alice in Chains). Sadly, one day a few years ago, Eddie Vedder must have discovered a left-over grunge sandwich in the back of his fridge and what he shat out the next morning was Nickelback – 100% pure turd-o-riffic (sigh).


5. Tim Fekete – Bass, Vocals – Tim can masterfully play bass in any style and never ceases to amaze me with the creative and musical bass lines he comes up with. He is not your run of the mill “frustrated guitar player” that happens to play bass – and he does so with grace, style and an understatement that is too often lost in bands today. I have no time for dorks who can just barely play the “root notes” almost in time or dumbass wannabe Les Claypools. Tim is not only my best friend; he has been an absolute god send as a musical co-conspirator of mine for 15+ years now. I love him as much as I do my own brother.


6. Kevin (Kubby) White – Drums – Kubby has always been a bit of enigma to me. Although, I’ve occasionally questioned his heart over the years – I’ve never doubted his straight up killer drumming. He brings an ‘80s pop sense (in a cool way) to almost everything he plays – never drops a beat – and also owns a very kickass set of vintage Vistalite drums (the kind that Bonham used later w/ Zep). Kubby now plays with several bands; most notably Chuckanut Drive.

Good times...
— Porter

(reposted from 2008)
Listen here (Maddeningly, this link requires a myspace log in... yes, I know it's freakin' 2013 - but the link still works just fine when logged in - and it's free cloud hosting of the entire album in the best HiFi audio format myspace is 'celebrated' for... ahem...)