For an electronic press kit please visit http://www.sonicbids.com/PorterhouseBob
April 2003 Southland Blues Magazine (CD Review by Jim Santella):
"Porterhouse Bob and Down to the Bone create a terrific party atmosphere that eveyone can enjoy. There are no wallflowers sitting in the corner when this band steps out. Horns, drums and bass rock the room behind this eclectic singer/pianist who celebrates the blues roots of Atlanta and New Orleans. Bob cites Dr. John, Professor Longhair, Ray Charles and several others as primary influences toward his gritty singing persona."...
"His album contains a little of everything: barrelhouse blues, boogie-woogie, zydeco and a lot of fun. Spriritual Roots, a greaceful gospel chorus with sensual emotion, provides appropriate backing on three of Bob's original tracks. His "Po'k Chops," served up as a solo piano thrill, demonstrates Bob's adeptness at the keyboard. His love of variety rears high, as he gradually eases the tune into a grandscale Latin escapade with colorful dance floor instrumentalists on board. "Bring it to Jerome" returns to a staid, quiet, gospel adventure, then "U Ta Ta Macoomba" rools out the swamp zydeco dinnerware for supper.
"It's a blast. Recommended. Porterhouse Bob's idea of a good time has something for everyone and should not be missed."
January 2002 Southern BBQ Blues Review (article by Marvin Stokes)
"BIG MOJO Records recording artist, Porterhouse Bob, has shared the stage with Jim Belushi, Charles Brown, Paul Butterfield, James Cotton, The Coasters, Willie Dixon, Floyd Dixon, The Downchild Blues Band, Charlie Musselwhite, the Persuasions, Phil Upchurch, Muddy Waters and many other renown blues artists.
Porterhouse performs from behind a custom made keyboard enclosure adorned with alligators and shrunken heads. The band members rip it up with a colorful mix of barrelhouse blues, boogie-woogie, zydeco, voodoo, alligators, and tales of life in Lafayette, Louisiana.
The five 'man' rhythm and horn section, featuring Mitch Montrose on drums and rubboard, Leslie Baker on acoustic bass, Mr. C.C. Burns on alto saxophone, Scotty Strathmann on trumpet and Chris Woodcock on baritone and tenor sax, provides the perfect compliment to Porterhouse's aggressive blues piano, accordian and organ licks. From tunes written by the likes of Buster Brown and Ray Charles, to original numbers, like Down in New Orleans, Biscuits N Gravy, Hot Rod Lips, Big House Boogie, and Big Fat Woman, this infectious swamp boogie serves up just fine with spicy barbecue and ice cold beer."
January 2002 Southland Blues Magazine (article by Jon Hayes)
"I have come to learn, as I'm sure you have as well, that great music means great entertainment. Porterhouse Bob makes great music and there is no doubt about the entertainment."
NEW ORLEANS BLUES - BACK TO THE ROOTS
article by Cameron Johnson
"New Orleans Blues" - the words conjure up images of Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton, and King Oliver, band leaders who captivated audiences with their impassioned jazz and blues performances.All the elements that make the New Orleans sound an exhilarating experience were there - spontaneity, improvisation, mystique, and an expression of joy that seemed to belie the history of slavery, segregation, and hardship that lie at the roots of the music.
New Orleans ragtime and blues evolved in the early 1890s as the melodies and syncopated rhythms of the American black laborers mixed with the cultured European influenced music of the Creoles. The Creoles, originally from the West Indies, were influenced by their integration into the
French district of New Orleans and subsequent segregation laws which pushed the Creoles into the poorer American black neighborhoods.Dixieland jazz, with its obvious blues influences, was popularized in the 1920s . By the 1930s New Orleans jazz had begun its transformation into dance music and by the 1940s had evolved into bop and swing.
Through these years of musical transformation, New Orleans has produced unique artists that were more comfortable in a solo or combo setting than fronting a large band. These were musicians who were delegated to playing smoke filled barrooms for drinks and small change. The rudimentary sounds that emanated from these establishments were injected with Caribbean, Creole, and African influenced rhythms, propelled
by rollicking boogie piano, swinging horn lines and roughly hewn, spirited vocals . It was the birth of rock n' roll, rhythm and blues, funk and eventually included the artistry of such luminaries as Professor Longhair, James Booker, Fats Dominoe, Allen Toussaint, Frogman Henry, Buster Brown, and Doctor John.
Many self-taught horn players and percussionists fulfilled
their musical destiny in the streets, creating a sound that mixed all the traditional elements of jazz, blues and funk with the spirit of Haitian voodoo. 'Second-line' bands, which bring up the rear of traditional funeral processions, spawned such popular artists as the Dirty Dozen Brass Band
and influenced the rhythm section arrangements developed by club and recording musicians - ones that could afford a horn section.
Today, the New Orleans club sound is likely to include cover bands or DJs pumping out the same music as corporate-owned radio stations. Many of the renowned artists we associate with the " New Orleans sound" have either passed away, quit playing or moved on to the concert
As the crow flies, it's a haul from the French Quarter in New Orleans to downtown Los Angeles. You won't find many bands laying down the New Orleans sound in this town - L.A. is a much different cultural melting pot than we associate with Louisiana. But I'd like to let you in on a little secret. If you've ever been, or wish you had been, to the cradle of rhythm and blues, or if you just enjoy good
rocking New Orleans style blues, you CAN find this music right here in Los Angeles.
Recently, I was seated in a dimly lit corner of a popular BBQ restaurant bar, waiting for a pager with flashing lights to signal my call to dinner, when I heard the sound of barrelhouse boogie piano, slapping brush drums, upright bass and wailing saxophone coming from the corner. Much like any southern roadhouse, tables and chairs had been set aside to make room for the band - there was no stage.
The name of the band was emblazoned in bold lettering on the front of the hand painted piano enclosure, "Porterhouse Bob and Down to the Bone". I looked around and realized that the music was having an infectious effect on the crowd. People began smiling, offering hoots of approval and stuffing dollar bills into an alligator head, turned tip jar. One couple jumped up from their chairs and started dancing at their table.
The sounds and rhythms sneak up on you, toy playfully with the left side of your brain and slowly take over voluntary control of your feet. It's a natural, earthy kind of sound. For a moment, I lost track of where I was, thinking I'd wandered off somewhere down in the old French Quarter.
Standing behind a piano painted with crawfish and alligators, Porterhouse Bob, decked out in red boots, silver studded pants, a long black jacket, and a top hat adorned with a skulls, enthusiastically lead the members of his band through a variety of New Orleans - and Atlanta -style blues tunes, with a taste of Louisiana Zydeco thrown into the mix.
I traded in my meal pager and arranged to have dinner at a small bar table, spending the next three hours with the band that bills itself as a "New Orleans style barrelhouse boogie and Zydeco blues band". Playing this night as a quartet, the band appears at larger venues as a six-piece unit, featuring Porterhouse Bob on vocals and keyboards, Leslie Baker on
acoustic bass, Mitch Montrose on drums and rubboard, and a jumping horn section featuring Mr. C.C. Burns, George Pandis, and Graham Dorsey. Its members hail from New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.
The music and antics that followed can best be described as exhilarating, the kind of natural rhythmic energy that puts youth back into an aging heart and causes toddlers to abandon their parents. An immediate departure from the normal guitar-driven blues that emanates from most
southland blues venues. The interplay between the keyboards, drums and horns is both spontaneous and refreshing. Porterhouse kicks it up a notch when he leaps into the audience with a portable keyboard, churning out Louisiana style, rug-burning Zydeco blues, bringing cries of approval from even the most jaded of listeners - the 18 to 20-something group. Weaving a tapestry of Atlanta bounce, New Orleans mambo, barrelhouse shuffle, second line funk and downtown Zydeco, each set culminates with a charged piano boogie number - fingers flying and smoke billowing up from
At 55 years old, one wonders where Porterhouse gets all his energy. What's more, what it is that compelled this band to turn its focus on New Orleans style blues? I spoke with Porterhouse between sets. Over the years he has done shows with artists such as Jim Belushi and the Sacred Hearts Band, James Cotton, Charlie Musselwhite, Willie Dixon and
the Chicago Allstars, and Paul Butterfield - mostly Chicago-style blues performers. He has written and produced music for corporate multi-media presentations, television and independent film and documentaries.
Says Porterhouse, "I grew up playing the accordion and piano, listening to 78's and 33 1/3 RPM records, trying to develop my chops . A lot of the stuff I was listening to came from the south - Texas, Atlanta and New Orleans. I've listened to all the great blues piano players, but cats like Piano Red,
James Booker and Professor Longhair - man that stuff just gets under your skin! I could spend the rest of my life trying to figure out what they had going on, but I know one thing, it's music that lifts your spirit and makes
you wanna get up and dance. That's what we're trying to bring to our audience. There's no disgrace in mixing the blues up with a good-time - if anyone out there thinks I haven't lived the blues because I'm laughing while I play... I got some personal stories I'd like to share with 'em."
Porterhouse Bob is currently promoting the band's new CD, 'Who Called The Cops?', released on the Big Mojo Records label. The band plays festivals and venues up and down the California coast and calls the South Bay its home. For more information on the band members and their performance schedule, please visit PorterhouseBob.com or myspace.com/porterhousebob.