Jeremy Porter

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Jeremy Porter
Jeremy Porter.jpg
Jeremy Porter
Background information
BornAlpena, Michigan, United States
Occupation(s)Guitarist, singer-songwriter
Instrumentsguitar, vocals, organ
Years active1985–present
LabelsGTG Records
New Fortune Records
Magwheel Records
Red Eye Growler Records
Associated actsJeremy Porter & The Tucos
The Regulars
The OffRamps
SlugBug
Clashback
Fidrych
Chutes & Ladders
Websitejeremyportermusic.com

Jeremy Porter is a guitar player, singer and songwriter from Marquette, Michigan, currently living in Plymouth, Michigan (near Detroit). He is the founder of the Detroit-based band Jeremy Porter & The Tucos and co-founder of The Regulars,[1] considered one of the first punk bands in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.[2][3]

Early life[edit]

Jeremy Porter was born in 1969 in Alpena, Michigan, a small town in the Lower Peninsula of Michigan, to John and Francie Porter. Jeremy has a younger sister, Kristen Porter. Jeremy started playing guitar at an early age, but became bored with the instrument and stopped playing until he was grounded for a summer for vandalizing the house of the vice principal of his junior-high school.[4] With nothing else to pass the time, he picked up the guitar again and stuck with it.

Influences[edit]

Porter’s first exposure to music came from his parent’s record collection as he gained an early appreciation for The Beatles and The Beach Boys, then later The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Gordon Lightfoot and Fleetwood Mac. In the late 70s, like many his age, Porter discovered and latched onto Kiss before expanding into American power pop bands like The Knack and Cheap Trick.[4] In the early 80s, he saw The Who’s final concert broadcast on HBO and became enamored with their aggressive style and attack and the guitar playing of Pete Townshend. Around the same time, Porter became obsessed with heavy metal bands like Ozzy Osbourne, Iron Maiden and Scorpions, looking for something even edgier than The Who, but with a smaller sphere of influence that was more inclusive.

Bands[edit]

The Regulars (Marquette)[edit]

The Regulars c. 1986: Fritz Vankosky, Tim Demarte, Jeremy Porter, John Burke.
The Regulars c. 1986: Fritz Vankosky, Tim Demarte, Jeremy Porter, John Burke.

In 1983, the Porters moved to Marquette, Michigan, the largest city in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan (UP). Though still small by population standards,[5] Marquette offered more culture and options for a young musician, and Jeremy soon met John Burke, a drummer who shared Porter’s love for The Who.[6] The two 16 year-olds formed The Regulars with bassist Fritz Vankosky and singer Tim Demarte in early 1985. Burke immediately exposed Porter to the world of punk rock and the bands of the genre from California, Minnesota, New York and England, which Porter embraced as a more achievable music plateau than the metal bands he loved presented, and an opportunity to bond with his new friends.[7]

The Regulars played mostly punk and 1960s garage covers by bands like Ramones, Dead Kennedys, The Replacements, The Monkees and The Who, but by 1987 the members were each writing songs and the band would occasionally play their originals. The Regulars stayed together until Burke and Vankosky moved downstate to go to college in the fall of 1987, but got together in Marquette for reunion shows in 2003, 2005, 2007, and 2012.[8] Burke would go on to form WIG and record 2 records for Island/PolyGram Records.[9] Vankosky went into music production and engineering and would join the Psycopathic Records team and work with Insane Clown Posse and Twiztid.

Considered one of the earliest punk bands in the UP,[10] the band’s influence can still be felt today in the Marquette music scene.[11]

Chutes & Ladders and SlugBug (Detroit)[edit]

Chutes & Ladders promotional photo (c. 1991) Photo: Krysti Spence

In September 1988, Jeremy Porter moved to Ypsilanti, Michigan,[12] where he attended Eastern Michigan University. After two years of failing to find like-minded musicians, Porter met Brian Wimpy, Brad Hales, Dan Cervantes and William Brennan who took him in as the fifth member of their new band Chutes and Ladders. The band played regionally for two years, including a trip to Philadelphia, where they opened up for the well known bands Tar and The Unsane, but only after (as a favor to the promoter) they agreed to tell people they were Cum Dumpster, the Detroit band originally booked for the show, who had cancelled with little notice. Porter and Brennan were the chief songwriters with Hales and Cervantes contributing occasionally. On August 12, 1991, Chutes & Ladders played with a young punk band from California called Green Day at a house party in Grosse Isle, MI, just a couple years before their breakout album Dookie!.[13]

SlugBug early promotional photo (1992). LtoR: Chris Hartmann, Brian Wimpy, Jeremy Porter, W. Randy Barrett III

In 1992, Jeremy Porter and Chutes and Ladders drummer Brian Wimpy formed SlugBug with Randy Barrett III and Chris Hartmann. SlugBug would become a nationally established and well-known pop punk band, releasing two EPs, two 7-inch singles and a posthumous anthology for Chicago record label Red Eye Growler Records. The band toured the Midwest and East Coast extensively before breaking up in 2000 amidst tensions between members and their desires to play in other projects.[14] SlugBug was nominated for Album of the Year at the Detroit Music Awards in 1992 for their debut EP Strong Enough For A Man...But Made For A Woman.

Clashback[edit]

Porter and Hartmann formed Clashback in 2000. Described as "A celebration of the music of The Clash" rather than a tribute band, because the members did not try to look, act, or sound like The Clash, but rather, a Midwest bar band playing all Clash songs. Clashback played regularly for four years and continues to perform occasionally today.[15] Clashback was never intended to be more than a side project for Porter, but it was his primary focus and outlet between the breakup of SlugBug and the formation of The OffRamps.[16]

The OffRamps[edit]

The OffRamps c. 2008: Jeremy Porter, Jason Bowes, Mike Popovich.
The OffRamps c.2008

In 2002, Jeremy Porter recruited bassist Jason Bowes (Culture Bandits, Head Injury, The Hoolapoppers) and drummer Mike Popovich (The Holy Cows, 3-Speed) and formed The OffRamps,[17] a power pop band.[18] The OffRamps recorded two albums for Ann Arbor, Michigan’s Deluxe Records, Hate It When You’re Right (2006) and Split The Difference (2008) [19] before breaking up in December 2008 after member’s commitments to other projects made working together difficult. In their eight years, The OffRamps became well known for their catchy songs and a tight and polished live show and played extensively across Michigan and Ohio. Popovich would move on to join Bloodshot recording artist Whitey Morgan and the 78s [20] and later Ann Arbor-based Blue Snaggletooth, and Bowes would remain on bass for Porter’s next two bands: Fidrych, and The Tucos.

Solo Acoustic[edit]

Jeremy Porter, Solo-acoustic c. 2011, St. Louis, MO., photo: N. Porter.
Jeremy Porter, solo- acoustic (c. June 2011, St. Louis, MO.)

As The OffRamps were breaking up, Jeremy Porter started playing solo-acoustic shows, pulling material from the catalogs of his previous bands and working on the material that would become Party Of One,[21][22] Party of One was a Regulars reunion of sorts, co-produced and mixed by Fritz Vankosky, with his bass playing on some tracks. John Burke played drums on several tracks and Tim Demarte co-produced a session with Marquette-based vocalist Jenna Gueke for the track "Last Time I Saw You Happy". Also appearing on the record were Randy Barrett III, original SlubBug guitarist, who co-wrote the song "Out Inside" and contributed backing vocals, Ken Haas from Reverend Guitars, and Be Hussey (Morsel) who played bass and engineered Burke’s drum sessions at Comp'ny Recording Studio in Los Angeles, California.

For the first time since SlugBug, Jeremy toured extensively in support of the record, hitting several major markets in the United States including New York City, Nashville Chicago St. Louis, Minneapolis, and for the first time, Canada, playing shows in Toronto, Montreal, and Wakefield, Quebec.[23]

Jeremy continues to play solo-acoustic shows to this day, usually around the Tucos busy schedule and at events more suitable for the quieter format. In 2017 he played several Detroit area acoustic sets and also kicked off Tucos shows in Dallas, TX and Maumee, OH with some solo-acoustic numbers.

Fidrych[edit]

Fidrych (Band), Plymouth, MI. c. 2009. photo: N. Porter.
Fidrych (c. 2009) L to R: J. Bowes, S. Bekkala, J. Porter, B. Raleigh.

Shortly after The Offramps disbanded, Jeremy teamed up with OffRamps bassist Jason Bowes and Porchsleeper members front-man Brian Raleigh and drummer Steve Bekkala and formed Fidrych,[6] named after Mark "The Bird" Fidrych, the Detroit Tigers’ eccentric pitcher from the late 1970s. Porter and Raleigh shared songwriting and guitar duties. Fidrych debuted at the 2009 Hamtramck Blowout after a warmup show in Kalamazoo, Michigan, the week before and would go on to play several shows around lower Michigan and a short run to Minneapolis where they played the Uptown Bar shortly before the iconic venue was razed and replaced by an Apple store.[24]

In 2010. Fidrych played just three shows, each in the Detroit area, and Porter focused on his solo-acoustic work in an effort to stay busy and active. Though the band never officially broke up and remain friends, they have not played since, and Raleigh and Bekkala have enjoyed a Porchsleeper reunion that started in 2014.

Jeremy Porter & The Tucos[edit]

Jeremy Porter and The Tucos c. 2017 L to Right: Patrick O'Harris, Jeremy Porter, Gabriel Doman (Photo: EonZero)
Jeremy Porter and Gabriel Doman on stage in Boston, Mass. on November 16, 2013 during the last show of the Jeremy Porter & The Tucos Partner In Crime 2013 East Coast Tour. (Photo: Kelly Dolen)

In December 2010, frustrated with the lack of activity with Fidrych and bored with the lack of camaraderie and volume that comes with playing and touring solo-acoustic,[12] Porter formed Jeremy Porter & The Tucos[25] with OffRamps/Fidrych bassist Jason Bowes and drummer Gabriel Doman, who had once tried out on Guitar for Clashback several years earlier.[26] Jeremy Porter & The Tucos became very active very quickly and were soon opening for national acts around Detroit and doing short runs of shows around the Midwest. In 2013 they released Partner In Crime[27] and in 2015 they released Above The Sweet Tea Line (with new bassist Patrick O’Harris),[28] both on Detroit’s New Fortune Records, to great reviews. The band has toured more extensively than any of Porter’s past projects, hitting the Midwest. East Coast, Southeast, Southwest and Deep South as well as Canada multiple times, and was nominated for a Detroit Music Award for “Outstanding Punk/Indie/Alternative Artist/Group” in 2016,[29] Porter’s first nomination since SlugBug in 1992.

In 2017, Jeremy Porter and The Tucos played over 40 shows across the US and Canada, including an October run that took them through the Dustbowl and back to Texas for the first time since 2014.[30] They opened shows in Detroit for Ha Ha Tonka (band) and Beach Slang and released their third album, and first for the Lansing-based GTG Records, "Don't Worry, It's Not Contagious." [31]

Collaborations[edit]

  • Jeremy co-wrote the song "Sleep It Off" by Head Injury, a Livonia, Michigan-based band that often played shows with SlugBug. The song was released as a 7-inch single on Red Eye Growler Records in 1996.
  • Jeremy often appeared onstage with the Lexington, Kentucky, band Those Crosstown Rivals in 2014, playing guitar on their song "Trucker" and singing a cover of The Replacements’ "Bastards of Young" with TCR front man Bryan Minks. In 2015, he often joined them onstage to sing backup vocals on their show-closer "Blood, Sweat and Tears".
  • Jeremy played lead guitar and received a co-writer credit on "Sometimes You Headline, Sometimes You Just Play Last" by Porchsleeper in 2014. The song was originally done by Fidrych. The track was produced by Jim Roll and released digitally by Porchsleeper in 2015.[32]
  • Jeremy played guitar and sang backup vocals on "Hey Lydia" and "Best Worst Night" by the Columbus, Ohio, band Watershed in 2015. The tracks are being released in 2016 as a "Summer Single" with a few selected bonus tracks.[33]

Media placement[edit]

Several songs by The OffRamps were featured in the independent film Fantasy Football: The Movie in 2007. The band attended the premiere at Emagine Theater in Novi, Michigan.

The songs "Hallmark Holiday" and "Dead on your Feet" from Jeremy Porter, Party of One were used in the PBS series Roadtrip Nation in 2010. "Hallmark Holiday" was included on the soundtrack for the show.[34]

Writing[edit]

Concert and album reviews[edit]

In 2006 Jeremy Porter was a contributor to the now-defunct music website Drastic Plastic. In addition to concert and album reviews he also conducted and published an interview with James Fearnley of The Pogues, which also appeared on the Jer’s Pogues Pub website.[35]

In 2013 Porter was a regular contributor to the now-defunct Detroit-based MotorCityRocks website. He regularly reviewed albums and concerts and wrote show previews for upcoming shows in the Detroit area.

In September 2016 Jeremy Porter started occasionally contributing reviews and previews to Pencilstorm, a Columbus, Ohop based blog run by Colin Gawel from the band Watershed (American band).

Rock And Roll Restrooms[edit]

In 2010 Porter started taking photos of the restrooms in the bars and clubs he was playing at. The photographs were embraced by his social-media followers, especially on Facebook and Instagram. In 2014 Porter compiled several of the photos into a book called Rock And Roll Restrooms: A Photographic Memoir Vol. I: A Unique Look Into The Seedy Underbelly of Small Time Rock And Roll. Small quantities of the book were printed in both hard and softcover and sold while on tour with Jeremy Porter & The Tucos, but due to the high production costs and his focus on music, additional pressings are on hold pending the search for a publishing deal.[28]

Reverend Guitars[edit]

Porter is a featured artist for Reverend Guitars, a Michigan–Ohio-based company. Porter owns and plays two of the Pete Anderson signature models, and they have become a key element to his respected tone.[36]

Personal life[edit]

Porter currently lives in Plymouth, Michigan, with his wife Noreen. The couple have been married since 1996 and have no children. Between the demanding touring and recording schedule of Jeremy Porter & The Tucos, he stays busy writing and attending rock shows around Detroit. Outside of music Porter is an avid mountain biker, competing annually in the Ore To Shore Mountain Bike Epic in his home town of Marquette, working in the web-development field, traveling with his wife and exploring the culture, food and nightlife of Detroit.

Discography[edit]

  • Chutes & Ladders (1990). Wyandotte EP.
  • Chutes & Ladders (1992). Truck Box EP.
  • SlugBug (1992). Strong Enough For A Man...But Made For A Woman. Smatterchoo Records.
  • SlugBug (1994). Live It Down b/w Wednesday Tonite/SandPit. Red Eye Growler Records.
  • SlugBug (1994). Up From Adirondack. Red Eye Growler Records.
  • SlugBug (1995). On The Dime b/w Incomplete Control. Red Eye Growler Records.
  • SlugBug (1997). "Values Here". Her Head's On Fire: A Tribute To Dag Nasty. Foolsday Records.[37]
  • SlugBug (2006). Coloring Book/Anthology. Red Eye Growler Records.
  • The OffRamps (2006). Hate It When You're Right. Deluxe Records.
  • The OffRamps (2008). Split The Difference. Deluxe Records.
  • Jeremy Porter (2009). "Scarf". Suburban Sprawl Records Holiday Compilation.
  • Jeremy Porter (2010). Party of One. Magwheel Records.
  • Jeremy Porter & The Tucos (2010). "No Use For Xmas". Suburban Sprawl Records Holiday Compilation.
  • Jeremy Porter & The Tucos (2011). Night On The Town b/w Ain't My House Anymore. Magwheel Records.
  • Jeremy Porter (2011). "Hallmark Holiday". Roadtrip Nation (PBS Series) Soundtrack.
  • Jeremy Porter & The Tucos (2011). "Christmas Dance". Suburban Sprawl Records Holiday Compilation.
  • Jeremy Porter & The Tucos (2012). Live & Acoustic @ The Plymouth Coffee Bean.
  • Jeremy Porter & The Tucos (2012). "Silver Bells". Suburban Sprawl Records Holiday Compilation.
  • Jeremy Porter & The Tucos (2013). Partner In Crime. New Fortune Records.
  • Jeremy Porter & The Tucos (2013). Plan B b/w Throwing Stones. New Fortune Records.
  • Jeremy Porter & The Tucos (2015). Above The Sweet Tea Line. New Fortune Records.
  • Jeremy Porter & The Tucos (2016). "Pretty As You Please". Slimtown Singles: Supporting Bob 'Slim' Dunlap. [38]
  • Jeremy Porter & The Tucos (2016). Barrel of Tears B b/w Blue Letter. New Fortune Records.
  • Jeremy Porter & The Tucos (2016). Avenues Are For Heroes b/w Real Damaged Girl. LEESTA VALL Records.
  • Jeremy Porter & The Tucos (2017). Conventional Wisdom Built to Spill cover. Fourth Line Records.
  • Jeremy Porter & The Tucos (2017). "Elimination Round (Live)". GTG100-GTG Records Summer Compilation. GTG Records.
  • Jeremy Porter & The Tucos (2017). Huckleberry (+2 Live). GTG Records.
  • Jeremy Porter & The Tucos (2017). Don't Worry, It's Not Contagious. GTG Records.
  • Jeremy Porter & The Tucos (2017). "Lonely Mrs. Claus". 2017 Holiday Music Collection. Fourth Line Records.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Delivering Detroit Rock City". Dayton City Paper. October 13, 2015.
  2. ^ "Turn It Down:- A Survey of Lansing's Musical Landscape". City Pulse. Lansing, MI. August 20, 2014.
  3. ^ "Band of the Week: Jeremy Porter and the Tucos!". Radio Opie. March 25, 2013.
  4. ^ a b "Detroit Rock Band Jeremy Porter & The Tucos to Play at Athens Venue". Athens Banner-Herald. October 18, 2015.
  5. ^ "Demographics and Economic Indicators". Marquette.org. 2015.
  6. ^ a b "Party of One" (PDF). The Mining Journal. Marquette, MI. May 8, 2010.
  7. ^ "The Band". The Regulars.
  8. ^ "Reunions". The Regulars.
  9. ^ "WIG Discography". All Music Guide.
  10. ^ "Jeremy Porter & The Tucos: Partner In Crime". Ice Cream Man Powerpop and More. March 13, 2013.[self-published source?]
  11. ^ "The Regulars: Back In The Day". The Regulars.
  12. ^ a b "Jeremy Porter Returns to Hometown". The North Wind. Marquette: Northern Michigan University. January 26, 2012.
  13. ^ "Green Day In Grosse Isle". The Green Day Authority. August 12, 1991.
  14. ^ "SlugBug: The Pride of Downriver Detroit!". SlugBug.
  15. ^ "Clashback: Groovy Times". Clashback.
  16. ^ "Past Shows". Jeremy Porter & The Tucos.
  17. ^ "The OffRamps: On The Radar". Twangville. January 24, 2007.
  18. ^ "The OffRamps Bio". All Music Guide.
  19. ^ "The OffRamps: Malcontented in the Middle". Ann Arbor Observer. June 2008.
  20. ^ Whitey Morgan and the 78's, Past Members[full citation needed]
  21. ^ "Magwheel Records". Magwheel Records. 2010.
  22. ^ "Partner In Crime". All Music Guide. April 22, 2013.
  23. ^ "Bio". Jeremy Porter Music.
  24. ^ "The Uptown Bar is Five Years Gone but not Forgotten". City Pages. October 24, 2014.
  25. ^ "The Upbeat: Jeremy Porter & the Tucos". The Oakland Press. Pontiac, MI. March 24, 2013.
  26. ^ "Detroit Band Stops in Dayton on 'Mini-Tour,' Rocks Blind Bob's". Flyer News. April 2, 2014.
  27. ^ "Partner In Crime". All Music Guide. 2013.
  28. ^ a b "Jeremy Porter & The Tucos: Above The Sweet Tea Line". Nine Bullets. May 11, 2015.
  29. ^ "Nominees". Detroit Music Awards. 2016.
  30. ^ "Detroit rock'n'roll: Jeremy Porter & The Tucos to bring blue collar sound to Jackpot Music Hall". The Kansan. Oct 13, 2017.
  31. ^ "Jeremy Porter and The Tucos: Motor City Rock & Roll Comes to The Mel". Indy In-Tune. Oct 7, 2017.
  32. ^ "'Sometimes You Headline, Sometimes You Just Play Last'". Porchsleeper Bandcamp.
  33. ^ Watershed Summer Single - Plus Bonus Old School Tracks - May, 2016
  34. ^ "Soundtrack". Roadtrip Nation. 2011.
  35. ^ "An Interview with James Fearnley". Jer's Pogues Pub. Spring 2006.
  36. ^ "12 Questions With Jeremy Porter". Reverend Guitars. 2013.
  37. ^ "The Unknown: Dag Nasty Tribute CD: Her Head's On Fire". 1996.
  38. ^ "Jeremy Porter & The Tucos: Pretty As You Please". Slimtown Singles.

External links[edit]