M. Lockwood Porter

Berkeley’s M. Lockwood Porter released his debut LP, Judah’s Gone, last summer, and today we’re excited to premiere his first new material since that release – the tracks “Chris Bell” and “Secrets”. These songs are steps forward for Porter – while Judah’s Gone was self-recorded and was heavily focused on his Oklahoma roots, “Secrets” and “Bell” were recorded in a proper studio and expand Porter’s subject matter.

“Chris Bell” is a tribute to the Big Star founding member who was killed in a car accident in 1974. “They’ve been one of my favorite bands for about a decade, but I never quite knew the extent of Chris Bell’s influence on their first album,” says Porter. “I can really identify with the difficulty of not feeling recognized for your work or your talent. I think that a lot of musicians know that feeling, and it can be tough at times.” The harmonica, sweeping chorus, and steady rhythm of the track evokes some of the great folk rock of the ’70s, and is the first taste of Porter recording with his touring band.

“Secrets” draws Porter slightly away from his country roots, but not too far. Porter says Pavement was an influence on the track, which he began writing while he was in Chicago for the mastering of Judah’s Gone and had some free time with a piano. “I was just sort of picking words based on the way they sounded, like I imagine Stephen Malkmus probably does,” Porter explained. “I do that a lot when I’m looking for ideas, but it rarely leads to anything good.” He played it for bandmates, who thankfully liked it and convinced him to finish. The end result, along with “Chris Bell”, is below.

Porter kicks off a tour of California this week with a show at Brick and Mortar, performing with a five piece band that includes my personal favorite instrument, the pedal steel. He’ll also play with fellow Oklahoman John Moreland at the Night Light in Oakland March 25, before joining Moreland on an East Coast tour in May.

Mirah, Ages and Ages, M. Lockwood Porter
Brick and Mortar Music Hall
March 6, 2014
9pm, $12-15

John Moreland, M. Lockwood Porter
Night Light
March 25, 2014
Time & Admission TBA

M. Lockwood Porter Tour Dates:
3/6 – San Francisco, CA – Brick and Mortar w/ Mirah, Ages and Ages
3/7 – Santa Cruz, CA – The Crepe Place w/ The Painters, Heartache Sisters
3/8 – San Luis Obispo, CA – Boo Boo Records
3/8 – Atascadero, CA – Avion and Claw w/ Nick Motil (Songwriters at Play)
3/9 – Sacramento, CA – The Torch Club