Over the last decade, Porkbelly Futures has created and established its own unique and vibrant mix of rock and roll, blues, folk and country. Infectious on-stage enthusiasm, unusual lyric and songwriting skills, strong instrumentals and engaging three-part vocal harmonies are Porkbelly trademarks, and have helped the band establish a fan base across its native Canada. U.S. appearances include repeat engagements in New York City (Joe’s Pub) as well as industry showcases in Memphis and Austin in support of the band’s debut release Way Past Midnight on Judy Collins’ Wildflower Records label.
Porkbelly Futures originally featured the singer/songwriter team of Paul Quarrington and Martin Worthy, who returned to band life after their career as a duo and years of cross-country touring as members of Joe Hall and the Continental Drift. Two other founding Porkbelly members are classically trained musicians, with Chas Elliott (Toronto Symphony Orchestra) and Stuart Laughton (Canadian Brass) contributing unique perspectives and experience. Two session musicians on the band’s debut release have become indelibly associated with the ensemble: Rebecca Campbell (Jane Siberry, Fat Man Waving) is now a lead vocalist, while legendary keyboardist Richard Bell (Janis Joplin, The Band, Blackie and the Rodeo Kings) lost his battle with cancer after only four years as “a Belly.” Sadly, the band also lost singer Paul Quarrington, a much-loved literary figure in Canada, only two and a half years later.
Porkbelly Futures rebounded by assigning members new roles: Marty, Rebecca and now Stuart maintain the tuneful three-part vocals; Rebecca has added her guitar and accordion to the band’s sound; Marty’s drum kit has been moved downstage (the better to trade lead vocals with Rebecca); and Stuart continues his explorations on lap and pedal steel, mandolin and harmonica. Long-time Porkbelly associate Teddy Leonard (a Maple Blues Guitarist of the Year Award-winner and current nominee) joined as a full member, bringing a propulsive new energy to the band’s sound. Left unchanged – since no change was needed – is the band’s anchor, Chas Elliott’s electric bass.
On first acquaintance, many people relate Porkbelly Futures to The Band, a comparison Porkbelly welcomes, given both groups’ conscious assimilation of the varied strains of American roots music, beginning with the blues. On closer listen, Porkbelly’s distinctive and frequently quirky personality becomes apparent, at which point comparisons are made to various alt-country or roots/rock styles. Ultimately, people recognize and enjoy the band’s unique voice.
Porkbelly Futures’ third and most recent CD, The Crooked Road, was produced by David Gray for Cordova Bay Records. Their second release, self-titled Porkbelly Futures was also released by Cordova Bay.
For more information, visit www.Porkbellys.com
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