Chris Porterfield’s artist recommendation: “There is a band out of Toronto called The Weather Station. It’s singer and songwriter Tamara Lindeman’s project. Lindeman is a brilliant songwriter, and her performance on this record has beauty and air and panache and grace and humanity and detachment and warmth, all at the same time. Her voice is aerial and effortless, but you get the sense that it got there from a lifetime of effort, both on her craft and living through the struggle of being alive.
Her clawhammer banjo playing or her open-tuned acoustic guitar are often the rhythmic foundation of a song, embellished by a
conscientious band of listeners playing pedal steel, fiddle, bass and drums. Other arrangements showcase her sensitive fluid playing, toying with tempo as a master interpreter of her own songbook, like Willie Nelson.”
Not familiar with The Weather Station? Chris suggests you start here: “The second Weather Station record, All Of It Was Mine, came out in 2011 and is absolutely stunning. I’ve been coming back to it since the day I first heard it. Listeners have compared her voice to a young Joni Mitchell, and I can hear it. But there was a naiveté to a lot of early Joni songs that is simply absent in The Weather Station. Lindeman’s narrators are extremely aware, and her ability to use words thoughtfully and beautifully and sparingly makes listening to All of It Was Mine a true revelation every single time.”
About our guest author, Chris Porterfield: In 2003, Chris Porterfield was playing steel string guitar and collaborating a guy named Justin Vernon in a band called DeYarmond Edison in Eau Claire, WI. The story goes that he moved to Milwaukee to be with the love of his life (and eventual wife) while the rest of the band moved to Raleigh for a change of scenery. Chris simultaneously put music behind him and watched Vernon morph into the frontman of Bon Iver. You’d think the story would have a Pete Bestian ending, but you’d be wrong. Music kept nagging at Porterfield as he began to write and go to open mic nights. He put together a band (which he called Field Report), enlisted Beau Sorenson (Death Cab for Cutie) to engineer and used Vernon’s studio to record the self titled Field Report album that has won praise from Uncut, Paste and Q Magazine. Porterfield’s songs suck the listener in, submerging them down into dark details that are expertly counterbalanced by arrangements that flick at hope and spot-on vocals. Field Report’s story continues to curve to the positive as they recently secured an opening spot for the ever-great Emmylou Harris and WXPN in Pennsylvania calls their record “the best debut of the year.” Be sure to follow Field report, check their tour dates and more at the official Field Report website.