I enjoyed some hard hitting rock and roll from The Tyler Porch Band at Smith’s Olde Bar on the day after Thanksgiving. The walls of the Main Bar and upstairs Music Room at Smith’s Olde Bar are covered in pictures, stickers and promo flyers from the many bands that have graced the bar over the decades. This long history of music makes Smith’s Olde Bar a staple on the music menu in Atlanta. Recovering from their Thanksgiving feasts the crowd awaited another night of music at Smith’s. A comment from an overheard conversation stuck with me “… you will be amazed at how loud this band is.”
There are loud bands where the music and vocals come across as noise and then there are bands where the band evokes so much power and energy that the volume is felt in your soul instead of your ears. Just a few moments into the opening song, Are You Ready, I realized that The Tyler Porch Band was called loud because of how their music pounds at your soul. The Tyler Porch Band is Tyler Porch on guitar and vocals, Brad Kemp on bass, and Joey Robertson on drums. This band set the place on fire with Tyler Porch using his guitar like a flame thrower to ignite the crowd. Joey Robertson fanned the flames on drums and Brad Kemp keep the embers scorching on bass. My highlight for the night was the band’s cover of Fleetwood Mac’s Gold Dust Woman.
Are You Ready
Good Golly Miss Molly
Three Feet From Gold
Gold Dust Woman
Devil In My City
Got Me Running
Artist Q&A (Tyler Porch):
I just did an interview with Keenan O’Meara who also went to Berklee College of Music. How was your experience at Berklee?
As far as Berklee goes, I am still attending. I’m finishing up my fifth semester, and I’ve gained some invaluable knowledge, had the opportunity to play with some incredible musicians, and made friends that I know will continue to inspire and push me to be the best I can. The way Berklee is run definitely has it’s flaws, and there are ways it can be improved. I think that every student in attendance should turn their critical eye on the experience and give their feedback to the school. If enough people vouch for a certain change, then there’s a good chance it will happen. I’m not committed to finishing my tenure at Berklee, mostly because I feel like I want to take what I’ve learned and apply it to the real world now. So it’s highly likely you’ll be seeing a lot more of the Tyler Porch Band when this summer rolls around.
You put out a lot of energy on stage. Where does all of that come from?
I’m very passionate about what I do, and I suppose it shows. Same goes for the rest of the band. We’re all very invested in what we do, and very proud of where we’ve grown from. We all enjoy playing live because of the chance to expose ourselves to new people, and we always make sure that when we do, it counts.
What’s the story behind Joey’s ink?
I’ll get Joey to reply back to you, haha!
What was the first album that you added to your music library?
The first album I added to my music library was the John Mayer Trio’s live album, “Try”. I found the CD in my parents collection and wore that thing out. In particular, their cover of Hendrix’s Wait Until Tomorrow left a lasting impression on me. That album is actually the reason that I started playing guitar.
What was your most recent addition to your music library?
The most recent addition was the Foo Fighters new St. Cecilia EP. They put it out a few day ago, I think. Although an addition I made a few weeks ago was a band called Colour Revolt. They’re really different, they kind of have that Kings Of Leon/Indie Rock vibe to them, but they have a whole different take on it.
What was your first live music experience? Which venue and which artist(s)?
I think the first “concert” I attended was John Mayer at Phillips Arena when I was younger. However, I think the first concert I went to that had a seriously lasting impression on me was Warren Haynes at The Tabernacle on the Man In Motion tour. My dad took me, and I had been playing guitar for a while at that point. We walked right up the front of the general admission section, and I was transfixed the whole night. Warren was defiantly an influence of mine from that point on, both his work with Gov’t Mule and solo work.
If you could cover one album in your music library which would it be?
A whole album? Hmm… With the Tyler Porch Band, I’d say it’d be really fun to take an album like Rumors (Fleetwood Mac) and turn it completely on it’s head. We already do Gold Dust Woman, so we’d just have to learn the rest of the album! As far as single songs go, I’m not sure. We all have very different tastes in the band, and when you put them all together you get a very different sound, which also makes picking our cover tunes fun, because some of the songs come completely our of left field, and sometimes they even work.
What artist do you wish more people had in their music library?
I wish people had more local, or lesser-known bands in their library. It might sound like a ploy for attention, given that we are a local band, but I’ll argue the contrary. In my experience, the average listener doesn’t do very much discovery; they find something they like and they stick to it. People aren’t doing very much exploring, not really looking for other bands that sound like the one they like. As musicians, I think we all understand that it’s important to continue finding new things to be inspired by, new things to pull from. But with the radio being so stale, and new music becoming so saturated, it takes work to dig through the piles of it and find the stuff you like. And I wish the average listener did more of that.
You mention that you wish people had more local lesser know bands in their Music Library. Helping to expose emerging artists is just what we are trying to do at LibroMusica. What do you feel emerging artists need most in getting access to a broader audience?
I think the number one thing for emerging artists to do is get out and play. Play anywhere, play everywhere. Make friends in the scene, get to know people in other bands, organize shows together, tell friends about those bands. If you’re good, and you enjoy playing, then there’s nothing stopping you from getting a grassroots following going.