By Jeff Sherman Staff Writer Published Sep 14, 2006 at 5:26 AM
Although it was released on Sept. 12, Milwaukee’s own alternative-rock singer/songwriter and audacious acoustic guitarist Willy Porter celebrates the release of his new disc, “Available Light,” on his independent label Weasel Records, Oct. 13 at The Pabst Theater with his three-piece band.

Featuring three instrumental gems (“Sleepy Little,” “Hair Ball” and “Where are My Keys?”), “Available Light” is an introspective folk/pop collection. The first recording after the death of the songwriter’s death, it features “Me and My Old Man” as a fitting tribute to his pop. In it, Porter sings, “Then we listened to the doctors say how little they really knew.  It wasn’t good but they just could not be sure.  I could tell he’d never give up and I know he’d never give in.”

Most of the album was written and recorded during a time when terminal illness overtook Porter’s father.

“The songs were all informed by the raw emotions of that time,” Porter says.

“Available Light” is no downer, however. It’s pure Porter: emotional, real and full of Milwaukee and Midwestern-sensibility. 

The album’s first two tracks, the title song and “Loose Gravel,” set the tone as both discuss life, memories, childhood and even the ’82 Brewers.

In “Loose Gravel,” a song he’s played live for years, Porter recalls his childhood singing about bikes, his dad and the up and downs all kids encounters.  He sings, “As I helped him up with his bike, I saw Cecil Cooper in his spokes.”

“Still Doing Time” is a pensive collaboration with Paul Cebar, and even though it’s mellow in tone, it’s a bright moment on the disc. 

Mixed by Grammy-winning producer Neil Dorfsman (Sting, Dire Straits), the self-produced disc -- recorded at Porter’s Downtown recording studio -- once again highlights Porter’s deft acoustic guitar playing and wonderful lyrics focusing on life, family and hope. 

Porter enlisted his own touring band for the “Available Light” recording sessions, including Dave Adler (keyboards), Dave Schoepke (drums and percussion) and Steve Kleiber (bass).
Jeff Sherman Staff Writer

A life-long and passionate community leader and Milwaukeean, Jeff Sherman is a co-founder of OnMilwaukee.

He grew up in Wauwatosa and graduated from Marquette University, as a Warrior. He holds an MBA from Cardinal Stritch University, and is the founding president of Young Professionals of Milwaukee (YPM)/Fuel Milwaukee.

Early in his career, Sherman was one of youngest members of the Greater Milwaukee Committee, and currently is involved in numerous civic and community groups - including board positions at The Wisconsin Center District, Wisconsin Club and Marcus Center for the Performing Arts.  He's honored to have been named to The Business Journal's "30 under 30" and Milwaukee Magazine's "35 under 35" lists.  

He owns a condo in Downtown and lives in greater Milwaukee with his wife Stephanie, his son, Jake, and daughter Pierce. He's a political, music, sports and news junkie and thinks, for what it's worth, that all new movies should be released in theaters, on demand, online and on DVD simultaneously.

He also thinks you should read OnMilwaukee each and every day.