Like Porter’s live shows and previous recordings, the new disc covers a lot of ground—both lyrically and musically. Porter captured this latest batch of songs as live animals – largely as they would be heard at a live show. The lead-off track entitled, “Yeah, I know” features some spit-fire playing from Porter. The Porter/Nickerson penned, "Iowa Sky" is plaintive and beautiful. And their collective vocal grit and steam combine on Peter Gabriel's "Digging in the Dirt" in an arrangement that accomplishes something rare in a cover version: it is fresh sounding while being faithful to the original.
Joining Porter for the California date is Martyn Joseph of Penarth, Wales who is one powerful and passionate performer in his own right. It’s no coincidence that his latest album, his 31st, Tires Rushing By in the Rain, covers the songs of Bruce Springsteen. With only his acoustic guitar and his rough, rugged voice, he conveys the enormous electricity behind the songs. If you’re a Bruce fan, this collection is a must-hear, but Martyn’s vast songbook of originals, written over his 30-year recording career, is equally compelling. “Really what I do is to try and write songs that might step up and make some sense of a moment in time. A good song makes you feel like you’re not alone in the world.” His edgy, intense songs combine the personal and the political, but he can also get tender. Joseph and Porter are fresh off the heels of U.K. tour together.