- Artist: Porter Harp
- Format: CD
- Release Date:7/1/2003
Porter Harp Drinking Season Seattle-based singer/songwriter/guitar player, Porter Harp, assembled an all-star line up of his criminally talented musician pals for this remarkable 'solo' debut; friends he's collaborated with in various bands and projects for the last 10 years, including: Jim Roth (the Delusions, Built to Spill), Tim Fekete (the Delusions), Jeff Baars (Mike Johnson's live band), Anne Marie Ruljancich (Jesse Sykes & the Sweet Hereafter, the Walkabouts), and Dave Keppel (the Delusions, Lazy). The resulting magic of this unique synthesis transports the listener through a psychedelic weave of atmospheric, Americana-inspired space rock warmly wrapped in the hazy cloud of a late night, whiskey-mellowed, Crazy Horse-style jam session. Drinking Season was produced and engineered by the infamous Phil Ek (Built to Spill, Modest Mouse) along with Porter Harp and Jim Roth. Together they managed to create a sound that appeals to the over 30 crowd weaned on 70's rock, that the can kids dig too. Think Wilco meets Neil Young at a Pink Floyd recording session with the benefit of a modern perspective and lots o' vintage gear, yet somehow transported back to the fall of 1978, and you'll begin to get the idea. Reviews/Feedback: Matt Johnson of the Belltown Paper describes the record as, '...excellent drinking-in-the-backyard-with-a-couple-of-your-dumbass-friends music, at summer's end. Porter's a guy who needs comforting, but from a couple of shots and a game of pool - not from a hug...these are well crafted songs...makes for damn good listening.' Tom Scanlon of the The Seattle Times had this to say in a recent show preview, 'Also on the bill at the Long Winters Crocodile show: Porter Harp, a singer-songwriter with a strong debut called 'Drinking Season.' Produced by Phil Ek (Modest Mouse, Built to Spill), Harp's album is a moody, twangy delight.' Cincinnati's City Beat Weekly touted 'Drinking Season' as, 'hazy melodic Pop from this Seattle singer/songwriter [Porter Harp] with guitarist Jim Roth of Built To Spill'. Daniel Cascaddan, Student Manager at KOUG, emailed this comment while reviewing 'Drinking Season' for airplay, 'I am listening to Drinking Season and I must say, from the first track this CD stands out as the best thing I have heard this week, and even though I am only about half way through the two dozen or so CDs we got yesterday (the station only gets mail delivery from campus mail once a week), I will be very surprised if I hear anything better!' Daniel of CD Baby says, 'Good shit, [Drinking Season] has elements of roots rock, brit pop and americana along with some psychedelic stuff.' Joseph Kyle of Mudanesounds.com wrote, '...Porter Harp is a man who has taken his love of bands such as Modest Mouse and Built to Spill, and doesn't really hide that fact on his debut album, Drinking Season. Drinking Season [also] owes much to the 1970s, and Harp's music is very much in tune with West Coast beach-bum singer-songwriter fare. At times, I swear that Harp's vocal style is quite close to that of James Taylor--albeit a good James Taylor. Of course, it's hard not to think of California, considering that he covers Neil Young's classic 'Old Man.' Harp is cross-pollinating two musical styles that you wouldn't normally consider--1970s Southern California singer-songwriter pop and the more modern sound of classic indie-rock, and as bland as that might sound, Harp actually does it quite well. The combination of booze, travel, despair, the devil, and producer Phil Ek actually comes together quite well. All of the songs on Drinking Season have a darkness to them, tempered with an epic quality that indeed hasn't been seen since 1976. At times I couldn't help but think of Blue Oyster Cult. Drinking Season is a fine, fine debut. While occasionally the album suffers from overt stylistic similarity, it's really not much of a problem, because all of the songs are excellent--especially 'I Wish You Well,' 'Cary,' and a cover of Steve Earle's 'S. Nashville Blues.''
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