What the Press is Saying
"The experience is as of listening to a filmic narrative blending Del Newman, Benjamin Britten, Danny Elfman, and William Ackerman into a skein of episodic frames moving toward a Proustian finale."
— Mark S. Tucker for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
"...highlights the quiet beauty of [Porter's] songs while adding a little extra color to his typically stripped-down live framework."
— Jeff Giles of PopDose.com
"..the audience that night heard a one-night-only show that sounded like it was a lifetime in the making."
— Jeremy Schaefer of Sun On The Sand
"Take an extraordinary talent like Willy Porter and pair him with the acclaimed Carpe Diem String Quartet and you have a match made in heaven - or at least something that rivals the Reese's chocolate peanut butter cup."
— Bill's Music Forum
During a supposed one-time collaboration in 2010 between guitarist/singer/songwriter Willy Porter and the Carpe Diem String Quartet in Carpe Diem's hometown of Columbus, OH, the mealies wowed audiences and realized they had created a unique ensemble outside the lines of their individual musical identities. Those performances are now captured in part on the CD, "the mealies - Live at BoMA." Since those Columbus concerts, the group has been touring the US in support of the disc and collaborating on new material for a forthcoming full-length studio recording.
the mealies, comprised of the traditional string quartet (violins, viola and cello) in addition to a 6- or 9-string guitar and vocals, defy categorization. It's not just Carpe Diem adding strings to Porter's catalog of songs. In the mealies we have a meeting of the minds of first-tier professionals at the top of their game, each adding depth and character to a wide panorama of songs while bending the genres and blurring the lines between musical forms and preconceived ideas. In their own unique way, the mealies bring the technical refinement and flourish expected of a string quartet together with songwriting salt, sugar and rock, pleasing a very wide theater audience.
Carpe Diem String Quartet, the premier American "indie" string quartet, performs the classical string quartet repertoire, but their musical passion has led them down the paths of gypsy, tango, folk, pop, rock, and jazz-inspired music. Dubbed "one of the most adventurous groups of its kind" by Edith Eisler of Strings magazine, recent collaborations that showcase Carpe Diem's outside-the-box programs include concerts with Graeme Boone, banjo; Latin Grammy Winner Raul Juarena, bandoneon; and, of course, Willy Porter.
Willy Porter has been an indie favorite in his own right since he began touring the country over 20 years ago. His multi-faceted approach to the guitar coupled with his protean songwriting have taken him around the world on his own and in support of a diverse collection of contemporary music icons including Jeff Beck, Jethro Tull, Paul Simon, Sting and Tori Amos. Live at BoMA marks his 8th release and introduces the mealies to his wide audience. Billboard magazine summed it up best by saying "Porter accentuates well-rendered tales with spit-fire-percussive acoustic guitar strumming and fiery color-chord picking."