Willy Porter is a well-known singer-songwriter in Wisconsin. He wrote and performed the Lake Effect theme - and lots of other, better-known songs, and has shared stages with many of the state’s other musicians. But much of the reason he landed on the state’s musical map is an album that made a national splash 25 years ago.
The album is called Dog Eared Dream, and Saturday at the Pabst Theater, Porter will take the stage along with original members of his band to play songs from the record, which has been remastered and released with several bonus tracks.
Reminiscing with drummer John Calarco, Porter describes that part of his career as a “sliding doors” moment, when everything seemed possible. “Oddly enough,” he recalls, “we were touring through Colorado on a van tour, playing all of these ski resort towns. And the band we were following through was the Dave Matthews Band. And we both just had our first singles come out."
“And everyone would say [to us], ‘There was a band that was just through here that was an awful lot like you guys.'”
In the days to come, the Dave Matthews Band reached international stardom. Porter’s record label folded and the record industry changed.
Nevertheless, Porter is pretty happy with where he is with his career, 25 years and 10 albums later. “I think we’ve done well,” he says. “We’ve stayed in this business and made some great music, I think. And I still enjoy it.”