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Wild At Heart

Wild Bill Ketelhut provides the "blog" to this anti-blog
He has a radio program on WXOU out of Oakland University

Wild At Heart

Here in NY, we are expected to be getting a big snow storm at the beginning of the week so I thought I would start my weekly blog a bit early in case I get snowed in and can’t get to a computer and post my blog. The main reason is that I recently talked to Andy Brewer, the lead singer and guitarist for the indie rock band Taddy Porter. The band is going to be rocking Clutch Cargos on Tuesday with Like A Storm and Alter Bridge and I wanted to make sure this interview got out before the show.

I talked to Andy on Friday as they were getting ready to open up a sold out show in Peoria, IL with the Sick Puppies. The band itself is what Andy calls “a new classic rock band” which has influences from the rich history of bands like Free and Led Zeppelin. This was also a band that almost didn’t form. Andy was at a frat party his senior year which wasn’t really part of his scene. He remembers wearing his Van Halen t-shirt which most of his contemporaries had no idea who they were. Andy was walking around and heard some music coming from a room and just invited himself in. Inside that room was Doug, who would become the drummer of Taddy Porter. Doug asked Andy if he played music and they started a friendship which has lasted until this day.

At the time, Doug had been in a few bands but Andy hadn’t. A lot of his friends were in bands and he felt funny asking if he could join them. After meeting Doug, he was thinking of starting a band a la the Black Keys which justhas the two members but after taking guitar lessons from Joe Selby, Andy asked him to join and they also added Doug’s brother to form a foursome and thus stared a career which began playing in bars to crowds of 20 people.

Things could have been different though. Andy was drafted out of high school to play baseball with the Dodgers (a team his grandfather Jim not only played for but got a World Series ring with in 1965). Jim Brewer was a pitcher from 1960 to 1976 for the Cubs, Dodgers and Angels which put a bit of baseball in Andy’s blood which was also highlighted by the fact that his father Mark is the pitching coach for the Double-A Binghamton (N.Y.) Mets. Despite all this, by the time graduation was nearing, the call of music which had been pestering him for a few years took over and he formed the band. When thinking back about baseball, he remembers “I really enjoyed it but I had been doing it my entire life and just wanted something different”.

While his coach was hoping to make Andy a starter on the team, his dad was very supportive of his son’s decision. “Dad was a rocker and he was cool with it” says Andy and also lists his dad as one of his biggest supporters who is always spreading the word to the players he coaches. Even without being in the sport, various pitchers such as the New York Met’s Mike Pelfre use the song "Shake Me" for walk out music. The song was also used during ESPN's "Monday Night Football" and "SportsCenter LA" so despite not playing, he is a part of the sport in a way. He has been keeping in shape though and admits he still has the coordination to play and has played catch with his father in Binghampton. He has even thought of joining a summer league if he has the time because he loves the sport and catches a game every now and then. I brought up that he should try to get the opportunity to perform the National Anthem at a game, maybe if the Mets make the playoffs. While engaged in music, he does admit “having a tie to baseball is comforting”.

In recent months, the band has toured with Slash, who Andy says is one of the nicest guys they have met on tour, and Finger Eleven. He esp enjoyed the Slash tour because they were playing sold out shows and the band’s guitar driven vibe really compliments what Slash does and the fans expect. One of the biggest things they got from the show was a chance to learn from the greats. Andy says the biggest thing he learned was, “you learn how to carry yourself a certain way and if you are not in a respectable way, it will make the tour hard… the end of a tour you want things to run smoothly”. Sage advice for a young band that wants to stick around for awhile.

After this tour, the band is planning to do some writing for the next album. While this album had been a bunch of unconnected work, they want this next effort to be a concept album, much in the way Mars Volta is able to do an album which “really flows with peaks and valleys”. One idea they are working withsince they are from Oklahoma is something related to the struggles of the people who dealt with the Dust Bowl and Depression. We’ll see if that happens or if it goes in another direction. They were also listed as one of the Best Rock albums of 2010 by iTunes and they are hoping to be able to tour with two other members of that list, American Bang and Northern Lights.

Right now Andy is liking where the band is and they are lucky enough to own the rights to their music. When shopping themselves around, they were lucky to meet Primary Wave which was a good fit for them. Besides keeping their rights, Primary Wave’s “has great pull in entertainment and gets songs on TV and radio”. Being on a smaller label also allows a band like Taddy Porter more artist development which they wouldn’t get at a larger label. The main thing does seem to be getting their songs out there on shows like “Chase”, “Entourage” and the new John Cena movie “Legendary”. With that type of promotion, the band Taddy porter should be around for awhile so get over to Clutch Cargos on Tuesday and check them out.

For more information, go to and here a a few songs to check out.

Speaking of shows, here are my choices for the week:

Tuesday (12/14) – Automatic Loveletter @ Magic Stick, Manhattan Transfer @ Max M Fisher

Wednesday (12/15) – Delbert McClinton @ the Ark

Thursday (12/16) – Joe Satriani @ Fillmore, Kenny Rogers @ the Fox, Foxy Shazam @ Shelter

Friday (12/17) – Dashboard Confessional @ Crofoot, My Chemical Romance and Sick Puppies @ Fillmore, Doo Wop Yule Pop w/Tokens and Drifters @ Fox

Saturday (12/18) – Mitch Ryder and Detroit Wheels @ Token Lounge, Sponge @ Ritz (Warren), local jazz great Alexander Zonjic @ Crofoot, Howling Diablos @ Callahans

Have a good rest of the weekend and enjoy next week. Hopefully you won’t get much snow.