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In 2005 Porter left Six Degrees and launched his own imprint, Weasel Records. Together with longtime keyboardist/ collaborator Dave Adler, Porter produced the atmospheric album Available Light in 2006. His work with Guild & Fender guitars over the next several years would result in the manufacture of the "Willy Porter Signature” acoustic guitar. Porter then took time to record and produce singer/songwriter Natalia Zukerman, on her whip-smart Weasel debut, Brand New Frame (2008). Porter released his next disc, How to Rob a Bank in 2009, the heavily Americana-flavored record featuring the contributions of the LA-based quartet, Raining Jane. Bank was followed with a live disc recorded with the Carpe Diem String Quartet in (2010). This collaboration produced a gorgeous EP featuring several of Porter’s most enduring tunes ("Breathe,” "Paper Airplane,” "Watercolor”), elevated and reinterpreted against a backdrop of lush string arrangements.
In 2011, Porter produced the second Weasel release for Natalia Zukerman, the driving Gas Station Roses. A partnership with Milwaukee-based singer/ songwriter Carmen Nickerson resulted in the album, Cheeseburgers and Gasoline (2013). This spartan production illuminates themes of life-longing and relationship repair, all while balancing the dream of self-actualization on the axle of a carnival’s Tilt-a-Whirl.
After touring extensively together for more than two years, Porter and Nickerson released a full-length disc of original co-writes: Bonfire to Ash (2016). Produced by Grammy winning producer Ben Wisch (Marc Cohn, Jonatha Brooke) and featuring Bassist Zev Katz and Drummer/Producer Ben Wittman, Bonfire to Ash is a record that charts the experiences bridging the intimate with the universal. It compiles candid snapshots of the human journey, exposing ideas such as hope, regret, love, loss, and connection that remain immutable against time, history, or place.
In addition to making a life in music, Porter finds ways to make an impact on local and international levels. He is an active supporter of Advocates of Ozaukee, a shelter and treatment facility for victims of domestic violence and abuse in Mequon, Wisconsin. His annual benefit concerts have raised more than $100,000 for this organization to date. He is also an Ambassador for Guitars for Vets, a Milwaukee-based International organization that works to improve the lives of veterans by providing them with guitars and music lessons.
Willy Porter lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with his wife and two children.