Gestated during the locked-down summer of 2020, Back pOrchEstra, a collection of all-star West Coast musicians, announces a Bay Area-wide spring tour in support of its debut album Voices in My Head (Genre Whiplash). Enjoying six of the past seven weeks on the Alt Country Specialty Chart, the band is set to play The Backroom in Berkeley, Rancho Nicasio in West Marin, Hopmonk Sebastopol’s Peacetown Concert series, Murphy’s Irish Pub in Sonoma, and more.
With time on his hands due to the Pandemic’s pause on live music shows, Back pOrchEstra founder Tim Eschliman found ample time to craft original songs, bring together a combination of old and new cohorts, and also assemble curated historic covers that incorporated his many musical influences (roots rock, Americana, country blues, western swing, indie rock, Louisiana and Irish music) from four decades of playing and touring.
Jeff Burger from Americana Highways calls Voices in My Head an "...excellent album ...evokes artists from multiple decades over the last century and embraces everything from indie-rock and Americana to Celtic, Motown, and Western swing.” Calvin Powers from Americana Music Show says “Subtitle of this album is Genre Whiplash, and I get it. You get everything from alt.rock to cajun, to country, to Brownie Ford era Western Swing. But the thing that keeps this set together is their excellent songwriting full of smooth never-miss-a-beat lines and vivid imagery." While Natasha James for Country Music News International states “…the beautiful and timeless rendition of 'Allons A Lafayette' by Back pOrchEstra, stands out as a harkening back to the stripped down, front porch family picking style straight out of the country shacks of Louisiana and Appalachia in the 1920’s.”
Upcoming shows include:
Murphy’s Irish Pub
When: Saturday, Apr 2 at 7 p.m..
Where: 464 1st Street East, Sonoma, CA 95476
The Backroom in Berkeley
When: Thursday, Apr 23 at 7 p.m.
Where: 1984 Bonita Avenue Berkeley, CA, 94704
Tickets / Info: $10-$15
Rancho Nicasio, West Marin
When: Sunday, May 15 at 5 p.m.
Where: 1 Old Rancheria Rd, Nicasio, CA 94946
Tickets /Info: Free; online reservations required
Reel & Brand in Sonoma
When: Friday, May 27 at 6 p.m.
Where: Reel & Brand, 401 Grove St., Sonoma CA 95476
Tickets /Info: TBD
Hopmonk Sebastopol’s Peacetown Concert series
When: Wednesday, June 15 at 4:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Where: TBD Sebastopol, CA
Tickets /Info: TBD
Brewster's Beer Garden, Petaluma
When: Sunday, July 10, 1 – 4 p.m.
Where: Brewster's Beer Garden, Petaluma
Sonoma County Fair
When: Wednesday, August 10, at Time TBD
Where: Sonoma Co Fairgrounds, 1350 Bennett Valley Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95404
Tickets /Info: Free with fair admission
As the name implies, Back pOrchEstra came together during the locked down summer of 2020 on Tim Eschliman’s back porch with just Eschliman on guitar and vocals (Etta James, Commander Cody, Nick Lowe-produced Moonlighters, Jesse Colin Young, New Copasetics) and drummer Bowen Brown (John Lee Hooker, Tommy Castro, Rhythmtown-Jive). When violinist Candy Girard joined, (Tanya Tucker, Jerry Garcia, Clint Black) the original assemblage jokingly referred to themselves as an orchestra. That became self-fulfilling when the core band grew to include bassist Beau Beaullieu (California Honeydrops, Gator Beat) and guitar and dobro player Gary Potterton (NRPS, Texas Chainsaw). The album also showcases contributions from Austin de Lone on piano (Elvis Costello, Eggs Over Easy, The Fabulous Thunderbirds), Jackson Allen on guitar (Narada Michael Walden), Jack Ohara on backing vocals (Eggs Over Easy), Vicki Randle on percussion (Dr. John, Mavis Staples, the Tonight Show Band) and Kathy Kennedy on backing vocals (Big Bang Beat).
Back pOrchEstra conducted several live streaming sessions and live outdoor shows in 2020 and 2021. Recognizing their potential, they recorded Voices in My Head (Genre Whiplash) at Globe Records in 2021. The album features 11 tracks inspired by the musicians’ collective influences and passions.
For the latest info on the Back pOrchEstra, tickets and more, please visit backporchestra.com.