Gestated during the locked-down summer of 2020, Back pOrchEstra, a collection of all-star West Coast musicians, has released its first album, Voices in My Head (Genre Whiplash), and announced a series of upcoming Bay Area performances. The band’s album and support show feature songs from a diverse American background - roots rock, Americana, country blues, western swing, Cajun, and New Orleans music with originals and reworked classics by Hank Williams, Taj Mahal, Dan Hicks and more. Back pOrchEstra is a recently-formed west coast outfit uniting some stellar but lately idle players. They may well have not ever come together were it not for the pandemic.
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 Gary Potterton (guitar, 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).
The album is available now on all music streaming platforms (Amazon, iTunes, Spotify, Deezer, Tidal, YouTube, Soundcloud, Pandora, Apple Music, and more) and will be available for purchase on USB Music Card and CDs at all upcoming shows, some of your favorite record stores, Amazon, and on GlobeRecords.com.
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. In the new single from the album, “Might Hafta Go After It,” inspiration, contemplation, conversation, frustration and perseverance team up in a roots rock, Americana, indie soul track with big Jesse Ed Davis influences. “Just Fall in Love,” the album’s early released single, was selected for inclusion in the World National Indie Radio’s 2021 Best Radio Songs of the Summer.
Back pOrchEstra will perform a series of gigs to launch the new album. Covid-19 policy for all shows: proof of Covid-19 vaccination required, and face masks worn (when not eating and/or drinking). These are all planned as indoor shows, but due to the recent spike in Covid-19 cases, some of these shows may convert into outdoor shows, or Live streaming. Please check backporchestra.com for the latest updates.
Reel & Brand in Sonoma (outdoors, if need be, as weather permits)
When: Friday, Jan. 28 at 6:00 p.m.
Where: Reel & Brand, 401 Grove St., Sonoma CA 95476
Tickets: $10, available at the door
Sweetwater in Mill Valley
North Bay Reveal with Sean Carscadden Trio & BackpOrchEstra
When: Thursday, Feb. 3 at 8 p.m.
Where: Sweetwater Music Hall, 19 Corte Madera Ave., Mill Valley
Tickets: $17, available online at SweetwaterMusicHall.com
The Big Easy Petaluma (outdoors, if need be, as weather permits)
When: Saturday, Feb. 26, 7p.m.
Where: The Big Easy, 128 American Aly, Petaluma, CA 94952
Tickets: $10, available at the door
Lost Church in Santa Rosa
When: Friday, March. 11 at 8:15 p.m.
Where: 427 Mendocino Ave (enter on Ross Street), Santa Rosa, CA 95401
Tickets: $15 adv / $20 DOS available at the door and online at TheLostChurch.org
For the latest info on the Back pOrchEstra, tickets and more, please visit backporchestra.com.