Searching for the shaman that lives inside the guitar has led Willy Porter on a musical and personal odyssey spanning over two decades, 10 albums, and multiple continents. His journey remains defined by an independent drive to evolve as a musician and human, affording him the freedom to create the next song on his own terms. Equally accomplished as a guitarist, singer, and songwriter, Porter’s songs weave a universal perspective about the questions, struggles, and triumphs of human existence. His live shows are guitar driven events- equal parts grit, soul, and muscle -that are electrifying, dynamic, and wholly original in the way that Porter’s voice blends and fuses with his virtuoso fret work.
The proverbial "Home County girls made good", Flemington natives Nalani & Sarina are excited to be making their 4th Black Potatoe appearance. The identical twin sisters have been playing, singing and writing together since they were kids, and their smart, dynamic live show has made them favorites on the Northeastern club circuit. Jay Lustig recently wrote in Inside Jersey magazine: " They have big, soulful voices and a commanding stage presence. They have strong, meaningful, original songs." Currently preparing new music for national distribution, Nalani & Sarina are poised to uphold Jersey's long track record of breakout stars.
Vocalist-keyboardist Karl Dietel follows his solo debut CD, “Please Allow Me to Introduce Myself,” with the self-titled debut of his new band, Karl Dietel Five. They follow their captain through 10 classic-rooted pop and rock songs that channel everything from their leader’s main influence, Billy Joel, to a meatier Bob Dylan vibe, such as on the opening “Getaway.” Along the way, there are impressive references to Squeeze on “Everytime You’re Gone,” Latin rhythms on “Baby,” jazz on “A Minor Song,” and gospel blues on the uplifting standout “River of Sin,” featuring the sweet slide guitar playing of Derek Davodowich…Dietel’s original band will appeal to fans of mellow mainstream rock, especially Joel, while his top-notch keyboard chops will impress all, as will those of saxophonist-flutist Perry Andrews.
CAROLANN SOLEBELLO is a performing songwriter born and bred in New York City. Best known to folk audiences as a founding member of Americana trio Red Molly, she now tours both solo and with modern folk quartet No Fuss and Feathers. Carolann’s smooth, compelling voice and warm acoustic guitar style surely nod to rural folk traditions, yet her decidedly urban sense of rhythm and sophisticated vocal phrasing bend those traditional forms into more contemporary shapes. She is a proud member of the Jack Hardy Songwriters’ Exchange and has won numerous songwriting awards. Carolann released her fifth solo album, Shiver, in February 2018.
Full-Contact Folk Music. James cut his teeth in the Philadelphia indie rock scene, touring the Northeast as frontman to bands like The Sobriquets and The Way Home before packing his life, wife, and bulldog, and heading off into the woods and mountains of the Hudson Valley. His debut LP, "Through Private Wars", covers the well-worn path of a true rock journeyman – including endless miles of traveling, loving deeply, making dodgy choices, scraping for dollars, and drinking too much for too long. Powerhouse vocals over woodsy guitars, literate songs times wry banter, floor-to-ceiling dynamics plus wall-to-wall heart.
Chelsea Carlson is a roots-rock singer/songwriter from Morris County NJ. Described as a “young and ambitious” artist on the rise by Elmore Magazine, Chelsea has been taking the local music scene by storm since 2011. With influences ranging from Led Zeppelin to Adele, Chelsea is not your typical “singer/songwriter.” Her original music has been described as soulful, powerful, and full of emotion. Her vocal style has been compared to that of Grace Potter and Anne Wilson, and her songwriting is reminiscent of Carole King. It is Chelsea’s goal to take the heart of classic rock and blend it with the intensity of the blues, energy of modern rock and pop, and raw emotion of alternative music, into something new and exciting.