FIELD REPORT WITH SPECIAL GUEST, HUNTER CALLAHAN
Friday, March 8th
10:00pm / doors at 9:50pm
Advance general admission: $10
At the door: $13
Table of 4 reserved seats: $50
FIELD REPORT is the creation of Chris Porterfield, who cut his musical teeth with DeYarmond Edison (the other members of which were Justin Vernon/Bon Iver and Megafaun). After their breakup in 2006, Bon Iver and Megafaun went on to success while Chris hung back in Wisconsin, thinking his career in music was over. It was really just beginning. For the first time in his life, he began writing his own songs, which he spent the following five years carefully divining, killing off, revising, and honing. In December 2011, the record was finally recorded at Vernon’s studio (with engineer Beau Sorenson).
Porterfield explains, “We began to feel like it was time to make a record in the fall of 2011. Around that time, Bon Iver was touring, and came through Milwaukee. I was talking with Justin, and he said that he had heard through the grapevine that I finally had found the right people to play with. He invited us to use his space. We were particularly interested in recording at his studio (April Base) because of the large live room. We wanted to capture the sound of a band in a moment. We specifically brought Beau [Sorenson] in for this reason, and for his love of later Talk Talk.”
The result is a haunting set of songs that’s crafty, lyrical, and poignant. After sending a few unfinished tracks to select people, the response was immediate and impactful: producer Paul Kolderie (Radiohead, Warren Zevon, The Pixies, Uncle Tupelo) fell in love with them and offered to mix the record, which he did in February 2012. The songs were also met with acclaim from many SXSW presenters, resulting in invitations to play at several high-profile showcases, as well as a Daytrotter session.
This momentum continued into the spring, as Rolling Stone’s feature on the band championed them as “poised to break out in 2012.” Much of Porterfield’s early praise has focused on his poetic prowess: admired Pitchfork, “[Porterfield] lifts parables and history lessons wholesale to apply them to his own conflicts.” SPIN loved the band’s “quiet, Will Oldham-like fire,” while the San Francisco Bay-Guardian noted that Porterfield’s “retrospection and emotionality…will make you want to melt into his world.” Aquarian Drunkard was awed by the “honey and gravel vocals,” while NYLON deemed the music “pure stripped-down gorgeousness.”
Having a uniquely direct connection with fans is something Field Report has already emphasized. They have three tracks freely downloadable on their website (http://www.field-report.org) as well as a phone number where fans can text a question directly to the band (414-215-9956).
Partisan Records is incredibly excited to announce that they have signed Milwaukee’s Field Report. The band’s debut record, Field Report, is due to be released on September 11, 2012. Field Report can be seen on tour this summer, supporting Emmylou Harris and Counting Crows, whose lead singer Adam Duritz enthused to Rolling Stone, “It is undeniable when you listen to Field Report. This is just great music.” Rolling Stone agreed, championing the record as a “breakout debut.”
If you asked the 19-year-old singer-songwriter what kind of genre he plays, he’ll comeback with a simple response, “I just play music.” And, quite frankly, that’s the truth.
At the age of 14, Hunter Callahan first picked up the guitar because he wanted to sound like Guns N’ Roses and AC/DC. “I wanted to be Slash. But then again, I think just about every high school kid with a guitar wanted to be in a rock band.” Two years later, he joined a southern rock and country band with his older brother. With that band he’s played venues such as The Frederick Brown Amphitheatre. Playing with this group changed the direction of his music, and around the age of 17, Hunter found his niche as a guitarist in a genre of music that was all but dead and gone: The Blues. “The great thing about blues music is that it’s so wide open. As a guitar player, you can say a million different things, while keeping it so incredibly simple.” Drawing influence from artists like B.B. King, Jimi Hendrix, and Stevie Ray Vaughan, Hunter worked towards being a master of the guitar. And then, the musical direction changed again.
“I started writing a lot of music, but it was just these slow, simple melodies…and I remember thinking, ‘what is this?! I want to be a rock n roll guitarist! Not some one who writes love songs!’ But then I realized, maybe this is how I sound. Maybe this is my version of the blues. Maybe I shouldn’t even say its just blues anymore. There are hints of country, soul, folk, and everything else.” So the songs started coming, and Hunter started doing something else that he had never attempted; and that was singing.
Gifted with a voice that hardly fits his appearance, the combination of his raspy vocals and soulful songwriting has drawn comparisons to John Mayer, Ray Lamontagne, and Bob Dylan. The start of 2013 saw Hunter become a regular on stages like Eddie’s Attic. As well as winning Open Mic contests at Zac Brown’s Southern Ground Social Club, and performing in songwriting showcases around Atlanta.
So the story is just getting started. But with new songs coming, and new doors opening, the story definitely has promise.