There are certain bands that I associate with HearYa more than others. Bands like Ha Ha Tonka, Other Lives and Joe Pug are a few that blend great musicianship with amiable personalities. Port O’Brien is another of those bands and over the course of three albums and countless shows, Port O’Brien has never ceased to amaze us. It has been a treat to watch them evolve since Oz recommended them a couple of years back.
I showed up a little late to the session and the first thing I noticed was a slight lineup change. I was a big fan of their previous guitarist – a fellow named Zeb. Zeb had an in-your-face, direct sort of style and I loved watching the interplay between Zeb and and lead singer Van Pierszalowski, especially during songs like “The Rooftop Song.”
Zeb’s replacement, Graham LeBron, was a likable fellow and former guitarist in Rogue Wave so it was hard to feel disappointed. After hearing him warm up, I started to get excited about the new sound. During a run-through of Sour Milk/Salt Water I began to see how Gram fit into the band. His playing, while being less brash than Zeb’s, seems to agree more with Port O’Brien’s sound. His playing creates atmosphere and given the personal nature of the band’s latest album, Threadbare, I think it’s just what the doctor ordered. It transports you to a place and way of living that is foreign to most; even to the most ardent Deadliest Catch fan.
So during this next portion of the band’s evolution, after signing to a label, releasing of one of the best albums of the year, a mammoth tour and our second opportunity at a live session with them, I consider myself lucky to be along for the ride. Enjoy the tracks and the best band intro we’ve ever had.
Video: Port O’Brien – My Will Is Good