Bill Porter

Bill Porter

 Carlock, Illinois, USA

Bill Porter loves to jam with the audience and tailors his sets for blues, rock or originals. Let's have FUN everybody!


Originally from the northern suburbs of Chicago, Bill has performed all across the USA and is a rock n roll veteran. Crowds can dance to this band. BP doesn't do screaming heavy metal or rap. Bill Porter's music is blues-based rock n roll. Bill's live sets include songs from his many CD's, as well as a few classic, danceable covers by the Rolling Stones, Hendrix, Albert/Freddie/BB King, SRV, Bob Segar, Beatles and more. BP says, "My idea of a good musical night is when everyone gets involved and forgets their worries. If I see people smiling and dancing to my music, then that's what it's all about. If you book my band, we're gonna make your night a good one." When you look at Bill's crowd, you'll see smiling faces and toes tapping.

Bill's guitar style is a bluesy-funky-hard driving style that borrows heavily from Hendrix and Clapton. Bill's music incorporates a percussive rhythmic influence because he took drum lessons since second grade (1962) through Jr high school. He got his first electric guitar in 1967. Legendary bluesman BB King, John Lee Hooker, Freddy & Albert King, and Robin Trower were also major influences. Muddy Waters & Styx played Bill's high school Senior Prom! John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Paul Rogers and Stevie Wonder are some of Bill's favorite singers.

A few favorite memories: seeing Sam Lay Blues Band (Paul Butterfield's drummer) and the James Cotton Blues band at my high school homecoming concert (hey, we were on the North Side of Chicago and were in the right place at the right time to see great blues acts!), watching Muddy Waters perform at my high school prom (did I mention being in the Right Place, Right Time?), wondering how Hound Dog Taylor got such a killer tone out of a cheap Japanese electric guitar and Sears 2 x12 Silvertone amp at Wise Fools Pub on Chicago's Lincoln Avenue blues scene in 74, standing next to Ted Nugent while part of the stage crew at ISU for Nugent's "Stranglehold" album and headliner Aerosmith's "Toy's in the Attic" concert, talking about blues with Cub Coda after opening for Brownsville Station in 1978, trying to get my Marshall amps out of the way before Off Broadway went on stage at Mother's in Chicago, Rick Nielsen from Cheap Trick talking about Hamer guitars (made in my hometown of Wimette! Side note: No, I couldn't afford one back then...haha) and Rick kindly pouring me a beer at the Red Lion, relaxing after a gig with Ruby Star and her manager after some guy rode a motorcycle into the bar and knocked over the one of the PA stacks in Streator, meeting the great BB King and experiencing his "down home" courtesy first hand, socializing in the dressing room with Jim Dandy backstage after opening for Black Oak Arkansas in the 80's at Scotty's, talking about guitar amps and tone with Ray Monette--guitarist from Rare Earth, laughing in the hospitality suite about things that had gone wrong on stage (and hoping no one noticed) with Lonnie and Ronnie Baker Brooks, smiling about cramming my band and Dave Mason's band into a tiny dressing room and making it all work out OK, getting a backstage guitar lesson from 5 time winner of the Guitar Player Magazine "Best Overall Guitarists:" Steve Morse, standing out of the way while Uriah Heep's roadies looked for Evian water for Mick Box, moving my amp out of the way in time to see Johnny Winter's Music Man amp tone settings, smiling backstage after our opening set for Mitch Ryder when he played "Sock It to Me Baby" ... I could go on and on, but the point is: Life is Good and Music makes it Better!

contact Bill at:

See a photo in the photo section of this site of Bill in the National Public Radio studio last summer. Dave Matthews and Mavis Staples were there a few days before me. Bela Fleck was leaving as I entered. Great sounds and super cool people. It was a great experience to visit NPR's studio in Washington DC!


Got Good News

Written By: Bill Porter

I got good news,
my boss just quit today (repeat)
I feel so good,
grab my guitar and play.

I got good news,
my ship came in today (repeat).
I feel so good,
grab my guitar and say:
I never thought it could happen to me.
I feel like I won the lottery.
Gonna get down on my knees,
and thank the Lord for helping me.
I feel so good,
doc said my health was fine (repeat).
I feel so good,
grab my guitar and play!

Knock Down Blues

Written By: Bill Porter

I got knocked down.
Gonna get up and start again. (repeat)
If I can't get up, that's when I'll start to crawl.

They thought I'm finished.
They thought my back's against the wall. (repeat)
If I can't get up, that's when I'll start to crawl.

This old world keeps on turning.
Fools don't know the bridge they're burning.
I struggle on from day to day.
I've still got one thing left to say...

I got knocked down.
Gonna get up and start again.
I got knocked down, gonna get up but I might fail.
If I can't get up, that's when I'll start to crawl.

I ain't giving up, no way!


Bill Porter: Self Portrait CD 2011
Bill Porter Project: Stickman CD 2001
Bill Porter Project: Stickman Rides Again CD 2003
Bill Porter: Fishbone Willie and Friends CD 2005
Bill Porter Project: Full Throttle CD 2008
Bill Porter with Mojo Stew: Little Brother CD 1990
Bill Porter with Mojo Stew: Lost Tracks CD 2007
Bill Porter with Mojo Stew: This N That CD & cassette 1989
Bill Porter with Mojo Stew: Black & White cassette 1988
Bill Porter with Lorri Ann & the 3D Rhythm Band: Big Handed Daddy CD 1998
WGLT Blues Thing CD: Bill Porter with Witness 2000
WGLT Son of Blues Thing CD: Bill Porter Project 2001
WWCT Basement Tapes CD: Mojo Stew, Color of Me 1989
WWCT Basement Tapes cassette: Rock City, Couldn't Shake It 1980

Set List

I have enough originals to do a 90 minute set & more. My band has been around long enough to play over 4 hours with covers and originals, but that's not my cup of tea. I don't mind throwing a few good sing-along songs into my set, like Honky Tonk Woman or Get Back, just for fun. I want our crowd to have as much fun as I do at a gig. Currently, we feature originals and supplement them with our own versions of dance oriented, bluesy-funky covers such as the Temptations' Shaky Ground, Clapton's Crossroads, Johnny Winter's version of Rock Me Baby, BB King's Let the Good Times Roll, Bill's adaptation of Savoy Brown's Hellbound Train, Freddie King's Goin' Down, and Albert King's I'll play the Blues For You plus many more.