Porkbelly Futures
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Porkbelly Futures

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | INDIE | AFM

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | INDIE | AFM
Band Americana Blues


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Porkbelly Futures"

As a unit, they’re tight and play like they really mean it, but it’s the songs that set this band apart. These are literary blues tunes for people who have read Hemingway and Atwood and who understand the futility of trying to get your love’s attention when she’s wrapped up in Michael Ondaatje’s In the Skin of a Lion.
- Montreal Gazette

"Way Past Midnight"

I haven't enjoyed a soft blues album this much in a long while. Comprised of Toronto-based pals including writer Paul Quarrington and Canadian Brass trumpeter Stuart Laughton, Porkbelly Futures very much resembles, in positive ways, a basement jam between talented friends.

Gladstone Hotel, which opens the set, finds a guy being stood up in a bar and never discovering motivation to leave. Hemingway and Ondaatje populate two songs while other numbers offer more conventional blues topics - women leaving, strangers on dusty roads, and southern sadness.

With a dozen very original songs, comfortable guitar explorations accented with a touch of brass is the norm; the song-writing is sharp, the vocal and musical presentations engaging, and the overall vibe is one that embraces the love of music making. Recommended. - Red Deer Advocate

"Porkbelly Futures"

The CD is a nice listen, with a strong acoustic pop feel and well worth the trip to the Gladstone to see the regular show.
- Toronto Blues Society

"Way Past Midnight"

Yes one can be creative with Blues and its no surprise that music brought forth by a distinguished and highly acclaimed band of artists such as these is being distributed by EMI. With prominent Canadian novelist Paul Qaurrington on vocals and rhythm guitar, brass and trumpet champion Stuart Laughton on lead axe and harmonica, Chas Elliot on the Fender bass and Martin Worthy on drums, the result is an ambivalent conflation of unorthodox lyrical themes exemplified in the musical ode to Hemingway bearing the same name and gaudy and innovative chops sprinkled with time-honoured blues and folk overtones in rocking smoothies like You learn to Love, Gladstone Hotel, My Baby and the cd's title track. This is definitely a breath of fresh air that has the potential to broaden roots music's horizons and maybe penetrate the ears of blues music virgins.
- Orca Sound

"Porkbelly Futures"

The dozen tracks, all originals, sparkle instrumentally and lyrically. Take Fictional World, which is destined to be a darling of CBC airplay ("Michael Ondaatje has stolen my girl..she's swept off her feet by a fictional world") or Hemingway ("I like my fiction with a chaser of beer, real short words and a vision that's clear").

They say they just got together to play the blues, but Pork Belly Futures transcends the genre, elevating themselves to an eclectic, jazzy realm of their own.
- Kitchener-Waterloo Record

"Porkbelly Futures"

"Their first CD, Way Past Midnight, is a masterful effort distinguished by some exceptionally colourful and unusual songs and an authoritative dedication to fundamental folk, roots and blues grooves." - Toronto Star-Gregg Quill

"Best Folk/Roots Concert of the Year"

“Porkbelly Futures played The London Music Club to an appreciative audience and were as bloody great as you’d expect a band good enough to have somebody from the Canadian Brass playing guitars and harmonica, the double bassist from the Toronto Symphony Orchestra bowing away and a Governor General’s Award winning novelist supplying most of the lyrics. And they had London’s Teddy Leonard guesting on guitar. When Porkbelly Futures come back, don’t you dare miss them.”

James Reaney - London Free Press

"Great UK Press July /08"

“ Canada’s Porkbelly Futures play what they term “ red-eyed soul”, and everyone else calls “12-bar country-blues”. The music is muscular and rollicking, but what makes them a little special is the bar-room wit of songs such as Hemingway (”Hemingway always gets it right, with a simple syntax and a prose that’s tight”), a trucker-style anthem for the thinking drinker. “

Andy Fyfe - Q Magazine UK

"More Great UK Press July /08"

“Got them ol’ literary salon blues again...”
“Blues songs about Ernest Hemingway and Booker-winner Michael Ondaatje? Given that the Delta pioneers were mostly illiterate, this latest contribution to the current blues revival is an improbably highbrow affair that reflects the status of Paul Quarrington as one of Canada’s leading novelists. Quarrington possesses a fine voice that sounds uncannily like James Taylor (remember his 12-bar homage “Steamroller” on ‘Sweet Baby James’?) and the band-complete with bassist moonlighting from the Toronto Symphony Orchestra- can choogle and boogie with the best.”

Nigel Williamson - Uncut Magazine


Our first CD "Way Past Midnight" was released in 2004 and is still being streamed on Pandora and CBC Roots Music Station. It was released in the U.S. in 2005 and it remained in the top 20 of the Roots/Blues airplay chart in the southern U.S. for 25 weeks. Three years ago, Way Past Midnight was released in Europe and has garnered great reviews from Q and Uncut Magazine in the U.K. The 2nd CD (Porkbelly Futures) was released in April of 2008 in Canada and is available worldwide on ITunes. Our latest CD was released in Canada in Oct. /10 on Cordova Bay records and is currently available on iTunes and Amazon. It is currently getting airplay on many independent, University and national radio stations.



Over the last decade, Porkbelly Futures has created and established its own unique and vibrant mix of rock and roll, blues, folk and country. Infectious on-stage enthusiasm, unusual lyric and songwriting skills, strong instrumentals and engaging three-part vocal harmonies are Porkbelly trademarks, and have helped the band establish a growing fan base across its native Canada. U.S. appearances include repeat engagements in New York City (Joe's Pub, Manhattan) as well as industry showcases in Memphis and Austin in support of the band's debut release Way Past Midnight on Judy Collins' Wildflower Records label.

Porkbelly Futures originally featured the singer/songwriter team of Paul Quarrington and Martin Worthy, the duo returning to music after their career as a duo and years of cross-country touring as members of Joe Hall and the Continental Drift. Two other founding Porkbelly members are classically trained, with Chas Elliott (Toronto Symphony Orchestra) and Stuart Laughton (Canadian Brass) contributing unique perspectives and experience. Two session musicians on the band’s debut release have become indelibly associated with the ensemble: Rebecca Campbell (Jane Siberry, Fat Man Waving) is now a lead vocalist, while legendary keyboardist Richard Bell (Janis Joplin, The Band, Blackie and the Rodeo Kings) lost his battle with cancer after only four years as "a Belly." Sadly, the band also lost Paul Quarrington, a much-loved literary figure in Canada, only two and a half years later.

Porkbelly Futures rebounded by assigning members new roles: Marty, Rebecca and now Stuart maintain the tuneful three-part vocals; Rebecca has added her guitar and accordion to the band’s sound; Marty’s drum kit has been moved downstage (the better for him to trade lead vocals with Rebecca); and Stuart continues his explorations on lap and pedal steel, mandolin and harmonica. Long-time Porkbelly associate Teddy Leonard (a Maple Blues Guitarist of the Year Award-winner and current nominee) joined as a full member, bringing a propulsive new energy to the band’s sound. Left unchanged – since no change was needed – is the band’s anchor, Chas Elliott’s electric bass.

On first acquaintance, many people relate Porkbelly Futures to The Band, a comparison Porkbelly welcomes, given both groups' conscious assimilation of the varied strains of American roots music, beginning with the blues. On closer listen, Porkbelly’s distinctive and frequently quirky personality becomes apparent, at which point comparisons are made to various alt-country or roots/rock styles. Ultimately, people recognize and enjoy the band's unique voice.

Porkbelly Futures’ third and most recent CD, The Crooked Road, was produced by David Gray for Cordova Bay Records.