the Ingham County Regulars
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the Ingham County Regulars

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


"REGULARS SERVE UP FINE ALT-COUNTRY DEBUT"

Having been around for more than two years now, the Ingham County Regulars are practically veterans of Lansing's happening twang scene - and their brand-new, self-titled debut CD is well overdue.
The Regulars don't attempt to re-create a retro sound; instead, they're attracted to the honesty of country music and incorporate that stylistic bent into their own rock sensibilities. It's alt-country.
Lead singer and guitarist Marty Portier is the group's creative frontman, and all of the CD's 12 songs, except for two covers - Sticks McGhee's warhorse "Wine Spo-dee O-dee" and Merle Travis's "Dark as a Dungeon" - are his own. Bassist Jason Portier is Marty's brother, and they sing harmony, but country's classic "brother harmony" ethic is entirely absent here; their vocal approach is much more raw. Jason was once a member of the local Celtic-punk band The Lash (as was drummer Jesse Soriano), and more than a little of the boozy, testosterone- laden Shane MacGowan sensibility is still in evidence.
The CD was recorded in catch-as-catch-can fashion with Detroit's Jim Diamond, a producer-engineer with an international reputation. The band is reputedly delighted with the results, and listeners will appreciate the spacious ambience and the slightly overdriven, all-analog sound, even if the vocals do lose some presence in the mix.
"Burn Up the Highway" is a clever play between the image of the sun as the light of redemption and as a warning light on the long drive from Austin to Lansing. The poignant "Will I Go Down?" makes something of a self-destruction diptych when paired with the previous song, "Ragin'."
The nature of alt-country is that it can be a haven for mediocrity, so a special nod goes to hotshot lead guitarist Chris Diener. As with all good country bands, the song is the main event for the Regulars, but Diener's staccato, quacking Telecaster cranks virtually every track to a higher level.
- Chris Reitz, Lansing State Journal


Discography

1.Be Gentle, It's Our first Time-2003 EP self- released
2.Ingham County Regulars-2004 517-REC-ORDS
Lansing based Indie.

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

The Brothers Portier have been singing country songs together since they were kids, feverishly listening to their grandparents' Roger Miller, Hank Sr., and Johnny Cash albums as well as the Willie Nelson, Eagles, Linda Ronsdadt, and more Johnny Cash in Mom and Dad's record collection. "Marty learned every one of those songs; I think he still knows most of them," says Jason.
Parting ways after high school, the brothers left town, wandering thru several states, bands, and genres before returning to Michigan and to their roots. Jason (bass) and Jesse (drums) have known each other since they were ten years old and have played in several groups together. "He was a natural choice for drummer - we're like one guy at this point." Chris Diener, the newest addition to the bunch, was an ace session and gigasaurous guitar picker bored playing with cover bands and bad songwriters. After deciding to give it a go "He came over, we broke into song, he tore it apart, and boom, we were a band. It was all very natural," says Jason. Natural is good, and the music the Portiers grew up on shines through - all the better after a 21st century rock-n-roll kick in the pants.
That was in 2002. ICR has been wowing em' ever since with trademark intensity and sincerity, putting on a dynamic live show not soon forgotten. After catching a Lansing show, none other than Detroit legend Jim Diamond of Ghetto Recorders tracked them down, saying "I gotta record you guys. Gimme a call!" The resulting self-titled disc spins in regular rotation on the local college station, made several 2004 "year's best" lists, and has sparked the interest of listeners around the globe. Catch 'em quick!
Just how good are these guys? Next time they come around, go hear for yourself.