The folk-popper/acoustic guitar maestro teams up with a string quartet. Hardly a novel concept, but it works more often than not.
Wisconsin singer-songwriter Willy Porter has spent his 15-year career producing agreeable, Adult AOR, Alternative-friendly folk-pop. Despite his virtuoso acoustic guitar playing, often-catchy songs, and charismatic live shows, though, he's only occasionally tasted mainstream success. Live at BoMA isn't going to change that, but it isn't meant to. Recorded with Columbus, Ohio's Carpe Deim String Quartet, the mini-album features guitar-and-strings renderings of seven Porter tracks. The collaboration works best when Carpe Diem is content to shade the corners rather than compete with Porter for prominence. The uptempo "Breathe" is an example of all parties clicking nicely. The set draws from Porter's first few albums and ignores his more recent lackluster work. The gently rolling, heartbreaking "Paper Airplane" is one of Porter's best, and it's the highlight here. Live At BoMA is a fans-only deal, but those fans are sure to eat it up.