The Porkroll Project, from the greater Philadelphia, PA area is hard rocking 5 piece blues band who play a high energy blend of fresh covers and originals. The music is blues, but it's done up Porkroll style. Little bit of grease, good dose of funk, whole lotta drive and grind. Throw that together with some dangerous lead guitar and harmonica, powerful organ, and rippin' piano, and you have a recipe for a night where anything can happen!
- 2010 : Semi-Finalist in the International Blues Challenge, Memphis, TN
- 2010 : Semi-Finalist in the Blues Foundation's "Best Self-Produced CD" for Shake It Twice
- 2012 : Represented the Billtown Blues Association in the International Blues Challenge
- 2012 : Three Legged Dog nominated by Diamond State Blues Society for "Best Self-Produced CD"
- 2014 : Represented the Billtown Blues Association in the International Blues Challenge
The band has a collective experience that runs deep and wide, having played together in various other projects for over ten years. They've shared the stage with such notables as Bo Diddley, Los Lobos, Mem Shannon, Michael Hill's Blues Mob, Bobby Radcliffe, Albert Castiglia, John Primer and Billy Branch, just to name a few. They are well seasoned veterans with main stage appearances at events such as the Philadelphia Jam on the River, the Red Bank Jazz and Blues Festival, the Riverfront Blues Festival, Billtown Blues Festival, and the Paoli Blues Festival. The band has won several local Blues competitions to earn the right to compete in the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN. They'll be making their 3rd appearance in January 2014, having won the Billtown Blues Association's IBC competition.
|Neil "Porkroll" Taylor
Porkroll comes from a long line of watermen and pirates. He has two basic loves -- playing guitar and cooking. His BBQ is well known throughout the Delaware Valley, as is his tasty blues playing. His musical influences range far and wide, but credits Buddy Guy and Luther Allison as his most recent inspirations. Previously, he co-founded the well-known MudBoy blues band which played around the Southeast Pennsylvania for nearly a decade. For a time, he also performed with Melissa Martin and the Mighty Rhythm Kings. He also brings his tasty guitar to the Union Street Blues and Legendary Sinners bands.
Paul has been playing piano since he was able to reach the keys of the Lester piano in the family living room. Self taught on guitar, he sang lead with quite a few rock bands over the last 20 years. He's always loved early rock 'n roll and blues records. Favorite players include Johnnie Johnson, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, Scotty Moore, Carl Perkins, Otis Rush, The Stones, Stevie Ray Vaughn, and many, many others.
He attended West Chester University as a music major, where he earned a degree in piano performance. In addition to The Porkroll Project, he has played or is playing with: The Overheads, Bender, Gracie, and Melissa Martin & The Mighty Rhythm Kings.
|Ed "Fast Eddie" Young
Ed grew up in appalachian foothills of southeastern Ohio. He moved around a lot when he was a kid, and continued to move to bigger and bigger cities, further and further east, going to college at Penn State and finally landing in Philly--where he teaches philosophy during the day and plays his guitar and bass at night. Besides playing bass in the Porkroll Project, he does solo work on the guitar. Always busy, Ed is also the bass player for the rock band Dirty Love.
At the age of 12 when the Beatles came on Ed Sullivan, he decided he had to get a drum set and join a band. He initially took lessons from the drummer of the San Francisco Symphony. Andy moved to the Germantown area of Philadelphia, as a teenager, and has been playing professionally since the age of 16. Andy has paid his dues playing up and down the east coast through the 70’s and 80's with various original and commercial bands.
The 80’s saw Andy playing not only with The Rhythm Masters (out of Washington D.C.) and Blue Eyes featuring Bobby Lenti (out of Philadelphia), he also played all around the Philly area in clubs and large venue gigs. The 90’s saw Andy playing with The Cathy King Band, The Daryl Davis Band and with Jacques Johnson and Friends in the Washington D.C. Area. He now brings his amazing timing and musicality to the Porkroll Project.
Harp player and vocalist Buddy Cleveland grew up in Rockville, MD. He got serious about the harp when he got to know the outstanding DC area blues guitarist Mike "Junior" Tash of the Bad Influence Band. Mike gave him lots of encouragement and even invited Buddy sit in with his band on occasion. In 1999, after moving to the Philadelphia area, Buddy joined some guys he worked with and this group ultimately became the Voodoo DeVille band. Buddy formed the Union Street Blues band in 2007 along with Porkroll and then joined the Porkroll Project in 2008. He still performs regularly with Voodoo DeVille Band.
These are videos of a live performance recorded in 2012 at Chaplin's Music Cafe in Spring City, PA.
This an original song by the Porkroll Project and is the title song from our third CD, released in 2011.
This slow Blues song is our take on an old Ollie Nightengale song which was included on our second CD, Shake It Twice.
This is another original song by the Porkroll Project. It was also included on our second CD, Shake It Twice.
This is our version of the Rufus Thomas classic.
Finally, here's the title track from our second CD. Another Porkroll original song.
Here are photos from major event performances.
|This is the self-titled first release by the Porkroll Project. These 12 songs set the standard for the band's electric blues, done up Porkroll style; little bit of grease, good dose of funk, whole lotta drive and grind with some dangerous lead guitar and harmonica, powerful organ, and rippin' piano. It includes eight original songs and for cover tunes.|
The Porkroll Project was back on the grill with its second CD, Shake It Twice, and served up some more greasy grooves, funky rhythms, hot vocals, and some downright nasty playing! Six original songs and four of our favorite cover songs are included on this CD.
This CD was nominated for Blues Foundation's 2010 Best Self-Produced CD competition by the Diamond State Blues Society and made it into the top 12 semi finals! Click on the CD image for song samples at CDBaby.com.
Three Legged Dog is the eagerly anticipated 3rd release from The Porkroll Project. This go round, the songwriting chores got spread around a little, and the result is a mix of great music, which includes seven original songs written by the band members and four cover songs.
This CD was nominated for Blues Foundation's 2012 Best Self-Produced CD competition by the Billtown Blues Association. Click on the CD image for song samples at CDBaby.com.
Check out the full length versions of some representative songs from the three Porkroll Project CD's.
Below are a number of CD reviews and a collection of quotes about the Porkroll Project Band.
While I was reading through the names of the players and special guests that make up the PORK ROLL PROJECT, several of the names sounded a bit familiar to this usually very forgetful person. Further investigation revealed that indeed, three of the personnel were involved with other ensembles that I have favorably reviewed in the past. Therefore, before even spinning the disc, I already had a good idea that once again, I'd be listening to some real good music. Those names by the way are NEIL "PORKROLL" TAYLOR (guitar) and PAUL MATECKI (piano, guitar and vocals) - formerly reviewed while with 'Melissa Martin and the Rhythm Kings for www.mary4music.com - and special guest MISTY "MISS T" AKERS - formerly reviewed with 'Miss T and the Mosquitoes' for www.BluesWax.com.
Having said that, let me now introduce you to the rest of the band. Completing the PORK ROLL PROJECT are: WILLIE THORTON (harmonica and vocals), JOEY "BIG NOTE" STOUT (organ, guitar and vocals), DOC WHITE (bass and vocals), CHAD EDSTROM (drums), and special guest MICHAEL STANLEY (bass). Now, let me say a few words about some of the great music.
The opening track on "PORK ROLL PROJECT", one of eight originals out of twelve tracks, is a fast and furious funky number called "BORN READY" and from the sound of it, these guys certainly were born ready - ready to play some smokin' music that is. This one features the whole band at their best - the vocals are vigorous, the guitar work is gritty, the harmonica is hot and the rhythm section - led by JOEY on the organ - rips it up. I admire a band that has the courage to open with what may very well be the best track on the CD. That's confidence!
"FILTHY RICH / DIRTY POOR, features a dynamic duet with MISS T, who has an absolutely marvelous voice. Unfortunately, this track was way too short and it was the only one she appeared on. However, WILLIE gets in a good dose of hot harmonica solos and along with DOC on bass, they highlight this one.
"YOU AIN'T SEEN MEAN", is one of the more straight up blues tracks and for that reason alone it is another one of my favorites. I'm sorry to say that with three members of the band listed as vocalists and none of them mentioned as the lead vocalist, I don't know who to give credit to for the fabulous singing on this track. JOEY once again puts on a heck of a performance on the organ and NEIL'S guitar work is absolutely amazing.
"HAVE ANOTHER BEER", advice that I always try to follow, is a very well done, slow, bluesy ballad. This one, in addition to the usual smokin' guitars and harmonica, features some excellent piano playing by PAUL.
"GOOD MORNING BLUES", closes out the "PORK ROLL PROJECT" just like it started, with a smoker. This one is a red-hot shuffle that, unless it's in a coma, is impossible for a body to not respond to. Mine was shaking so much I had to stop typing. It's songs like these that make doing these reviews take so long. Counting the six times I hit replay on this one, it added a good thirty minutes.
Other tracks that appear on "PORK ROLL PROJECT" are "AIN'T MOVIN', JUST GROOVIN", "SOLITARY MAN", "PRODIGAL SON BLUES", "ON A ROLL", "WHAT THE BLUES IS ALL ABOUT", "THE LETTER" and "MIDDLE MAN BLUES".
- Peter "Blewzzman" Lauro, Blues Editor @ www.Mary4Music.com
Although it's been some time since we've heard from them, members of The Porkroll Project, individually and collectively, are seasoned veterans here at www.Mary4Music.com. One way or another, searching our archives will find many of these fellows names, and it's certainly a pleasure to be hearing from them again.
The 2009 version of the band consists of: Paul Matecki on piano and lead vocals; Neil Taylor on guitar and lead & background vocals; Joey Stout on organ and lead & background vocals; Ed Young on bass; Chad Edstrom, J. T. Thomas and Matt DelCollo on drums; Buddy Cleveland on harp; Doc White on bass and lead vocals; and the Union Street Horns, which include: Joe Anderson and Paul Giess on trumpet; Steven Sharp on trombone; and Dave Renz and Paul Cleveland on tenor sax.
"Shake It Twice", the bands latest effort, contains six original tracks and four familiar covers. On the opening track, "My Daddy Was The Postman", I get the impression a lot of "male" may have been being delivered by this mailman. This one's a smoker on which the hot rhythm, fiery guitar and keyboard leads, and rippin' harp are definitely going to have you shaking it..........a lot more than twice.
In blues songs, some very profound lyrics have been used when paying a compliment to someone, or emphasizing the love one may feel for another. "I'd Rather Go Blind" (than to see you walk away) is one example and "I'll Drink Your Bathwater" (just to prove my love for you) is another. Having said that, is it just me - or does the latter of those two sound worse than the first? Oh, what the heck.....all that matters is that this track kicked some blues butt. It's nearly eight minutes of slow scorching blues, highlighted by sharp and piercing harp from Buddy, orgasmic organ leads from Joey and scorching blues guitar leads from Neil. And by the way, as enthusiastic and heartfelt as his vocals were, I believe he'd drink it.
"I Can't Turn My Back" (On The Blues) is another of the discs best. With fierce rhythm going on behind them, Paul, Joey and Neil heat it up while passing the lead around from the organ, to the piano, to the guitar and back around again. This is some real hot stuff, especially with the heat comin' outta those Union Street Horns.
In spite of Neil tearing it up on guitar and vocals and a few nice harp leads, "Dance Monkey Dance" is highlighted by the wicked percussion. Joey, Doc and Matt are all over the organ, bass and drums on yet another smoker.
With so many clubs closing and festivals being canceled, I sure wish I could hear more people saying "The Blues Is My Business" (And Business Is Good). In any event, The Porkroll Project certainly do this cover justice and obviously, from what I just heard on "Shake It Twice", the blues is their business and business is good.
Other tracks on "Shake It Twice" include: "Evil Woman Blues", "Shake It Twice", "Walking The Dog", "Two Weeks Notice" and "Vehicle".
You can check out The Porkroll Project by going to www.porkrollproject.com. Once you're there, tell them the Blewzzman sent ya.
- Peter "Blewzzman" Lauro, Blues Editor @ www.Mary4Music.com
I am reminded of a joke (or was it a joke?) that ended with "You don't eat a good dog like that all at once." Now that that is out of the way, it is time for business. All but four of the disc's eleven cuts were penned by the members of the band. As usual the musicianship is right on the money. The Porkroll Project are a great bar band, well able to blow the roof off most venues. Hard driving with a strong blues influence, this is the kind of stuff that brings a crowd to its feet, just what most working men and women want at the end of a long hard week. Their original tunes are exceptional, with a hard edge yet never losing sight of their blues roots and the cover tunes were done with a side order of pork fat to be sure. They left their indelible mark on everything from John Estes "Broke & Hungry" to Johnny Cash's "Folsom Prison Blues", John Lennon's "Cold Turkey" and Elvin Bishop's "Party 'Til The Cows Come Home." What I found particularly impressive was the fact that the original tunes were written by five members of the band. It is not often that so many songwriters are found in one band…and each is done exceptionally well. Each member brings his own particular style to the mix yet the blend flawlessly. This is one of those discs that would be good to put in the player and cruise down the highway. I hear a lot of the influence of the early blues/rockers but the blues is front and center. I find it impossible to pick a favorite tune as all are done so well. I am, however particularly impressed with the original tunes. Anyone can cover something that has already been done, even putting a unique spin on the number but it is far more difficult to write a number that has a timeless quality and the Porkroll Project manages to pull that off. Over all there is something here to suit everybody's taste. The Porkroll Project has another winner on their hands with Three Legged Dog. Pick up a copy especially if you like your blues with a hard rockin' edge and get out to see the band whenever possible. The purpose of a good blues band is to take the audience somewhere far from the troubles of their everyday life. This band manages to do that. They deserve our support.
- Bill Wilson, Music Editor, Billtown Blue Notes, Billtown Blues Association
Three Legged Dog is some of the best music to come from this band to date . What can you say , Porkroll Project nailed this one . Electrifying guitar riffs and incredible piano & organ playing backed buy a great rhythm section . Dishing out some great rockin' blues , boogie woogie and straight forward blues. Just one listen to Three Legged Dog and you will be a Porkroll fan for life!!!
- Gene Fontana, President, Diamond State Blues Society
The key to repeatedly producing a quality product is to repeatedly use quality ingredients or parts. This holds true from the food you eat to the machinery you work with to the music you listen to, and it includes the makers of that music as well. Spanning seven years and several CDS, the ingredients that make up the Porkroll Project have been pretty much the same five top notch musicians. They are: Neil Taylor on guitar & vocals; Joe Stout on organ & vocals; Paul Matecki on piano & vocals; Chad Edstrom on drums; Ed Young on bass and vocals; and Buddy Cleveland on harmonica. On "Three Legged Dog", which contains seven band originals out of twelve tracks, a few other "quality ingredients" were added. They are: Mike Bardzik on drums, Joe D'Amico on mandolin, and Randy Phister on conga. Now let's listen.
Apparently, doing this must be a lot harder than it might seem. As Paul tells it, he'll take out his baby's trash and even mop her floor, he'll also do her laundry, iron her clothes, wash her back, polish her toes and more - just as long as he doesn't have to walk her "Three Legged Dog" anymore. The deal breaker could have very well been the fact that the dog also can't see. Between complaints about the poor pooch there's a killer three minutes of powerful rhythm backing some ass kickin' guitar and harp leads.
With four of the band members sharing vocal leads, "Ninety-One Days" is one of the five tracks that feature Paul Matecki and it's by far his best effort. Getting in lots of piano highlights as well, I guess it's no coincidence he wrote the song.
Although no one will ever do it like Johnny did, most of the versions that I've heard of "Folsom Prison Blues" have been enjoyable. The song and it's writer are so legendary, it's almost sacrilegious to say you didn't like a particular version of it. And that's certainly not a factor on The Porkroll Project's rendition. As a matter of fact, Neil Taylor does an admirable job on the vocals and guitar, and the extra addition of Buddy's harp and Paul's piano both add a little something even the great original version didn't have. Good stuff.
On this particular track it sounds like the band is ready to "Party Till The Cows Come Home". This is one of those songs where everyone just cuts it loose and it all comes together sounding great because they all nailed it. Let it roll....yeah, yeah, yeah....let it roll.
Inasmuch as I had hoped that the lyrics to "Three Legged Dog" were fictional, it's all too sad that the lyrics to "All I Got Is Time" definitely aren't. It's about a diligent, conscientious, very loyal employee of twenty-seven years being laid off because of downsizing. Happen to anyone you know? Same here. Adding Randy's conga for some extra added percussion, make this one hot rhythm driven track.
Other tracks on "Three Legged Dog" include: "Broke And Hungry", "Shoeshine Joe", "Cold Turkey", "Lamp In The Window", "Miss Mandy's Kitchen" and "Ain't A Day Goes By".
The Porkroll Project can be found at www.porkrollproject.com. While you're there, in addition to telling them the Blewzzman sent ya, you can thank them for not injuring any animals, dogs or otherwise, in the making of this recording.
- Peter "Blewzzman" Lauro, Blues Editor @ www.Mary4Music.com
"Having booked The Porkroll Project (and their former incarnation Mudboy) on soon to be three of my Annual Bandana Blues BBQ's, I testify to the fact they are a tough act to follow. PRP possess a healthy respect for the blues, plus songwriting that contains the essence of real life in all its irony. Add their deep in-the-pocket-grooves and you have the extremely tasty Porkroll Project. Put that on a potato roll please!"
Beardo,Senior Contributing Editor of Blueswax
"Overall, this is a good recording, well made, solidly played, and with some good original material."
Bruce Iglauer, President, Alligator Records (commenting on "The Porkroll Project" CD)
"Great blues rock. This is some great full circle blues rock. The track "My Daddy Was The Postman" kicks ass through the sound system in my old truck! The sub gets a work over!"
T-Bob (commenting on CDBaby about the "Shake It Twice" CD)
- Gene Fontana
President, Diamond State Blues Society
- Bob Settelen
Assistant Directory & Concert Manager, Bucks County Blues Society
- Bonnie Tallman
Secretary, Billtown Blues Association. Former Artist Manager
Here's our current performance schedule:
If you are interested in booking the Porkroll Project or would like any addtional information, contact Neil Taylor by any of the following means:
|Postal mail:||Porkroll Project
c/o Neil Taylor
217 Hendricks Avenue
Exton, PA 19341-2716