Like a Midwest summer storm blowing across the plains, the Back Porch Blues Band roars into town providing the best variety of original contemporary blues in the Heartland. The band's influences range from Chicago to Texas to Funk to West Coast Swing and everything in between. Four seasoned individual musicians have come together to form a cohesive unit that is even greater than the sum of the parts. The Back Porch Blues Band puts forth an exciting new sound that has thrilled music lovers for more than a decade!
After invigorating the crowd at the 2012 Paxico Blues Festival, the Back Porch Blues Band took things to another level in 2013. In addition to their regular club dates throughout eastern Kansas and the Kansas City area, the festival season saw them rocking stages at the Spirit of Kansas Blues Festival in Topeka, Tunes & Tobacco Weekend in Weston, MO, the Coleman Hawkins Blues Festival in St. Joseph, MO and the Jammin' in JC Blues Festival in Junction City, KS.
The band is looking forward to new and exciting things in 2014 starting with the release of their first studio CD in January. Eleven original songs showcase both the musical talent and songwriting ability of the band. A full schedule of festival and club dates will give their fans plenty of opportunities to see them live and enjoy their unmistakeable sound.
Harmonica and Vocals
Raised in the Flint Hills of Kansas on 70's album rock, harpist/vocalist Rod Peterson was bitten by the blues bug in the early 90's with the sounds of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Eric Clapton. Over the next few years, he developed an appreciation for a wide variety of styles, especially the amplified sound that originated in Chicago's South Side. Upon finding an old harmonica from his youth, a new career was spawned. Rod's sound comes from a number of influences, from the traditional styles of Little Walter, Junior Wells, William Clarke and George "Harmonica" Smith, to the more contemporary sounds of Dennis Gruenling, Kim Wilson, Rod Piazza and Jason Ricci. Vocally, Rod is influenced heavily by Sugar Ray Norcia, Darrell Nulisch, and Tad Robinson. He has been onstage with a number of blues greats including Mike Zito, Jason Ricci, Lee McBee, Joe Louis Walker, Murali Coryell, Bart Walker and Brandon Santini. Rod founded the Back Porch Blues Band in 2002 and has never looked back in his quest to assemble the finest musicians and songwriters in the area to continually expand the group's profile and appeal.
Drums and Vocals
Drummer Rick Bruner has purveyed rhythms in area blues and jazz bands of the eastern Kansas music scene for over 20 years. He is an accomplished singer and songwriter and occasionally takes to the microphone with the Back Porch Blues Band. Rick recorded his debut solo CD, an inspiring look at Americana life called Eight Hundred Miles, in 2007. His preferred hangout has worn wood floors, naugahyde booths, and very spicy BBQ.
Guitar and Vocals
A Topeka native now calling the Manhattan area home, Greg started playing guitar at the age of twenty. He quickly became obsessed with the instrument and started gigging within a year. A versatile guitarist and singer, Greg has played in area bands, including 20 years with Main Street, that covered such diverse stylings as hard rock, classic and southern rock, R & B, jazz, and funk, but has always possessed a deep seated love of blues and soul. Some important influences in his life have been Jimi Hendrix, Carlos Santana, The Allman Brothers, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Bob Marley, Tab Benoit, Kenny Burrell, B.B. King, Billy Gibbons, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Keith Richards, Darryl Batchelor, Kid Ramos, Alex Schultz and Duane Kerr. Every show is an opportunity to hear another new song "hot off the griddle" from Greg!
Bass and Vocals
Originally from New Orleans, bassist Joe Fontenot now resides in Kansas City. He has been a live performing musician for over 27 years playing many genres of music including Cajun, Zydeco, Swamp Pop, Classic Rock, Gospel and Blues. During that time, Joe has toured throughout the US, Canada and Europe performing over 280 shows a year and sharing the stage with many artists including Johnny Allan, Steve Reilly, Chubby Carrier, Poppa Chubby, Snooks Eaglin, Robert Ward, Earl King, Pinetop Perkins and Paul Rogers. He has multiple recordings for Blacktop Records, Rounder Records, Jungle Records and Flying Fish Records with artists such as Little Mike and the Tornadoes, Lynn August and the Hot August Nights, John Paul’s Flying Circus, and Mamou. An accomplished chef, Joe's jambalya and gumbo are regular requests from the rest of the band.