Don’t Go Baby It’s Gonna Get Weird Without is the latest and final work from Porter and The Blue Bonnet Rattlesnakes. With it’s release today on Cornelius Chapel Records, a pair of album-release shows are set to follow in both Austin and Birmingham, where the late Chris Porter’s life will be celebrated.
The Album is a follow up to Porter’s eulogized solo album, This Red Mountain, which made Porter’s name a propitious one in the Americana music scene. Fans of that album will hear more road-hard, evolved vocals from Porter and crunchy guitars that elevate the album beyond Americana music into a weighty Southern rock genre. As a former member of Some Darker Holler, The Back Row Baptists and Porter and the Pollies, Porter had the experience and stories to settle into himself on ‘Don’t Go Baby’ and he let it show.
The album opens with “Bittersweet Creek”, a quintessential version of traditional Delta anthems, and with Porter’s hometown being Birmingham, it’s an exemplary tribute to the region. “Edith” is delivered in a Western Swing style so synonymous with Texas, showcasing each artist on the album with honesty and simplicity. Shonna Tucker (former Drive-By Truckers member) sings a beautiful harmony and the narrative of the song keeps listeners wanting to know more about the characters. “Don’t Hang Up Virginia” is the kind of song welcomed on a long road trip. If Americana and Zydeco had a baby, it would best describe this song. John Calvin Abney graces us with an understated accordion while producer, Will Johnson, drives the song with an upbeat drum tempo. The ghostly “When We Were Young” has the reflective and regretful lyrics reminiscent of a Jason Isbell song and the guitar picking is so fine that it almost sounds like a harp. Most notable on this album is “November Down”, probably because it spotlights the brilliance of Johnson’s mixing without robbing the song of a single moment. There is nothing not precious about the subtle creativity in this layered, ethereal tune contrasting with Porter’s rugged vocals. While his lyrics seem to be reflecting on the passing of his beloved dog, which happened just months before the album was recorded, the song is also a tangible reminder of the greatness we’ve lost with Porter’s own tragic death last year.
Combining various types of Southern music makes this album both emblematic and downright fun, while the musicians’ excellence and production value make it virtuous. It seems from Porter’s reputation, it was right in line with his character and his fans will be grateful we have this last piece of Chris Porter.