He is a husband and a father. He is a biker and a businessman. A purveyor of American roots music with an edge. He has traveled from the southern tip of Florida to the northern reaches of Alaska, Europe and everywhere in between, his guitar never far from his side.
Porter has spent the past three decades in and out of the music industry, working his trade as a highly skilled espresso machine technician, waiting for the moment when his guitar strings would once again pull at his heart.
He believes a good work ethic is necessary, and is a requirement for his band members. Your conduct, your dress and the effort one puts forth are all very important. He says that in many genres of music, like honky-tonk and rockabilly, image plays a large role. When you think rockabilly you envision pompadours, cuff jeans and girls in wiggle-skirts. Honky-tonk is pearl snap shirts and boots.
Respecting your audience and your employer includes timeliness. Porter expects his band to be set up and ready to play one hour before the downbeat, and a 15 minute break means 15 minutes. He doesn’t want to have to go looking for you out smoking a joint behind the dumpster. Porter believes that if you don’t give a man his money’s worth, then he has every right in the world to argue with you. His dad taught him that "there are more ways of stealing from a man than sticking your hand in his pocket."
A self-proclaimed capitalist, Porter says, simply, you walk into a bar and play well. The better you play, the better you get paid. He comes from a blue-collar hard-working family, who worked for every "damn thing we got."
Porter was born into a family of musicians, in the small town of Niceville, on the Alabama-Florida state line. His father is the renowned singer and guitarist, Reid Porter. His uncle still owns and operates the infamous Panhandle Opry, where liquor, smoking and the devil’s music will send you straight to hell.
Porter, and his brother and sister, learned how to sing and play at a very young age. Porter began playing the bluegrass circuit when he was the tender age of 14. He remembers being pretty wild, fighting and drinking. Even stole a car like his honky tonk hero Haggard. Excuse me, lets clarify. “Borrowed” a car just like Hag. Even paid for the gas before getting caught returning it. This corroborates his his adamant opinion that he was always responsible and honest.
Bo’s friend and mentor Stu Schulman (former studio session and at times a Jerry Jeff Gonzo band member) said he always called Porter "Grasshopper" from the TV show “Kung Foo.” Schulman was like an old priest, trying to teach his protégé to be relaxed and centered.
Porter has performed on a Time Warner show, an XM radio show with Gary P. Nunn, a plaza gig for the mayor, and even had a day formally named
“Bo Porter Day” in Austin.
Porter is grateful for all he has accomplished throughout his life and gives credit, first and foremost, to God. Porter says God has put him everywhere he is supposed to be. Some of the most important lessons he has learned are to be open-minded and forgiving, but, most of all, to be giving. To be good to your neighbor and be good to all children.
"Everybody’s got something to give," said Porter. "The moment you need something, give something. By doing that, you’ll get what you need."