By: Allison Kurtz – Music Critic
After listening to Jeremy Porter and the Tucos’ new album, “Above the Sweet Tea Line,” you are taken back to the popular movies and TV shows from the early 2000s. The rock ‘n’ roll, country and punk influences hint at those new songs you discovered by watching TV shows like “One Tree Hill” or “The O.C.” Though they were not in a band together at this time, the album brings us a compilation of their years of writing, touring and influences.
Flyer News the opportunity to talk to guitarist and vocalist Porter about the new album. His influences on this album pretty much remained consistent to those on previous albums. Though, Porter said those influences have evolved slightly over the years.
“I’ve gained a better appreciation for artists you would have never found in my collection in the past. Like an ‘80s-era Ted Nugent—you wouldn’t have caught me listening to that 10 years ago” Porter said.
While rock ‘n’ roll bands like Cheap Trick, The Replacements, The Rolling Stones and The Who are his primary influences, he’s started to draw from a more country vibe like those of Drive-By Truckers and Ryan Adams. Knowing that these are some of his favorite bands, you immediately hear the influences on the record.
The album was recorded in a barn hayloft-turned-studio in Michigan and released in May 2015. Jeremy said that though they had recorded there before, they approached this album a little differently.
“The last album [2013’s “Partner In Crime”] took 14 months to do. We approached it casually, taking a more thorough approach. This time, we only took four months and recorded it live instead of over-dubbing,” Porter said. “It came together much more spontaneously.”
The Tucos consist of Jeremy Porter (guitar/vocals), Gabriel Doman (drums) and Patrick O’Harris (bass). Porter does the majority of the writing, stating he typically starts with a guitar riff, lyric or title and builds for about an hour from there. He says you can tell if you spend too much time on writing a song so, getting his ideas down quickly and turning it over to the Tucos for the final touches is a must.
There are several songs that stand out on the new record. Jeremy said he particularly likes “Hey Kentucky,” a song written about a night after playing Blind Bob’s in our very own Dayton and “Josh,” a song written about his childhood cat. “Elimination Round” and “Bottled Regrets” have a stronger sound, sticking more to their self-described genre of “Detroit rock n’ roll with elements of power pop, garage rock, and a little bit of country.”