M. Lockwood Porter (from the album Communion in the Ashes available on Black Mesa Records)
A testament to the power of rock’n’roll salvation springs from the guitar optimism of “Waiting for a Sign” as M. Lockwood Porter nears the point of no return watching his life spiral down a blues-lined drain. The cut is on the recent M. Lockwood Porter release, Communion from the Ashes, the album backing tales of a heartbroken man (“Didn’t Know What Love Meant”) while it slices at the status quo with guitar pick razors (“Anything for Greed”), crawls out of the shadows towards a morning promise (“Broken Light”), and pounds out a path with the righteousness of rock (“The Dream Is Dead”).
Americana does its best to describe music in terms of honesty and powerful belief systems, and aligning with that template, M. Lockwood Porter does a show and tell match with words and music on Communion of the Ashes. The former San Francisco, California-based songwriter had a birds-eye view of the digital-era changes, feeling that ‘the tech boom of the last ten years has totally transformed the whole Bay Area, and has essentially made it a playground for the rich. Working-class folks and artists aren't welcome there anymore, and this has manifested in rising housing costs, closure of music venues, and the proliferation of homeless tent cities. In the last verse of the title track, I can see in hindsight that I was saying a ‘goodbye’ to the Bay Area, even though I didn't know that I'd be leaving at the time’. Communion from the Ashes blasts open the doors of the album with the title track, M. Lockwood Porter carving out a pulpit with drums and guitars as he becomes the preacher man spitting out a survivalist sermon in “Get Back to the Wild”. Communion of the Ashes provides a DIY guide to root out personal limitations with “This Fear Won’t Control Me” while echoed piano chords drum a dirge as the beat encourages M. Lockwood Porter to toss off the chains of mediocrity, kicking down walls and taking to the streets in “I Will Do No More A-Prayin’”.
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