11th Street Cowboy Bar - The Biggest Little Bar In Texas, serving up beer and country western swing music in Bandera, Texas

Bo Porter
Photo courtesy of www.boporter.com.
Photo courtesy of www.boporter.com.

Bo Porter
Courtesy of www.boporter.com.

Bo Porter started playing guitar at age six. The guitar he plays today, a 64 Gibson B-25, was given to him by his dad. By age seven Bo was touring throughout the South with his father Reid Porter and his bluegrass band . In the 1950’s Bo’s dad had a band called The Dixie Playboys that toured the southern parts of the U.S. If it’s musical heritage you’re looking for, Bo definitely came by it honest. In his teen years, he was on stage with the Panhandle Opry in Northwest Florida. By age 17 Bo was touring the country with his own country / rock band. He has appeared on various stages from Dolly Wood, to Nashville's famed Bluebird Cafe'. His bands have opened for country artists including Doug Stone, Mark Chestnut, and Joe Diffie, just to name a few. While Bo was working the California circuit, he competed in the True Value GMC Truck/Country Showdown. He won first in district and took second in California. Not bad for one man, one guitar, against several bands. In 1988 Bo met Stu Schulman at a recording session. The meeting would turn out to be fortuitous for Bo. Stu became Bo’s mentor in music, and life, whether Stu knew it or not.

In 1997 Bo left the road to return to Alaska and his daughter Kadi, with his wife Andrea. Although he slowed down, he never stop honing his craft. Bo returned to the stage in 2003 with Bo Porter & B-Side Blues, which consisted of Bo, Robert Howard and several revolving bass players. To celebrate his return to the music biz, Bo entered one of his originals "Your Mare's Been Running Loose" in the 2003 APRN songwriter contest, where it took top honors in the Country Category. He also had the privilege of opening the show for The Nashville Underground at their Anchorage show; Chuck Cannon, Chuck Jones, and Pam Rose were the song writers in the 2003 tour.

In October of 2004 Bo and his friends started recording the self titled CD for Bo Porter & The Dixie Rockits that was released in December of 2005. It’s been said that The Dixie Rockits are an irreverent band that unabashedly trashes his bluegrass and country roots, while blending in Rhythm & Blues, Texas Swing, Surf, Funk, and the true essence of Rockabilly. You can decide that for yourself. One of the cool things about this CD is how it was recorded, old school, the entire band, playing together.

If you’re wondering where the name Dixie Rockits came from, here’s the answer…

As you’ve read, Bo’s dad had a band called the Dixie Playboys, Bo and friend, Ricky Renouf decided (with Dad’s permission) to tie in Dixie and thought Rockets flowed perfectly. The usual spelling of Rockets didn’t suit them though, so it was decided that because their tendency to take an old country song and “Rock It” up that they should become the Dixie Rockits, spelled accordingly.

In Late 2004 Bo and his wife left Alaska again. They hit the road and started traveling coast to coast. Everywhere they went, Bo would have to play music somewhere, playing at festivals, Harley shops, bars, honkytonks, ect…something always kept him busy.

Bo started booking as a solo act around the Lake Travis area, but it wasn’t long before he had landed a gig for a Trio consisting of a stand up bass / rhythm guitar and vocals/ electric guitar. Bo’s strong baritone voice, to be compared with Marty Robbins, Faron Young, Merle Haggard, & Johnny Cash dominates any performance he takes part in. His unique take on music deranges traditional hits and makes them his own. A little Classic Country, a bit of Blues, some Rock n’ Roll, and a lot of heart and soul is what Bo Porter delivers. Bo includes the audience in his performances, which keeps them coming back. His comedic sensibility, and audience communication endears him to the audiences as well as the club owners.

Bo's Austin performances have become known as having lots of Honky Tonk Horsepower, and Bo's first promotional material from his Budweiser sponsorship included the words Honky Tonk Horsepower. Since then the band name has changed. Anticipating their next album Summer/Fall of '09 Bo's updated logo has been pre-released on the banners you'll see hanging around the Texas honky tonks.

You shouldn't try to pigeon hole Bo Porter though. Just go ahead and try and you'll fail every time; With Blues, Jump Blues, Swing, Rock and Roll, Rockabilly, Country And Western, Contrybilly, Funk, Completely Americanic blend of well rounded World Class Entertainer formed by his Gypsy like life experiences, broad range of musical history, and his desire to succeed, he brings something unique to the table, Bo Porter is a must see.

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