Stillwater's Taddy Porter went into its new album, “Stay Golden,” with the desire to rip its sound down to the foundations and rebuild it. Lead singer Andy Brewer said the band appreciates all the attention Taddy Porter received for the 1970s classic rock sound on its self-titled 2010 debut, but hopes the fans will appreciate their new embrace of classic, “Nuggets”-style garage rock and punchy earworm melodies.
“It was a bunch of things that pretty much started it,” said Brewer, who performs with Taddy Porter at 8 p.m. Friday at Cain's Ballroom in Tulsa and at 6 p.m. Saturday for the Buffalo Lounge's SXSW Kickoff Party at the Wormy Dog Saloon. “We were a young band trying to find our sound first before we started moving forward with anything else, but we got picked up early and we didn't get a chance to let our sound grow and let the cards fall in that situation.”
On earlier songs such as “Shake Me” and “Big Enough,” Brewer and his bandmates — lead guitarist Joe Selby and the brotherly rhythm section of Doug and Kevin Jones — were steeped in the traditions of British blues-rock bands such as Free and Bad Company. Brewer said his Paul Rodgers-style delivery was earned after spending a good portion of his childhood singing along with BadCo hits on the car radio, and the group's classic rock-friendly sensibilities on its first record resulted in high-profile tours and a growing national following.
But the band's collective taste was changing, and it impacted how Brewer sang and how the rest of the band approached their playing. Recent affection for the Zombies and R&B masters such as Ray Charles inspired the band to go deeper and rawer with its sound on “Stay Golden.”
“We wanted it to have rough edges and let flaws be flaws,” Brewer said. “We wanted to record it live and direct to analog tape and do it like the bands we listen to. And that's what we got with the garage-y, dirty tones and whatnot.”
Brewer said the group will tour hard in support of “Stay Golden,” which was released Tuesday. In the meantime, Taddy Porter hopes that the soulful organ sounds, articulate guitar lines and soulful vocals on songs such as “Fever,” “You Can Count on Me” and “Evil” bring new converts to Taddy Porter's evolved sound.
“We knew that we might lose some people who think we're a certain type of band and we hope to not lose too many, but we realize we're playing to a different audience now,” Brewer said. “We realize we could lose some people who think we're supposed to be a hard-rockin' band, but we don't want to put ourselves into a category where we can't grow. There's always room for improvement.”