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Live From The Current Studio

Field Report perform in The Current studio

Chris Porterfield of Field Report in The Current studio
Chris Porterfield of Field Report in The Current studioEmmet Kowler for MPR
  Play Now [25:01]

by Bill DeVille

June 04, 2018

Field Report - Blind Spot (Live on The Current)
by MPR
Field Report - Never Look Back (Live on The Current)
by MPR
Field Report - Every Time (Live on The Current)
by MPR

"We definitely played in a barn last night," Field Report's Chris Porterfield remarks, reflecting on a gig the previous night in Iowa. "In fact, that's the second barn in the last week that we've done. We played a barn in Maine last week. … You know how some people do the minor-league baseball tour? We might do the barn thing."

Contrary to the barn precedent, on Saturday, June 2, Field Report visited St. Paul for a show at the Turf Club, but not before they stopped at The Current for a session hosted by Bill DeVille.

Porterfield says Field Report find themselves at a point in their career where they enjoy performing in a range of venues. "We're in kind of an interesting zone where it's not unusual for us to play barns; it's not unusual for us to play living rooms; it's not unusual for us to play rock clubs; it's not unusual for us to play arenas; it's not unusual for us to play festivals," he says. "We kind of do everything, and [the various venues] all bring their own specific energy that you need to respond to and incorporate it like a band member."

Field Report are busy touring in support of their new album, Summertime Songs, which — not unlike playing in barns or backyards — the band cut their own path for how the album was released. "We kind of took our time with it," Porterfield says, "and by the time we were finished with it, I guess we didn't really tell anybody we were making it. And so the previous record label we'd worked with, we turned it in and they were like, 'Oh — what are we supposed to do with this?' And so we ended up taking it to a different label, and this one came out on Verve Forecast, which is a pretty wild, deep, American popular music home for it. We're keeping some pretty groovy company, but that ended up adding some time, building new relationships and stuff. [The record] just came out in March and we've been out on the road, making friends on it."

Moving labels is interesting in an age when the music industry is in a state of flux, reinventing itself as the ways audiences consume music continue to shift. "It's never been easier to connect with your audience directly, but it's also never been more difficult to find your audience," Porterfield observes. "I guess the trick is to just not stop doing it, and to build those relationships one at a time as you tour and perform and connect. … Being able to provide an opportunity to feel connected to something, I think it's really important work, and we take it real seriously, and it's an honor to be able to build something that can facilitate that."

Listen to the complete in-studio session with Field Report to hear more from Chris Porterfield on the legacy of having been in a band in college with, among others, Justin Vernon and Phil Cook; on Porterfield's approach to songwriting; and about what it was like to have a "Field Report Day" declared in Milwaukee.

Songs Performed

"Blind Spot"
"Never Look Back"
"Every Time"
All songs from Field Report's 2018 album, Summertime Songs, available on the Verve Forecast label.

Hosted by Bill DeVille
Produced by Derrick Stevens
Engineered by Michael DeMark
Visuals by Emmet Kowler
Web feature by Luke Taylor

Field Report - official site