It's another brisk early morning in March when MacKenzie Porter, her guitarist Louis Johnson and label mate Ashley Cooke join Holler to record their sessions inside the now hallowed walls of The Betsey Trotwood pub.
Clutching to an iced coffee, travel cases and her guitar, it's already been a busy 2023 for the rising Canadian country star. Among recent quickfire stops in London, Dublin and Glasgow for the C2C Festival, Porter is now preparing her brand new single 'Chasing Tornados', the starting point of an exciting next chapter in her career.
As we await the release of what'll no doubt be another smash hit for the Big Loud signee, Porter and Johnson sit down with us in the pub to give us a stripped-back performance of some of our favourite hits of hers.
What's particularly evocative about Porter's songwriting is how her affinity for a hook and a harmony seeps through the foundations of her songs, whether in the simplest, rawest of forms live or through the crystallised production of her studio recordings.
'Pickup' simmers under the sunset of a bittersweet memory, Porter's vocal thriving over the duo's late-night driving chords, while 'These Days' takes its pop-hit picking style and evolves into a honied harmonic that wears the weight of its poignant notions on its sleeve.
It's her final performance of 'Thinking 'Bout You' though that truly cements Porter as a firm favourite to rely on in the country music scene. Taking both verses of her duet with Dustin Lynch, Porter veers from a low rasping rap to her high range seamlessly, not only showing off the versatility in her performance but the enduring quality of her songs. 'Chasing Hurricanes' honestly can't come out soon enough.
Performing her songs 'These Days', 'Pickup' and 'Thinking 'Bout You', this is MacKenzie Porter for the Holler Live Sessions.
Director: Tom Francome
Cameras: Tom Francome, Nick Richards and Joe Monk
Audio Engineer: Nathaniel Kastoryano
Editor: Dan Monro (Lookout Productions)
Producers: Ross Jones & Gemma Donahoe