Potlikkor - Band Reflections

For a good and communal detailing of the origins and ethos of Potlikkor, I would direct the curious visitor to the last seven minutes of the Potlikkor band footage on YouTube (beginning at the 9:34 mark), which was filmed by my great friend, Jack Roebuck, over a Potlikkor recording weekend in May, 2014 (see "Associated" on the Home page for link). 

     To summarize: I ran into Littleberry Darby at the post office, one day, in Williamsburg, VA, while we were both back in college there. I had first met Lb when I was fifteen and playing in my older brother Wes’s band, OK Fireworks. Lb had been eighteen or nineteen and was a friend of my brother’s. He picked up a guitar, and I heard him rip, and I was astonished. I had never been in the presence of a guitar player who was that good before, and who had such an authentic, personal style to their playing. He blew my mind.

     Years later, when I was nineteen and living in a hallway in a house in Nashville, TN and playing in another band with my brother, Lb was around. We had a small crew of musical friends from VA forming a little network around my brother and his music career as a singer-songwriter. (I was actually the last to move out there; they had all preceded me, including Lb.) For a sonic document of that time in our lives, I would direct you to my brother’s album World On Fire (see Wes's discography in "Associated" on the Home page).

     Anyway, Lb and I had quite a lot of time to play guitars together. We always clicked, on both a musical and friend level.

     So, fast-forward to me at age 23, suddenly spotting him in the post office back in VA…

     We were both in school at William and Mary, and I suggested we get up and jam. We did, and we decided to make something of it.

     Both our leases were up at the same time, so we decided to be housemates and move into a farmhouse in Toano, VA, outside of Williamsburg.

     Lb and I spent 2010 and 2011 in the Potlikkor farmhouse. We worked jobs and finished school, we sat on the porch more than was perhaps reasonable and played guitars, and, being country boys, we basked in the rural glory of Old Stage Road.

     We found Jonathan Hudgins after I had spontaneously posted a Craigslist ad seeking a drummer. Jonathan was the only responder. He came out, we jammed on guitar and drum set, and just like that, Potlikkor was officially born. The name came from our shared love of potlikker (Lb and I practically lived on boiled rice, beans, and vegetables), which we often drank when we got together to play. The “o” was inserted over the “e” because of an older band that snagged the name first.

     The band was active as a composing/recording project from 2010–2014. It had gotten too difficult to keep consistent with making music together after Lb moved to Roanoke and I moved to Richmond. But what a run we had.

     I am anticipating adding letters to these recollections, as I feel like it. So, for now, I will leave it at that and flesh out my fond recollections as they inspire me to write them.

     I will say that Jonathan is the most powerful and technically accomplished drummer I have ever played with (he shattered a window on the track “Our Way” with his drumming… for real), and he is also one of the funniest, wittiest, most out-of-the-box and unique thinkers I have ever met. His interests are vast. He always made me laugh, somehow. And we always had a good time making music together and just hanging out.

     Lb – and this is a tragedy – suffers from carpal tunnel in both wrists, and was already somewhat impaired when we started Potlikkor. He played many of the lead guitar parts with braces on his wrists and hands. Honestly, this makes his triumph of the Potlikkor lead guitar legacy all the more legendary, in my opinion. For a long-ago track of Lb’s non-carpal playing, I would direct you to “Appamenco” on the Potlikkor Bandcamp page (https://likkor.bandcamp.com/track/appamenco). Lb is the most impressive guitarist I have ever had the good fortune to play with, one of the most intelligent human beings I have ever known, and, frankly, the dude is made of fire.

     Potlikkor was an awesome experience.

 

Connor Charlton

 

April, 2020   

 

* special thanks to Hannah Buckley for lending her voice to "Old Man" and her voice, guitar, and songwriting to "Sweetest Wine"

*special thanks to Chris Maggiolo for beatboxing on "Sweetest Wine"

 

*special thanks to Emily Goodale for lending her voice to "Our Way"

 

*special thanks to Dr. Drea for spitting her Spanish flow on "Crazy Garden Party"

 

*special thanks to Matt Murphy for his lead guitar work on "4th of July"

 

*special thanks to lead vocalist Hillary Stallings and background vocalists Sophia Dipersio and Lauren Haydon (The Likkorettes) for lending their voices to "I Love Making Up With You"