Pork McElhinny learned at an early age that he could grow up loud and boisterous to try and get attention, or he could just out sing, out play, or out perform his older siblings and peers. Being that his father's side of the family had eighteen children, that meant out performing a lot of aunts, uncles and cousins too. The McElhinny family is spread far and wide throughout Western Pennsylvania; some are known for being loud and boisterous, some for being musical, but all of them for being strong in character and true to their own. Sure, there are old family tales of pioneering and farming, and even a few stories about outlaws, whiskey-drinking and fist fights. All of which certainly gives Pork the credentials to write country music whether it came from a first-hand perspective or family lure.
The Pork McElhinny story is rooted firmly in family tradition and music. Being a McElhinny meant that you played music and more than likely even played several instruments. In Pork's case, the guitar felt the most comfortable and became the way he communicated with the rest of the family, mostly his father, but also his older brother whom was also a guitarist. It took them all to a mutual place where they could relate to one another and share in the same experience. It didn't matter whether Pork was playing an old honky-tonk cut on his acoustic, or a traditional blues standard on his beloved Fender, his approach was always the same - total expression. Pork has learned to express himself in song and through his chosen instruments, which also includes a razor-bladed, throaty set of pipes that allow him to perform four-hour long sets without the scarcest hint of losing his tone.
Pork cut his teeth on old honky-tonk country, learning the likes of Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings, but he also loved the traditional blues and artists like B.B. King and Stevie Ray Vaughn. He played in a few rock-n-roll bands like most young artists do and even came close to a recording deal with a regional band he fronted called Four On The Floor. But, Pork really transformed into the artist he is now by leaving the safety net of a secure job and familiar surroundings and embarking on his own as a solo artist. He wrote his first album Boy in the Man in a matter of a few months and soon realized this was the right exit off the freeway. He continued to explore his songwriting which led him to Nashville and a little studio that sits at the top of Music Row overlooking Warner Bros. Records and EMI Music Publishing. It was here that he wrote three of the cuts on his new Long Way to the Top album - "I'm Just Me," "Life Is Good" and "Made to Order." This Music Row inspired writing session led to months of self exploration as the remaining cuts on the album just seemed to flow from a creative place he hadn't reached before.
After playing a late night show in a Pennsylvania honky-tonk, Pork penned the album's first single titled "Hardwood Floor" which was inspired in part from the night's performance. In writing this song, Pork realized that he was now able to fully express himself not only as a guitar player, but completely as a songwriter too. He went on to pen "Long Way to the Top" which speaks to his chosen career path and documents exactly the state of his life at this given point in time.
Long Way to the Top is Pork's latest recording and was written with an outlaw-country attitude combined with a very, straight-ahead songwriting style. It is devoid of the traditional, formulaic songwriting approach that is common with a lot of today's popular country music. Pork penned six of the songs by himself and three with Nashville songwriter and Producer Aaron Scherz. The tenth song was written by Pork's father Jack McElhinny.
Check out the artist's website:
1. I'm Just Me
2. Hardwood Floor
3. Life Is Good
4. Love's Got A Hold On Me
5. Back In Time
6. Made To Order
7. She's 32
8. When I See You Cry
9. The End Of The Road
10. Long Way To The Top