Jeff Porter

Under My Skin

Jeff Porter is an Australian-born American who performed in a few bands in Australia back in the seventies, and again in the late 90s, but after moving to the USA in 2001 left behind a burning desire to sing and perform.

In 2016, at a Meetup group for local musicians called “DC Rockers”, Jeff met guitarist Mark Burton, affectionately known as Blues Marky, at an Aussie Rock jam event and they connected over their love of the blues genre. After a few songs, Mark said, “I should be in a band with you”. “Okay! Let’s do it”, and a band was born. Jeff is now the lead singer of Jesters to the Left based in Alexandria, Virginia.

Ironically, Jesters to the Left’s first gig was a fundraiser for Cancer Can Rock at Jammin’ Java, in Vienna, VA. That was in the summer of 2017 and Jeff describes his recording session with CCR as a full-circle moment.

After contracting a rare form of skin cancer known as Merkel Cell Carcinoma and going through surgery and six weeks of daily radiation, he described it as cathartic to have come through it and to be in the Cancer Can Rock studio with a blues song written about the experience.

“My music and performance have always been about fun, and good times, always getting the audience engaged and a part of the show,” he said. “So to write a song about an experience like this was a challenge for me, how do you make this fun while addressing such a serious subject?”. Under My Skin is a blues shuffle that speaks to a relationship that started long ago under the Aussie sun.

Cases of Merkel Cell Carcinoma have tripled in the past 15 years and although rare, Australia has a high incident rate at approximately twice that of the USA. “I’m hoping this song can help bring awareness to this and other skin cancers, not just here in the USA, but in Australia and elsewhere,” Jeff said.

Thankfully Jeff remains negative for his cancer after treatment and one line in the song pays homage to the team at the Schar Cancer Institute in Fairfax, Virginia: “I took some time at the Schar, baby, Gonna stick around”.

Jesters to the left performs rock, blues, and rockabilly covers around the DC, Maryland, and Virginia region, and their originals can be found on most popular streaming services.

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