A singer, songwriter, and guitarist who fuses the raw passions of folk and blues with the force and swagger of rock and roll, Adrian Niles grew up in a musical family in the Ohio Valley near Wheeling, West Virginia. Niles' father Loren Porter sang and played guitar in The Porter Brothers and The Hardly Herd Band, respectively, bluegrass groups that also featured his uncle, singer and banjo player Larry Porter. Adrian grew up watching the family band rehearse in the kitchen and perform at bluegrass festivals. Seeing the band play on-stage had a strong influence on him, and when he was nine, he saved money, bought a guitar and started learning to play.
Before long he was picking along with Allman Brothers Band albums, and he formed his first band, Legacy, when he was a freshman in high school. Legacy specialized in hard rock covers and did steady business playing at local clubs. But at age 19, Niles was eager to try something more ambitious. In 1993, Niles debuted Reverend Smitty and the Backsliders, a jam band in which he and his bandmates stretched out on material by Bob Dylan and the Grateful Dead. Niles also began focusing on his own songs, and by 1996 he had relocated to Memphis, Tennessee and was striking out on his own as a blues artist.
After winning a few talent contests but finding few gigs, Niles headed back to Ohio, and formed the first lineup of the Adrian Niles Band. The band gigged heavily, finding loyal fans in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Wheeling, West Virginia, and the regional area. In 1998 the Adrian Niles Band released their first album, Manumit, produced in part by Pittsburgh rock hero Norman Nardíni. While the album was well received, the Adrian Niles Band soon broke up. Niles would primarily gig as a solo act until 2006, when he formed the roots rock band the Trainjumpers with Matt Heusel. The group's debut album, 2007's Deadtown, was well received by fans and critics, but before long Niles opted out of the group and recommitted himself to a solo career.
In 2008, Niles released his second compilation of songs Things Gonna Break, and two more albums followed in 2010, a studio set titled Ghost Road and a līve disc, Bootlegged Down on Main Street. By this time, Niles was establishing himself as a powerful līve act, and he was sharing stages with the likes of Dave Mason, Los Lonely Boys, and New Riders of the Purple Sage, as well as earning high marks in blues showcases in Memphis, Tennessee. and Harrisburg, PA. In 2011, Niles released Roll and Move, and three years later he dropped Rough Rider. during that span, Niles licensed songs for use on the popular TV shows Justified and The Young and the Restless.
In late 2015, Niles delivered Supermoon, a record with a strong lyrical narrative, vintage-tone heavy guitars, big drums, and loud bass, an effected Fender Rhodes, and Hammond organ, a true to form classic rock sound. -Mark Deming (All Music Guide)
In the years following Supermoon, Niles released Digital 45, a two-song collection of original folk songs. He, also, produced an original holiday song called Christmas Bell.
Adrian spent the latter part of 2019 and the quarantine months of 2020 writing and recording his seventh record at his home in Ohio. Distant Skies is captivating and deep, it delves into the darker parts of the labyrinth forged by a lifelong struggle with self-actualization, the loss of his father in 2016, and the uncertainty that goes along with providing for a family through a global pandemic. With Distant Skies, Niles unlocked another gateway on the creative path.
In 2022, a new Adrian Niles album has been tracked and mixed. Wolf Spider, a full length analog tape production, was captured, mostly līve, over 3 sessions in April. It’s introspective, garage, rock, heavy blues, and raw. Wolf Spider’s vinyl release is slated for mid to late 2023.
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