Screen Door Porch: A Fresh Wind Blowing Through Americana Sound
The familiar slogan “think globally, act locally” was not on the agenda of the band known as Screen Door Porch when they scheduled their regional tour earlier this year–but it certainly worked out that way.
“It was our dream to put three bands together, all fromWyoming,” says vocalist/guitarist Seadar Rose, “and to travel throughWyomingand beyond to spread this music.”
Screen Door Porch partnered with Jalan Crossland and the band Jason Shogren Shanghai’d (the “Shanghai’d” refers to how Shogren supposedly convinces musicians to join his group) for a 14-date swing throughColorado,Montana,IdahoandWyomingthat they named the WYOmericana Caravan. “We all play the same genre, but musically we’re very different,” Rose adds.
Somehow the project caught the eye of an editor at The New York Times, who sent a reporter to accompany them for part of the journey–resulting in some of the highest visibility the group has garnered to date. The Times praised the band’s “entrepreneurial gumption,” and credited Screen Door Porch with “spearheading the hardscrabble economics of the WYOmericana Caravan, a traveling concert circus.”
All of which is secondary, where Beartrap Summer Festival fans are concerned, to the group’s innate musical abilities–which have earned Screen Door Porch a return engagement from the 2012 event.
Their sound has perhaps best been described by a reviewer for 605 Magazine: “If Gillian Welch and Bonnie Raitt cornered Townes Van Zandt at a party, engaged in a massive love-in, and produced a female musical offspring, she might sound a little something like Seadar Rose.” She and her husband Aaron Davis–praised by Jackson Hole News & Guide for his “raunchy slide guitar”–share in vocal, guitar, and songwriting duties for the band. WhenDavisis not onstage he works as a music instructor and photographer, and Rose does corporate web design.
Of their self-titled debut album in 2010, Maverick Magazine made this aural comparison: “Rose’s vocals have the gorgeous drawl of Lucinda Williams, whileDavissounds like Whiskeytown-era Ryan Adams.”
Their latest CD, “The Fate and the Fruit,” is a 12-song assembly that varies widely in tone and mood, from singles such as “Burnin’ at Both Ends” and “Long Are The Days” to lighter fare such as “Wrinkled Neck Mule.” It was voted the No. 2 album of the year by listeners of Wyoming Public Radio, and the publication Alternate Root singled it out for its “acoustic grace and electric overdrive; a gem…”
As for the band’s various configurations of musicians onstage, the mix varies. They’ll be in quartet mode at Beartrap, with three-part vocal harmony plus acoustic, electric, and slide guitars; banjo, mandolin, fretless bass, drums, harmonica, and an instrument described as the “Wyomingkazoogle.”
And speaking of “thinking globally,” one of the most laudatory reviews for “The Fate and the Fruit” comes from way across the pond, in the magazine Americana UK: “Rose and Davis swap lead vocals to suit the song and songwriter, a sort of Lennon/McCartney arrangement, and get it right every time: heartfelt yes, earthy certainly, but never languid. ‘Burnin’ At Both Ends’ and ‘Shift Work’ show both our heroes at their most gritty.
“The reality is that Seadar Rose and Aaron Davis go together like bacon and eggs. This is the sound of America, untamed and infinite.”