Bus Driver Tour unloads at Silver Dollar

By on February 5, 2013


Jackson Hole, Wyo.-Topping out at 58 miles per hour behind the wheel of a 1991 Chevy Aristocrat must build character. Plenty of downhome charm is what you get on The Bus Driver Tour – a new trio made up of well-traveled singer-songwriters Danny Freund, Paul Lee Kupfer and Ian Thomas.

The Bus Driver Tour’s new self-titled debut album brings to mind early Son Volt, or the “Screen Door” era of Uncle Tupelo, with simplicity at the helm of its alt-country, folk-blues appeal.

The key dimension here is three distinct lead vocalists (or Drivers) that, while blending respectably with one another, stand strongest on a “to each his own” platform. The thirty-something, fedora-wearing amigos recently played show number 100 in North Carolina before shoving off on a 10-week tour in support of the album. The goal? Take the Bus Tour cross-country, even a weekend in Hawaii, before crossing through Jackson Hole and into Montana where they will settle in for the month of February.

“I’m at the level where I want to tour where I want to be and where I want to live,” Kupfer recently told the Missoulian. “As a musician, you are so often forced to go where the work is, but the goal of a DIY outfit like this is that we want to build a fan base and tour where we want.”

The Bus Driver Tour, 7:30 to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday, at the Silver Dollar Bar. Free. 733-2190.

New Grammy nominee Matt Flinner to improv at Dornan’s
Matt Flinner was just nominated for a Grammy as a member of Modern Mandolin Quartet. The group’s album, Americana (a popular album title in 2012), earned a nod for Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance. The world-class mandolin/banjo player and former Jackson resident has collaborated locally with Loose Ties and Judd Grossman, played with Ben Winship in the Judith Edelman Band and most recently played on One Ton Pig’s 2012 self-titled release.

Flinner will once again be touring with his “deeply-rooted new acoustic music” trio alongside guitarist Ross Martin and upright bassist Eric Thorin for what they dubbed in 2006 as “Music du Jour” touring – the ambitious element of writing new compositions each day to perform on stage that evening.
“For the second set, we’ll play about one-third to one-half brand new music, and the rest of the evening we’ll play music that is between 24 hours and 200 years old,” explained Flinner.

Matt Flinner Trio, 8 p.m., Tuesday and Wednesday Feb. 5-6, at Dornan’s in Moose. Tickets are $15, available at Dornan’s and Valley Bookstore. 733-2415.

Out-of-the-box cellos
It’s impressive to listen to what Portland Cello Project has accomplished on some of its arrangements, particularly a piece that recently consumed me, titled “Denmark.” Embracing the philosophy that no two shows are alike, the Portland Cello Project has a repertoire now numbering over 800 pieces of music you wouldn’t typically hear coming out of a cello – like Kanye West’s “All of the Lights” or Pantera’s “Mouth for War.”

Also on the bill is fellow Portlanders The Alialujah Choir. Made up of Adam Shearer and Alia Farah of Weinland, and Adam Selzer of Norfolk & Western and M. Ward, the trio has a patience and delicacy that focuses on spacious vocals filled with three-part harmony, strumming acoustic guitars and piano. Great bill!

Portland Cello Project and Alialujah Choir, 7 p.m., Thursday. Tickets are $15/advance, $18/day-of-show, available at The Rose, Pinky G’s and PinkGarterTheatre.com.

About Aaron Davis

Aaron Davis is a decade-long writer of Music Box, a singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, member of Screen Door Porch and Boondocks, founder/host of Songwriter’s Alley, and co-founder of The WYOmericana Caravan.

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