MUSIC BOX: Screen Door Porch brings Caravan

By on June 4, 2013
Popular Wyoming roots musicians collaborate to tour homegrown Wyomericana Caravan. (SHANNA MAE PHOTOGRAPHY)

Popular Wyoming roots musicians collaborate to tour homegrown Wyomericana Caravan. (SHANNA MAE PHOTOGRAPHY)

JACKSON HOLE, WYO – The perfect summer scene awaits you at the Pink Garter Theatre on Friday, when Wyomericana Caravan brings a full plate of homegrown roots music. A four-set, folk-rock circus, the Caravan is a regionally touring train of three artists, spearheaded by Jackson’s own Screen Door Porch, and rounded out by state hero Jalan Crossland and Laramie stalwarts J Shogren Shanghai’d.

The tour was conceptualized last summer by Screen Door’s Seadar Rose as a way to not only “tour with musicians we admire, but also gain exposure while working together, not competing,” and gain “street cred,” Rose said. As a “big fan of Jalan,” it was natural to first reach out to the Ten Sleep, Wyo., native, a fierce fingerpicker and Governor’s Arts Award recipient, as a Caravan companion. To round out the bill, Laramie old-time specialists J Shogren Shangai’d were enlisted by a cold call from Rose. The genre was roots music, but it was important to “keep things different and dynamic,” Rose said.

While logistics were often difficult, the groups persevered, performing in venues across Colorado, Montana, Idaho, and of course Wyoming. Generously sponsored by local companies Mountain Khaki and Grand Teton Brewing, the Caravan is a well-oiled machine, thanks in large part to its initial month-long tour. Reception along the way has been strong, with music lovers and fans admiring the group interplay and general camaraderie that has developed on the road. All too often small town bands fall prey to a competitive mindset, cheapening the scene as a whole.

As support for the Wyomericana Caravan grows, including a mention in The New York Times, Rose envisions continued bookings and another regional lap in the fall. That trip may potentially include a rotating cast of bands as the project evolves and widens in scope. From the first show last month in Laramie to the home stretch in the coming days, fans are supporting this eclectic roster of Western roots musicians.

A documentary film will chronicle the tour and on Friday a four-camera film crew will be on hand. Three individual sets are anticipated, with a crowd-pleasing collaborative closer and Abbie Miller-designed costuming.

Wyomericana Caravan, $15, Friday at 9 p.m., at Pink Garter Theatre,

About Leif Routman

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