MUSIC BOX: Cowboy State Caravan

By on May 24, 2017

The Wyomericana tour closes out its 2017 trek in the Tetons.

JACKSON HOLE, WY – Mother Nature’s eye toward Wyoming looks poorly upon the weak. Her vicissitude shines brightly upon the range before blotting out the sun with an unforeseen May blanket of snow. Her children harden to it with embrace or seek shelter in milder climes. It shapes us all. You hear it in our song.

Exemplified most in the heart of Screen Door Porch, Seadar Rose and Aaron Davis literally ran with the ethos. On Sunday, the Wyomericana Caravan Tour returns to town with its 2017 rendition of homegrown hymns.

Now in its fifth run, the tour focuses on sharing uniquely Wyoming sounds with her Rocky Mountain compatriots.

“There’s a lot of different music in Wyoming,” co-founder Rose said, “and when we started, of course we called it … a riff off Wyoming Americana.”

Each spring the headliners round up a crew of musicians to fill out the playbill. Sometimes they feature blues groups from the Cowboy State. Other times, they highlight this area’s flavor of bluegrass.

“Then you have bands like, say, Sneaky Pete and the Secret Weapons that are funk,” Rose said. “There’s some really great indie-folk happening around the state, especially in Laramie, interesting, quirky bands coming out of there right now.”

On the caravan’s final leg, Lander-based Low Water String Band, and Dauphin, the brainchild of Laramie’s Jason Burge, will open the show at the Silver Dollar Bar. Expect acoustic outlaw bluegrass for moonshine-glazed eyes and heartbreak songwriting, respectively.

The former earned its spot through a submission process that came through the recommendations of fellow cowpoke crooners.

“They just kind of had the complete package,” Rose said. “They were really getting after it. There’s all different kinds of bands; there are bands that want to stay local, and there are bands that want to get out and beyond their scene, and we’re always looking for those bands.”

Camaraderie set in quickly, Rose said. Although not the dictionary definition of a caravan, as the bands coalesce for meals along their route, the stage has lent itself to a bond that starts to look like a family. Each show sees a collaboration between the entire entourage.

“There’s always that element of surprise,” Rose divulged. “That’s where the magic happens. That’s what makes this … so unique and important to us.”

What comes across are the sweeping plains of bison, the rugged pathways into the Tetons, the raw chin of a Cheyenne ranch hand and the inviting warmth of the American dream.

“Especially when we play in the state,” Rose said, “I get this sense in the audience, like pride [in] what we’re doing, what we’re all doing.”

“What I hear outside the state of Wyoming,” she continued, “is ‘This is a really cool idea,’ and, ‘We didn’t really know much about the Wyoming music scene and you’re really putting it on the map.’”

What began as a way for some Jackson pickers to all hit the road together quickly expanded into a statewide display of culture that has now carried for half a decade, and the milestone does not escape Rose, who guarantees a spectacle ripe with fellow performers taking the stage.

Joe Rudd will support Screen Door Porch’s campfire folk on the keys and saxophone.

“It won’t be laid back at all,” she said. “We want to make it special for this tour. We want to really take it up a notch and add all these pieces to it.”

Visit the sonic landscape of this great state 7 p.m. Sunday, May 28 at the Silver Dollar Bar. Free, 21 and older.

Dutch trio closes KHOL fundraiser

Kraak and Smaak is descending from the Netherlands Wednesday to play the KHOL 89.1 FM membership drive party. Having already gripped listeners the world over with its European synth sensibilities, the Dutch funk-house outfit is headlining a celebration of Jackson’s vibrant music community. One that is fostered and broadcasted regularly on KHOL’s airwaves.

Those who contributed to KHOL already received free tickets to the concert, and with them a chance to win a custom snowboard from Franco Snowshapes, a summer season bike pass to Jackson Hole Mountain Resort or tickets to Pink Garter Theatre concerts.

KHOL membership drive party featuring Kraak and Smaak, 9 p.m. Wednesday, May 24 at Pink Garter Theatre. $15 at PJH

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