JACKSON, WY — It’s the second solo album and ninth release overall of his recording career, but Aaron Davis did not make The Meander alone.
The local singer-songwriter-instrumentalist released The Meander on June 21, and is celebrating with a summer release party tour through Wyoming and Idaho. His next show? On the JacksonHoleLive! stage this Sunday, June 30.
Though a solo album, The Meander features members of his band The Mystery Machine—drummer Jason Baggett, bassist/guitarist/harmony vocalist David Bundy and pianist/organist/harmony vocalist/tubaist Mike Patton—plus more than a dozen regional musicians including Jalan Crossland, Isaac Hayden, Matt Herron, and Davis’ wife Seadar Rose of Screen Door Porch. The combination of vocal harmonies and solo simplicity make the experience of listening to the album feel like a journey through time, musical genres, and most importantly, Davis’ mind. The songs deliver roots-rock, country funk, gritty Americana, folk-blues and more. Davis isn’t used to adhering to musical trends or binding himself to one genre.
“Being an avid music fan, I’ve come to appreciate so many different song forms and musical traditions, but generally don’t subscribe to them in my own music,” Davis said. “I’m restless with it, and usually feel the impulse to subvert those forms so that I can hear something special in what I’m doing. But on The Meander, I think this gap is bridged with more of those roots intact.”
The album is already gaining traction, spinning on radio stations from Belgium to Italy and across the U.S. Two songs, lead track “The Wolves” and “Same Cloth,” were recently selected for the Wyoming Arts Council’s 2019 Wyoming Road Trip Playlist. “The Wolves” was also released as a music video filmed by KGB productions. The video project was supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts and by a grant from the Wyoming Arts Council.
Davis is best known as co-founder of the decade-old Americana band Screen Door Porch, which toured nationally and became a household name in the region before announcing a hiatus in 2017. The group released four albums, including “Album of the Year” honors on Wyoming Public Radio while reaching an international audience via the Top 25 of the EuroAmericana radio chart and numerous “best of” lists. According to Vanguard Records executive and critic Bill Bentley, “Screen Door Porch transformed roots music into something much larger, a down-home good time vibe that induces sonic hypnosis.”
Aaron Davis & The Mystery Machine will kick off JacksonHoleLive! on Sunday night at 6 p.m. at Snow King Ball Park. American country-soul band Shinyribs will follow. $5 to get in for adults, kids 17 and under are free. JacksonHoleLive is a plastic cup-free event, so remember to bring your own reusable cup (16 oz or less) or rent one for a refundable $10 deposit.