Screen Door Porch sounds, at times, like a summer day on a rickety deck after several mint juleps: relaxed, but the inhibitions are starting to unravel. Other times, like when the pedal steel chimes in on "Light Through the Pines" a few tracks later, you're transported to a campfire party in the Appalachians. And, in "Zemurray," you could be at a gypsy vaudeville show drinking whiskey and smoking cigars under dim red lamps. In other words, the album is quite a journey.
Screen Door Porch is an alt-country duo from Jackson Hole, Wyo., comprised of Seadar Rose and Aaron Davis, who both sing and play guitar, among other instruments. Rose has sweet-and-smoky vocals reminiscent of Catherine Irwin from Freakwater. Together with Davis, who sports mellow countrified pipes à la Mark Knopfler, they're a mighty force.
Davis shines on "Ramblin' Around," a highway tune with the adventurous chorus: "Head straight for the beach, drink absinthe by the sea, reminisce the ramblin' days of you and me." The jazzy, ragtime tunes like "Jivin'" seem borrowed and contrived, but there are few moments when the duo doesn't hit the bull's eye. Take Rose's ballads, like "Gold" and "Blow Away," which are so moving they'll send shivers down the spine.
Screen Door Porch plays the Top Hat Saturday, June 19, at 8 PM. Cover TBA.