Wyoming Arts Council


Aaron Davis Bio (written by poet/author Dr. Ryan Allen)

Multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and vocalist Aaron Davis has spent half of his life in Kentucky, the latter half in Wyoming, and another lifetime carving out a humble existence as an independent recording and touring artist in the country’s least populated state. Aaron is chiefly known as co-founder of decade-long alt-country-folk band Screen Door Porch, for his eclectic solo shows and the accompanying project Aaron Davis & the Mystery Machine, and as a studio engineer-producer-session player at his own Three Hearted Recording Studio in Hoback, Wyoming. In 2021, he was awarded a Performing Arts Music Fellowship from the National Endowment of the Arts and Wyoming Arts Council—“a merit-based honor for an artist’s work in their field.” That spurred Davis’ tenth release, Catalyst.

Aaron (vocals, banjo, harmonica, guitars—acoustic, electric, resonator, lap steel) works the lesser-worn corners of the American musical fabric through an unconventional lens. Slide banjo? A detuned guitar made of metal? How about his unorthodox fingerstyle instrumentation and “a particularly standout approach that mixes poetry, groove and roughness” (Lonestar Time). From "searing slide guitar" (Country Weekly) echoing gritty Southern blues to a patchwork of story folk and acoustic roots, pensive alt-country, and improvisational 70s-influenced rock, Davis has been described as a “truly phenomenal songwriter” (Americana UK) with “a combination that goes down as smoothly as top-shelf bourbon” (The Austin Chronicle) and “the lyrical prowess of Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy and the instrumental chops of a weathered bluesman” (Buckrail.com).

As a solo artist, Aaron’s songs have landed in various projects including films, commercials, documentaries, podcasts, network television, and yoga sessions. He has been fortunate to share bills with many of his heroes—Wilco, Willie Nelson, Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit, Buddy Guy, Sam Bush, Brian Wilson, James McMurtry, Steve Earle, Hayes Carll, and Grace Potter. This has led to theater, club and festival stages including South by Southwest, Treefort Music Fest, Targhee Bluegrass Fest, Magic City Blues Fest, JacksonHoleLive, Sawtooth Music Festival, and the first and only Wyoming band (SDP) to record sessions at Paste Magazine’s Daytrotter studio.

The range of Aaron’s original material has been chronicled across ten albums with four different bands amongst solo ventures. He has four solo albums recorded and produced from his home studio—Livin’ (2002), Rear View Mirror (2008), The Meander (2019), and Catalyst EP (2021). Self-taught on electric, acoustic & resonator guitars, clawhammer banjo, lap steel, harmonica, mandolin, pedal steel, bass, and cigar box percussion, his solo sets open the door for storytelling and depictions of the colorful characters in his songs. His magnetism to music is fueled by a carpe diem restlessness to create original works with a wide palette of sounds and styles.

Davis performs as a solo artist and with the texture experts of his touring band brotherhood, The Mystery Machine—drummer Jason Baggett with 3-part harmony sung by bassist David Bundy and pianist/organist/trombonist Mike Patton—combining for a dynamic stage show equally versed in exploratory jam and intricate acoustic arrangements. The band has toured the American West over the past several years, including over a dozen festival stages and theater shows as headliners where they have incorporated a stripped-back “street band” style set in which members rotate acoustic instruments.

Alongside his wife and musical partner Seadar Rose, Davis’ decade with Screen Door Porch was a prolific and significant era of his career. The band became a national touring act, establishing their “grooving electrified porch music” as a household name in the region before announcing a hiatus in 2017. They released four studio albums—Screen Door Porch (2010), The Fate & The Fruit (2012), Modern Settler (2015), and Pay it Forward (2017)—reaching an international audience via the Top 25 of the Europe’s Americana Radio Chart and numerous “Best Albums of the Year” lists from New York City to Oregon, United Kingdom to Italy and beyond. According to Vanguard Records executive and critic Bill Bentley, “Screen Door Porch transformed roots music into something much larger—a down home goodtime vibe.”

In a full-page article “Touring, the Wyoming Way,” The New York Times pointed out Screen Door Porch’s “entrepreneurial gumption in founding the multi-act WYOmericana Caravan Tour, a traveling concert circus.” The grassroots tour collective of Wyoming songwriters has made waves across the Mountain West for seven years (2013-2017, 2020-22), featuring as many as a dozen musicians on stage. The award-winning documentary WYOMERICANA depicts the inaugural tour in 2013, which unites and exposes top-notch original acts in Wyoming. Screen Door Porch's contributions from both a musical perspective and as proponents of the broader Wyoming musical community were recognized by state government, which selected the band to be ambassadors to the state's music scene through a national ad campaign and short film.

Instagram.com/ aarondavisongs