It's safe to guess that any band that calls itself Screen Door Porch is going to be of the down home variety. And given the fact that they hail from Wyoming, one of the country's last unspoiled environs, it's fairly reassuring to find that they do indeed maintain that mantra, at least to a certain degree. Identified mainly by the male/female ying-yang dynamic established by its two singer/songwriters, Aaron Davis and Seadar Rose, and backed by the sturdy rhythm section of bassist/guitarist Tom Davidson and drummer Andy Peterson, Screen Door Porch come across with a distinct old time sensibility that also leaves room for a contemporary flourish.
The band's third album, "Modern Settler," finds that traditional tack moving more to the fore, thanks to a swampy sound infused in at least two of the tracks, the aptly titled "1937" and the equally revealing "Chasin' Homesteader Blues." However in truth, they never veer far from their roots, be it through the unassuming banjo pluck of "Wren Bird Song" or the hand-clapping, backwoods twang of the Leon Russell/Delaney Bramlett-penned "Poor Elijah." Indeed, while Davis and Rose wrote the majority of the material, they choose their outside sources well. A cover of Bobby Charles' "Street People" adds just the right infusion of brassy attitude to their swagger and stomp, keeping matters decidedly upbeat.
Inevitably, this foursome prove themselves quite the contenders, never straying too far beyond the bounds to thwart their claim to hometown hero status, while still showing the necessary attitude to contend with the competition. While they may be tucked too far in the hinterland to achieve the attention they deserve, "Modern Settler" finds them worthy of further exploration.