After a two-year hiatus, a collaborative tour featuring Wyoming singer-songwriters returns to Laramie.
The WYOmericana Caravan, now in its sixth year, is set for 7 p.m. Sunday at the Gryphon Theatre, 710 Garfield. Tickets are $15 for live show, with livestream access available for $10. The venue requires masks and social distancing.
The lineup includes Laramie’s Shawn Hess, Pinedale’s Jason Tyler Burton and Aaron Davis and the Mystery Machine from Hoback.
Davis started the caravan in 2013 when he played with Screen Door Porch, which took a break in 2017, as did the tour. The goal remains the same in 2020, to promote Wyoming bands playing original music.
“It’s a crazy time to bring it back, but maybe the most needed of any time,” Davis said.
The tour was originally scheduled for the spring and included a dozen stops in multiple states. The rescheduled version is down to four stops, all in Wyoming and in theaters where social distancing is possible.
The show traditionally culminates with all three groups onstage together to close the night after playing individual 40-minute sets.
“This is a good, eclectic lineup this year,” Davis said. “Everybody brings a little something different to the stage.”
Musicians haven’t been collaborating at all during the past six months, even with their own bands, Davis said, but the return to familiarity is comforting.
“It gets everybody out of their comfort zone, and you’re relying on years of stage experience with some of these improvisational elements,” he said.
The WYOmericana Caravan has kicked off the tour in Laramie in years past, while this year the tour plays its last date at the Gryphon.
“The closing show is always a fun one because it’s the end of an era,” Davis said.
The caravan is also scheduled to stop in Jackson, Rock Springs and Cheyenne this week.
Davis said the caravan was rejuvenated with help from the Wyoming Arts Council, and this year includes a couple educational events.
While in Cheyenne on Saturday, musicians are planning to record a question-and-answer session that will be available to music educators around the state. The session will focus on songwriting and the lifestyle of a professional musician.
Davis said many musicians have been struggling during the past six months as live performance opportunities have disappeared.
“This is a cool opportunity for musicians and venues to breathe a little life into music scenes around the state,” he said. “A lot of the local scenes have been quiet lately, and have had their own share of difficulties. I’m thankful this is happening even though it was scaled back.”