Capitalizing on Reckless Kelly’s wildly popular concert two years ago, it only makes sense for Micky and the Motorcars to bring an encore performance to Music on Main this Thursday.
The alternative country rock band born in Stanley, Idaho, will bring its signature all-American storytelling songs and cowboy boot-pounding rhythm to the Victor (Idaho) City Park as part of the Teton Valley Foundation’s free summer concert series. Jackson’s own Aaron Davis and the Mystery Machine will open.
“We’re excited to have them both at Music on Main,” said Amy Fradley, executive director for the Teton Valley Foundation. “It’s going to be a big night. Micky and the Motorcars have a strong fan base and will attract a wide cross section of our community. If Reckless Kelly, who played for us in 2019, is any indication, it’s going to be a night to remember.”
As the story goes, Muzzie Braun welcomed his four sons to share his stage while raising his family along the mountain river banks of Stanley, Idaho. They were known then as Muzzie Braun and the Boys, and the family band effortlessly spouted cowboy poetry and Western swing.
From those Idaho roots grew a musical dynasty, with big brothers Cody and Willy establishing Reckless Kelly. The other two brothers, Micky and Gary, left Idaho for Austin, Texas, and started Micky and the Motorcars, a road-dogging favorite whose nonstop touring for the past 17 years has defined their lives and also shaped Austin’s roots-rock resurgence.
With the release of a new album, “Long Time Comin’,” the Motorcars have cemented their place as the elder statesmen of the alt-country scene, having managed to master that ever-elusive blend of artistic familiarity and surprise.
“If you can put your heart on your sleeve and say it, it’s the best medicine for people,” Micky Braun said of the album. “They can lock into it and enjoy the ride.”
Gary Braun — who handles guitar, mandolin, harmonica, harmonies and occasionally lead vocals — and Micky, lead vocalist and acoustic guitarist, are joined by Joe Fladger on bass, Bobby Paugh on drums and percussion, and new bandmate Pablo Trujillo on guitar.
The combination of familiar and fresh players has reinvigorated the Motorcars’ live show, which buzzes through a low-key rock ’n’ roll rapture built on grooves and the Brauns’ signature harmonies.
Opening Thursday’s party at 6 p.m., Aaron Davis is chiefly known as the co-founder of longtime alt-folk and country-blues band Screen Door Porch, his eclectic solo ramblings and of course for Aaron Davis & the Mystery Machine.
Davis laughs remembering that the last time he opened for the Motorcars: “That was my first big concert, and it was with Motorcars. It was in front of a huge concert crowd in Jackson. It was an incredible first feeling. It will be great to open for them again this week at Music on Main.”
While the crowd is more intimate at Victor City Park, Music on Main holds a special spot for Davis, who has been playing the free concert series since 2012. And in these post-pandemic time, he’s grateful to be back on stage playing before live audiences.
“The chops come back,” Davis said of getting back on the road after being forced to slow down by the coronavirus. “Being in the summer grind has definitely shown to be beneficial. It’s really good to be playing a lot.”
While sheltering in place last year, Davis was awarded a Performing Arts Music Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, a “merit-based honor for an artist’s work in their field.” That allowed him to work to release “Catalyst,” his 10th album, which he is featuring this summer with The Mystery Machine.
“There is an elevating element of the total human connection of creating music with my bandmates and performing with people,” Davis said. “The power of the band is a whole different thing, and we’re all appreciating it right now. And Music on Main has always been one of my favorites.”
The Teton Valley Foundation has themed this Thursday “Raffle & Donor Appreciation Night.” Raffle tickets will be sold for a chance to win a cruiser bike donated by Peaked Sports.
“It takes our patrons’ donations at the door and so many sponsors and donors who support the program each summer to keep the music free,” Fradley said. “We owe them a debt of gratitude, which is why I ask everyone from the stage each week to check out all the businesses on the banners, patronize them and thank them personally for helping to keep the music free.” ￼