(Published in Jackson Hole Weekly, additional content added)

Topping out at fifty-eight miles per hour behind the wheel of a 1991 Chevy Aristocrat must build character. Plenty of downhome charm is what you get on The Bus Driver Tour—a new trio made up of experienced singer-songwriters Danny Freund, Paul Lee Kupfer and Ian Thomas. Some folks may recognize Freund from his weekends on the Silver Dollar stage with Montana’s Seven Smart Fellers.

The Bus Driver Tour’s new self-titled debut album brings to mind early Son Volt, or the “Screen Door” era of Uncle Tupelo, with simplicity at the helm of its alt-country, folk-blues appeal. The key dimension here is three distinct lead vocalists (or Drivers) that, while blending respectably with one another, stand stronger on a “to each his own” platform. The thirty-something, fedora-wearing amigos recently played show number one hundred in North Carolina before shoving off on a ten-week tour in support of the album. The goal? Take the Bus Tour cross-country, even a weekend in Hawaii, before crossing through Jackson Hole and into Montana where they will settle in for the month of February.

“I’m at the level where I want to tour where I want to be, and where I want to live,” Kupfer recently told Missoulian. “As a musician, you are so often forced to go where the work is, but the goal of a DIY outfit like this is that we want to build a fan base and tour where we want. And right now we want to be in Montana.”

The Bus Driver Tour, 7:30 to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday Feb. 1-2, at the Silver Dollar Bar. Free. 733-2190.