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Truth & Salvage Co. return to headline Davis Music Fest

Nothing says “welcome home” quite like a day spent haggling over registration late fees at the DMV, where excuses are rarely valid and seldom accepted.

Tim Jones had a pretty good one.

“I guess I could have given them our touring schedule,” Jones, one of Truth & Salvage Co.’s four frontmen/songwriters said with a laugh. “I was home for like four weeks in April but I didn’t get the notice – I haven’t been in town literally for six months.”

For the record, they did indeed rescind Jones’ $75 fine. Welcome to L.A. (as the song goes).

To say that Truth & Salvage Co.’s touring schedule for the last year as been “busy” is a bit like saying that a politician named “Weiner” texting out photos of his giblets is “mildly funny.” Their summer has included stops at such smorgasbord summer festivals as Wakarusa, Hangout and Summer Camp, as well as gigs with old pals the Avett Brothers, and a host of club dates in between.

Their road warrior ways have cooled off a bit for the summer, but they’re still finding time to squeeze in what Jones said “will probably be our last Sacramento area performance of the year” at Saturday’s inaugural Davis Music Festival.

Truth & Salvage Co. performs at 10:30 p.m. Saturday, June 25 at Odd Fellows Hall, 415 2nd St. in Davis. Tickets are $20. See below for more info on the Davis Music Festival bands and venues.

This will be Truth & Salvage Co’s fourth appearance in the Sacramento area, and the first not being held at Lindol’s (err, Harlow’s), since opening for the Avett Brothers at the Crest Theatre in April of 2010.

“Sac has just been a great town for us,” Jones said. “There’s not a whole lot of places in California you can play without having to drive super far so we love coming through there.”

“It definitely beat all my expectations as far as beauty and people and fun,” he added. “It’s definitely a place I could live, we love it – Tree City, U.S.A.”

Tim Jones at Harlow’s, September 2010

To see Truth & Salvage Co.’s Harlow’s shows get a little rowdier each time, and to watch their fan base expand in Sacramento over the last year, it seems a natural fit that their popularity in this town is germinating from a heavy stock of Avett Brothers fans (scooped up from the aforementioned headlining slot at the sold-out Crest Theatre), as well as devout fans of the Black Crowes; T&S Co.’s 2010 debut album was produced by Crowes front man Chris Robinson.

“The sincerity of their songwriting and their passionate performance were the things that attracted me to the project,” Robinson is quoted as saying about the group.

Their debut is what very few albums are these days: An actual album.

“There’s 12 songs on this record, and any one could have been a single,” said Jones, who accounts for a quarter of the creative core of the band, alongside drummer Bill “Smitty” Smith, guitarist Scott Kinnebrew, and keyboardist Walker Young. “Obviously we could have made a double album, but that’s not something a debut band does,” he joked.

Does anyone do that anymore?

Truth & Salvage Co’s debut is a feast of passionately crafted sing-alongers and road-trippers that tip-toe along the fence separating rock and roll and Americana, without ever falling over onto one side or another and busting an ankle. They’re the drinking songs of those late summer nights with good friends that you never want to end, and at the same time, the tunes you can’t wait to crank in the car on the road trip to the river the next day, hangover be darned.

All night parties. Newfound love. Best friends lost. “The gang.” It’s all there.

Although they easily have enough road-tested material for another record, they’re not in a huge hurry to crank out their sophomore effort. Truth be told, Jones hit the nail on the head when he reminded me that it’s only been a year since their debut album actually came out.

It was both a nice way of saying “do your research before you ask stupid questions,” and an indicator of just how long of a cycle it has really been for this band in the last year.

The near-constant string of touring also saw the departure of bassist Joe Edel in December, and the addition of Frank Divana; a noticeable spark in energy when you compare the December Harlow’s gig (with Edel) and the most recent gig in March.

“Whatever brings people to the show, it’s our challenge to make sure and provide them with whatever the expectations are,” said the always affable Jones.

“People can sit at home and listen to the record or watch a video, but capturing that spirit of the crowd – it has to be a party. That’s kind of what we try to play, we want people to feel a part of it as much as we feel.”

Truth & Salvage Co. are the headliners for the inaugural version of the very grassroots oriented Davis Music Festival, which also features West Nile Ramblers, Miss Lonely Hearts, Jake Mann + the Upper Hand, Musical Charis and several more. The festival will be spread across five downtown venues, including Odd Fellows Hall, Sophia’s Thai Kitchen, Little Prague, Delta of Venus, and an E Street Plaza stage.

The $20 ticket price includes roving admission to all five venues. Wristbands will be distributed on Friday, June 24 and on Saturday, the day of the event. The festival is all ages, although Sophia’s will become 21+ at 9 p.m., as will Little Prague at 10 p.m.

For the full lineup and ticket information, visit www.davismusicfest.com.

Davis Music Fest schedule grid

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