Shurman singer performing with John Popper in Atlanta Friday

Aaron Beavers, a McIntosh graduate and founding member of Shurman, will be performing Friday night at The Masquerade in Atlanta with John Popper and the Duskray Troubadors.

1. You’ll be in town Friday with John Popper and the Duskray Troubadors. How’d you become a part of this project?

Well, my band Shurman was opening for Blues Traveler in 2009 and the last stop of the tour was at the Fillmore in San Francisco. BT was burnt out and decided not to soundcheck leaving us with a few hours of closed door stage time at one of the most hallowed venues in the world. So, I decided to show my band a few songs I had been working up for our next recording. Popper was sitting backstage and happened to hear a song that caught his ear. He came up after the show and told me he was putting together a new band with his longtime friend Jono Manson, wanted me to be part of it...and he wanted to record a few of my songs. I figured it was the usual BS that accompanies late night conversations but a few months later his people contacted me and he came down to Austin and we started writing together.

2. Describe what kind of music/what kind of a show it is?

The sound of the band is a mix of Rootsy Rock mixed with Soul and Rhythm & Blues, and maybe even a little Country. We were very focused on letting the songs drive-not the individual performers. The result is a leaner, more efficient song structure than Popper’s work with Blues Traveler. We had a few writers involved and each of us brought in our own styles and influences. It is kinda like a musical gumbo!

We are having such an amazing time performing these songs live. The band is a very diverse mix of people but we are really connecting on stage. We are performing all the songs form the record and a few of our favorite Blues Traveler songs so we get to stretch out musically on those! Jono and I each get to sing lead on a few songs and showcase some of our “non-JP&DT” creations as well.

3. You recently moved to Austin. How has the new location and playing with the Troubadors shaped your current music?

Moving to Austin has been the best decision I ever made (other than marrying my wife). The musical landscape here in the Hill Country is just incredible and my friends and peers really keep me inspired and motivated to keep writing, playing, and absorbing music.

4. How’s the new Shurman album coming?

The new Shurman record is almost done and we are so excited about it! I have been fortunate to fall in with some amazing Texas musicians and they are helping get the music I hear in my head onto tape. We think we will be releasing it July. This time we own the studio and the record label and that means we can do what we want. We have been fortunate to have record deals for all our previous releases but the truth is we know now that being our own boss is worth more than any advance a record label could ever give you. I want to get this out as soon as it is mastered but of course there is artwork and sequencing of the tracks, etc., so I am settling on getting it out this summer. July 4th seems like a fitting release date.

John Popper and the Duskray Troubadors will perform Friday at 9 p.m.Tickets are $18. Visit www.masqueradeatlanta.com
for more information.