Leap of faith 

David Boone takes his troubles on the road

Lately, local musician David Boone has been pondering the idea of faith. Though conviction is nothing new to someone with the strength to have untethered himself from a fundamentalist Christian upbringing, Boone’s faith, presently, is taking the form of a physical journey. This fall, the 24-year-old guitarist and his friend, percussionist James Wasem, will embark on an 18-month series of tours across all 50 states. Though not a huge feat for big bands with big bucks, it’s an ambitious journey for two guys in a Jeep Cherokee who generally play coffeehouses and taverns (they’ll fly to Hawaii and Alaska). “It’s all a matter of faith,” says Boone. “Our goal with these first couple tours is to put our feet in the water and see how sustainable it is to do it full time.”

Boone has always tested the waters. At the age of 15, after his guitar mentor died and his family “imploded,” Boone dropped out of school and left Seeley Lake for the sunny shores of Sonora, Mexico. A year later he returned—“and then I basically dropped off the face of the earth,” Boone says. Haunted by family turmoil, he was diagnosed as manic-depressive. For three years after moving to Missoula, he didn’t play music. But when a friend said he was moving, Boone played a concert as a going-away gift—and he hasn’t stopped since.

For the upcoming tour, Boone is releasing Culmination, a sampler album containing three songs off each of his seven albums. Culmination maps Boone’s emotional journey with earnest acoustic folk on the first half and celebratory folk-rock on the second. But Boone’s hardly finished soul-searching. He is already recording two more albums, one with a full band, the other a solo effort being recorded in a barn near Seeley.

“I’m going to take pictures of all the places I’ve experienced emotional heartache growing up…and I’m going to hang them all over this barn wall, and while I sing I’m going to let them wreck me again.” It’s an aggressive version of introspection he believes will be essential to the tour’s success—and a test of strength that, if personal history is any gauge, he’s sure to pass.

David Boone plays at Break Espresso at 7 PM, Thursday, Aug. 18, with fellow locals Tom Catmull and Jacob Kuntz. Cover is $6 at the door.

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