Local band records music video at refuge historic site

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The music is turned up at the National Elk Refuge this week as the public use staff enjoys new tunes from a soulful Americana local band, Screen Door Porch.


February 13, 2015

The music is turned up at the National Elk Refuge this week as the public use staff enjoys new tunes from a soulful Americana local band, Screen Door Porch. The group released their third studio album, Modern Settler, on February 10.

The National Elk Refuge receives many commercial filming requests each year, representing media ranging from local organizations to national and international markets. Many of the requests come from travel–related television markets such as the Travel Channel, Discovery Channel, or shows from other countries marketing U.S. travel. Travel magazines are also well represented in the special use permit queue, from in–flight magazines to retail publications. “We try to accommodate as many of the filming requests as we can, but we’re often limited by access and staffing,” explained Outdoor Recreation Planner Lori Iverson.

In January, Iverson received an unusual request:  Screen Door Porch asked to film a video clip from a winter sleigh to use as marketing material for their new music. Unsure of how the elk herds would react to live music and performers, staff denied the permit. However, Iverson did suggest the historic Miller House as an alternate location. Not only is the house closed to public use in the winter, but the setting seemed appropriate for the song they’d be recording: “Chasin’ Homestead Blues.” “We loved the site as soon as we saw it,” described Aaron Davis, front man for the band. “When you think about the name of our band and the title of the CD and song, it was a perfect fit.”

 The YouTube video featuring the band on the historic porch is still under production and is expected to be posted soon. The band agreed to credit the refuge’s location in their video to help promote the ranch. “It will be great exposure for the historic site since they’re a local band,” Iverson explained. The Miller House, open from late May through mid–September, receives between 3,000 and 4,000 visitors per season.

The Miller House and surrounding land was the first property purchased by the federal government to become part of the National Elk Refuge, established in 1912. The historic site is open daily throughout the summer season. Volunteer staff is on duty to talk about the history of the National Elk Refuge and early homesteaders who lived on the land. Entrance to the historic home is free of charge.

An Adobe PDF version of this article includes additional photos.

Learn more about the historic Miller Ranch on our web link