Last year, the late Kitsap County-bred songsmith Ron Davies was celebrated in a sparkling, star-studded Nashville compilation, “Unsung Hero,” featuring Dolly Parton, Vince Gill, Alison Krauss and others singing Davies’ songs.
Come to find out Davies not only had Nashville followers, but a bona fide protege — even before he left home. His name is Bill Carter and he’s on a bill celebrating Austin blues-rock guitarist Ian Moore’s birthday Saturday at the Triple Door, along with Jon Rauhouse, V. Contreras, Pete Droge and others.
Carter is probably best known for his poignant song “Anything Made of Paper,” which played over the credits of the much-heralded 2012 documentary about the West Memphis Three, “West of Memphis.” The lovely video of the tune, which continues to snag awards at film festivals, earned him a spot on David Letterman.
But Carter, like Davies, is a behind-the-scenes songwriter kind of guy. He wrote Stevie Ray Vaughan’s No. 1 rock hit, “Crossfire,” not to mention Robert Palmer’s “Why Get Up” and Counting Crows’ “Richest Man.”
“Bill grew up in the Bremerton/Tracyton area of Puget Sound, where he met my father,” writes Davies’ daughter, Michelle, who is coming up from Los Angeles for the party. “Pop was 19, Bill 15. My father instantly became a mentor to Bill, as to so many in the area.”
Back when folk-rock was aborning, Carter played locally in a Bob Dylan- and Byrds-influenced band called Chimes of Freedom. Every year, he and his pals from that era, including Chimes of Freedom players and veteran Seattle guitarist Pete Pendras, gather in Jarstad Park, in Gorst, for an annual “hippie reunion.”
“Since I was coming up, anyway, I decided to put together a few shows,” said Carter by telephone from his home in Austin, Texas.
Carter recently released his first solo album, ironically titled “Unknown,” which features “Anything Made of Paper” as well a hilarious and timely ditty titled “Amerijuana.” Profoundly influenced by Dylan and the Band, the gruff-voiced Carter is strong on Americana. His dark blues for a murdered streetwalker, “Eva Bible,” is the kind of thing Dave Van Ronk could have sung. “Save You” has the kind of pop hook that makes you see why Carter has made a living as a songwriter.
While he’s in the area, Carter will also perform at the Port Townsend Acoustic Blues Festival (Wednesday, July 30), Brother Don’s, in Bremerton (Thursday, July 31), and the Red Bicycle, in Vashon (Friday, Aug. 1).
Bill Carter, with Ian Moore and others
8 p.m. Saturday at the Triple Door, 216 Union St., Seattle; $15 (206-838-4333 or www.thetripledoor.net).