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28th Annual Grand Targhee Bluegrass Festival

Posted on Aug 5, 2015

(this Cover Story was published by Planet Jackson Hole)

Lake Street Dive

Lake Street Dive

The fusion of old timers and newcomers. The updating and preservation of tradition. The human eagerness of gathering with a like-minded tribe to revel in movements of acoustic music. Welcome to the 28th Annual Grand Targhee Bluegrass Festival. No mammoth Telluride Fest or the 78,000 people that gather at Merlefest, just slopeside simplicity with a few thousand compatible folks. Legend states that Chief Targhee was crucial in keeping the peace between white men and his tribesman. Allow Grand Targhee Resort to accentuate what is quintessential to the mountain lifestyle — peaceful intimacy and spatial goodness, prime camping and nearby accommodations, high-altitude beauty, access to National Forest activities and, of course, good company.

“This festival’s resiliency really is a testament to Geordie’s commitment,” festival talent buyer Tom Garnsey said during an interview with The Planet in 2009, referring to Targhee’s owner George “Geordie” N. Gillett III. “We’ve paced ourselves over the years, [as is] the American way, instead of finding some corporation to come in and make a seven-stage mess out of the place.”

Festival culture with respect to concert bills has long intrigued, especially when it comes to bluegrass. Just like the ole saying, “there’s nothing like a Grateful Dead show,” there’s also nothing like a bluegrass festival where “pickin’ tunes” extend beyond the mirage of main stage acts into the adjacent family-friendly campgrounds, parking lot jam circles and the first-rate Targhee Music Camp. The traditional musical language that has developed in bluegrass is comparable to

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JH Live: Shakey Graves + Turnpike Troubadours

Posted on Aug 5, 2015

(this piece was published by Planet Jackson Hole)

Shakey Graves

Shakey Graves

The hottest double-bill of the season could be upon us: Shakey Graves and Turnpike Troubadours at Jackson Hole Live. Here’s the scoop on the two acts that are currently on fire, all-the-rage and drawing hordes of Americana fans:

Singer-songwriter Alejandro Rose-Garcia, a.k.a. Shakey Graves, first grabbed the attention of indie music fans with his 2011 album “Roll the Bones,” which became one of Bandcamp.com’s best-selling and most-streamed offerings. His splice of blues, country and rock ‘n’ roll was presented in a lo-fi package, yet endearing to fans of such raw recordings. His 2014 sophomore release “And the War Came” took him from an up-and-coming Austin talent to a nationally renowned musician, and the album remained in the top 10 of the Americana Music Association’s airplay chart since its release last October.

All Shakey Graves albums have been available as name-your-price offerings ever since Austin’s then-mayor proclaimed Feb. 9, 2012 as “Shakey Graves Day,” which he has utilized over the years as

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Center fundraiser brings Vince Gill

Posted on Aug 5, 2015

(this piece was published by Planet Jackson Hole)

Vince GillFamous for his choice songwriting, world-class guitar playing and soaring tenor, Vince Gill has earned a measly twenty Grammy Awards—more than any other male country artist. The accolades stack up much higher than that, including a 2007 induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Initially making a name for himself with country rockers Pure Prairie League in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, he eventually found massive success as a contemporary country hit maker.

“In addition to hearing a renowned country music star perform in the intimate setting of The Center Theater, all proceeds from this event will support The Center to ensure top-quality programming throughout the year,” said Ponteir Sackrey, President of The Center Fund. Center for the Arts Annual Benefit Concert with Vince Gill, 8 p.m. Friday at the Center Theater. $152-$352. JHCenterForTheArts.org.

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The Gourds’ Shinyribs

Posted on Aug 5, 2015

(this piece was published by Planet Jackson Hole)

Former member of longtime Austin touring band The Gourds, Kevin Russell fronts the project dubbed Shinyribs. The jovial songwriter brings country-soul and swamp-funk mixed with choice covers from the expected (George Jones, Leadbelly) to the unexpected (TLC, T-Pain). It’ll be a down-home party with a world-class band, laidback humor, and dance-friendly groovees. Shinyribs, 10 p.m. Wednesday at Town Square Tavern. $5. 733-3886.

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Luke Bell croons the ‘tonk at Fair

Posted on Jul 21, 2015

(this piece was published by Planet Jackson Hole)

LukeBellAn ole modern traditionalist, Cody-native and classic country crooner Luke Bell has been on a national tear as of late. Briefly schooled in Laramie, then propelled to Austin before landing in Nashville, Bell just received a major shoutout from Rolling Stone as one of the “25 Must See Acts” of the CMA Music Festival in Nashville. His music is a nod to 70’s honkytonk adorned with heart-felt depictions of cowboy culture and hard workin’ folks, all backed by a damn good country band. Don’t sleep on this chance to see a rising star brought up in the Square State. Opening the show is Dubois-based Jess Camilla O’Neal & The Neversweat Players. The quartet blends Western, country and Americana into a genuine Wyoming blend of rural story songs. Teton County Fair presents Luke Bell with Jess Camilla O’Neal & The Neversweat Players, 6 p.m. Friday at Heritage Arena. All-ages. Free.

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Bingham croons at Center

Posted on Jul 21, 2015

(this piece was published by Planet Jackson Hole)

Ryan-Bingham(byRodneyBursiel)Once an obscure songwriter as a teenager on the road dabbling in ranch work and sleeping in his truck after rodeo competitions, Ryan Bingham’s success has not affected his gritty alt-country output one bit. Bingham won an Oscar, Grammy, Golden Globe and Critic’s Choice awards for his 2010 song “The Weary Kind,” which was prominently featured in the film Crazy Heart. He followed that up by releasing three successful major label albums with Lost Highway before going out on his own to self-release 2012’s Tomorrowland and this year’s Fear and Saturday Night. What strikes me most about Bingham is his ultra whiskey-soaked vocal chords, capable of drawing into focus the emotion behind the words that he is phrasing. It can be powerful, and is highly recommended. Bingham is currently touring as a trio, backed by electric guitar and drums. Ryan Bingham, 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Center Theater. $39-$49. JHCenterForTheArts.org, 733-2900.

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Huge soul sounds of The Suffers

Posted on Jul 21, 2015

(this piece was published by Planet Jackson Hole)

TheSuffersEver heard of “Gulf Coast Soul”? Houston-based ten-piece The Suffers intertwine the classic elements of soul and horn-fueled rock featuring the massive voice of Kam Franklin. At first, the formula brings to mind a jazzed-up version of Sharon Jones and The Dapkings, though The Suffers’ four-song EP Make Some Room, is convincing evidence that this group is not locked into delivering only classic soul. There’s origininality to the songs, and a patience that allows for epic slow burns, like “Giver.” Opening the show is Jackson’s Canyon Kids, an indie-folk rock duo that will be staging a full band version of what they do best—deliver lush vocal harmony within engaging songs, and hit you with arrangements that allure with folksy stylings before unleashing the ambient rock attack. The Suffers with Canyon Kids, 6 p.m. Thursday at Music on Main in Victor City Park. Free, all-ages. TetonValleyFoundation.org.

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Half of Tenacious D

Posted on Jul 21, 2015

(this piece was published by Planet Jackson Hole)

kyle-gass-band-blankKyle Gass is Jack Black’s partner in crime as Tenacious D. He’ll be bringing The Kyle Gass Band’s “good-time-rock-and-roll done right, with incredible harmonies, hugenormous guitars, and just the slightest dusting of flute” to town this Sunday. The same tongue-in-cheek approach applies here, with more crunchy guitars and a throwback sound to 70’s classic rock. The five-piece is fronted by vocalist and guitarist Mike Bray and features electric guitarist John Konesky, also of Tenacious D. The Kyle Gass Band, 10 p.m. Sunday at Town Square Tavern. $10. 307Live.com, 733-3886.

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