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jackson hole music blog

The Minor Keys unleash ‘Life in a Minor Key’

Posted on Jun 28, 2017


The tape has been rolling here at Three Hearted Studio in Hoback and the first official release is now in the airwaves—Life in a Minor Key via swing and old time blues trio The Minor KeysLife in a Minor Key (listen here) was engineered and mixed by yours truly, and it was a real pleasure working with friends Jeromey Bell (vocals/guitar), Leslie Steen (violin) and Marty Camino (upright bass/vocals) with studio guests Jason Baggett (drums) and Lawrence Bennett (trumpet) stepping in nicely for a couple of songs. Sonically, I’m super pleased with the results. It’s empowering to have so many question marks in the recording process and have it work out beautifully in the end.

The four-track EP features the heart of what the trio does best—classic swing and old-times blues from a bygone era. While these are not the obscure gems from scratchy 78s that sets this band further apart from its contemporaries, it’s a snapshot introduction to aMinorKeys_J100_cover-01 talented band with an inviting sound.  Lead track “Dinah” exhibits the throwback vibe, having been previously recorded by a few of the trio’s influences Django Reinhart, Benny Goodman Quartet, The Red Stick Ramblers, and Fats Waller, among others.

“Word of mouth is the best way to discover those hidden gems, but once I got back into vinyl it opened the door to different versions of
songs,” Bell said. “Maybe there was a hot trumpet player on one version of a tune, and then read the liner notes to get his name and then search out other records he played on. It’s hard to believe Slim & Slam had a number one hit in the 30s and have since fallen into obscurity, whereas Louis Armstrong and Benny Goodman are household names. There were others too, like Stuff Smith and The Harlem Hep Cats that were not as technically flashy as Django Reinhart, though were more soulful and knew how to utilize witty innuendos in their lyrics that you couldn’t necessarily say in public. That has just as much resonance to me as the hot playing.”

“There’s a profound Django quote that has always stuck with me,” Bell said of the band’s namesake. “When someone asked him if he had a song that he could relate to his life and he said, ‘certainly life is lived in the minor key.”

The Minor Keys CD Release Party, 7:30 to 11 p.m. Thursday at Hole Bowl. Free, all-ages. 201-5426. You can also catch the trio 8 to 10 p.m. Mondays at Jackson Lake Lodge throughout the summer.

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Canyon Kids & Goldcone collaborate on “Wolf”

Posted on Feb 13, 2017

Check out the pop-folk moodiness of “Wolf,” the first song collaboration between our good buds Canyon Kids (Bo Elledge & Dusty Nichols) and Goldcone (Joe Rudd). That’s fellow Hoback Nation resident Rudd on keys, sax and production, with Mr. Sam Lowenthal of Sneaky Pete & the Secret Weapons on bass. Written by Elledge. Art via Cole Adams Buckhart. Stream the track below.

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Concert Review: Jackie Greene + Anders Osborne + Hayes Carll

Posted on Jan 17, 2017

Greene_Osborne_Carll_byAaronDavis5It takes a fair amount of gumption to perform outside of the so-called comfort zone musicians build within their main performance outlets. Jackie Green, Anders Osborne, and Hayes Carll ditched their bands and grabbed acoustic guitars for a sit down evening of old fashioned tune trading at the Center Theater on Sunday.

For Greene and Osborne—two new friends that are gifted as both singer-songwriters and guitarists—impromptu “jamming” is second nature and I’ve witnessed each thrive on that ball of energy as much as writing a powerful song. They’ve each shared experiences with Phil Lesh & Friends in recent years and each play in loud, improvisational rock bands. It was great to see a number of those rock tunes stripped down to the raw core from these two.

Hayes Carll sounded like the refined writer he is, a painter with words as his raw material. After Carll made light of the juxtaposition between him and the other two, the joke recycled throughout

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Veteran DJ Mark Farina at Garter, Cure for the Common + horns, Screen Door Porch + Head for the Hills, Nicki Bluhm joins Lucas Nelson

Posted on Dec 28, 2016

(a majority of this piece was published by Planet Jackson Hole)

Mark Farina: creator of Mushroom Jazz

Mark Farina: creator of Mushroom Jazz

There’s acid jazz, cool jazz, big band jazz and then there’s mushroom jazz—a psychedelic-minded electronic music subgenre mixing jazz, house and hip-hop nearly singlehandedly designed by DJ and producer Mark Farina in the early 90s. The term was coined from his twenty-five year, eight-volume Mushroom Jazz series of albums. Originally released on cassette in 1992 with a modest fifty copies, the latest compilation dropped this year to a worldwide audience.

It has turned the heads of old fogies, indie-leaning hipsters, hippies and jazz purists while penetrating a club scene shaped by aggressive drums n’ bass and uptempo house music. All the while, Farina has existed in two types of rooms—mushroom jazz and a jazzy Chicago-meets-San Fran house style that caters to the uptempo revelers, Farina will drop his

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Wood Brothers & Ben Sollee, Search & Rescue Benefit, Center Theatre lineup

Posted on Dec 7, 2016

(this piece was published by Planet Jackson Hole)

The Wood Brothers (photo: Alysse Gafkjen)

The Wood Brothers (photo: Alysse Gafkjen)

“I think we have a nice balance now in our show now of broken-down, stripped-down acoustic, more intimate subtle music leading up to the more rockin’ stuff,” explained Oliver Wood, vocalist/guitarist for The Wood Brothers. “We’re learning to balance what has characterized our records and live shows. Our drummer Jano is an amazing keyboard player and really sounds like two guys when he’s playing keys and drums at the same time. And, of course, my brother Chris is a bass virtuoso, so we can make quite a big sound when we want to, but it also feels good to strip it down to almost nothing.”

Oliver’s comments are right on the pulse of how The Wood Brothers—featuring blood brothers Chris (upright bass/vocals) and Oliver along with adopted musical bro Jano Rix—have evolved since forming around 2005 as a stripped-down duo. In addition to drum kit and keys, Rix also plays a homemade “shuitar”—a cheap acoustic guitar converted into a percussion instrument. Over the course of more than a decade, the trio has gradually grown a fanbase that is drawn to their deceptive spareness. Their collective sound is fluid, raw at times, and nearly always reflecting a roots-inspired smorgasbord of blues, folk and especially of late, rock and roll. The Nashville-based band’s latest studio album, Paradise, was recorded at Black Keys guitarist/vocalist Dan Auerbach’s studio and brings a more

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Three Hearted Recording Studio in Hoback

Posted on Nov 27, 2016

View from Three Hearted Studio

View from Three Hearted Studio

It’s long been a dream of mine to have a dedicated recording space. With our recent move to a 6-acre property in Hoback just south of Jackson Hole, I’m proud to introduce Three Hearted Studio. The last two months have been a whirlwind of upgrades to the space as well as recording hardware. I want to offer an affordable recording service for local and regional musicians to record demos, full-length albums, voice-overs, and podcasts in a countryside cabin setting.

threeheartedstudioMy experiences recording eight studio albums of my own have all been different in scope, though none more impressionable than Screen Door Porch’s studio sessions in Austin and I want to cultivate that vibe here in the Tetons. Three Hearted Studio is a cozy and supportive space for artists to thrive in their performances. Whether you are a full band making an album or a solo act looking to add textures to your songs utilizing the super network of local players, it’s a Three Hearted process — my heart, your heart, and the third heart of enigmatic truth that only music can unmask.

scoutcabinwinterThe studio is also located between three legendary rivers (the Snake, the Hoback, and the Greys), the vortex of three mountain ranges (Wyoming Range, Gros Ventre River Range, Tetons), and nestled in Bridger-Teton National Forest where the nearest road to the southeast is 70 miles. Take a hike or nordic ski in between sessions!

– Engineering (multi-track recording, live recording, mixing)
– Producing
– Studio musician resource/mediary
– Songwriting/arranging

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Into the lesson well: Teton Co. Music Lessons & Teachers

Posted on Nov 27, 2016


There’s no better time than Now to take up a new instrument or seek additional instruction on your current instrument. Advances in brain studies point out that active engagement with music influences other development, especially with children and young adults. Whether you’ve been awakened by an inspirational piece of music, looking for a challenge, or aiming to maximize self-expression, there are local resources to take advantage of. The fringe benefit of having a strong local musician community is the resource well of music teachers, many of which are also performers. Here are resources for finding a local music instructor. If you’re a teacher and would like to be added or removed from this list, please contact

Instruction on multiple instruments

Jackson Hole Music Store; 307-201-1700, Owner/teacher David Rice has a degree in classical guitar and twenty years of teaching experience. Offering lessons for guitar, drums, bass, and band lessons. Bo Elledge also teaches out of the store, helping clients learn songs and basic chords.

David Bundy; 208-201-3598, Teaches drum set, bass guitar and guitar Monday through Thursday at his home studio in Driggs, Idaho.

Jack Tolan; Private and small group lessons on guitar, bass, mandolin, and ukulele. All ages.

Susan Jones; Piano, guitar and ukulele lessons in Wilson and at

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