musician. journalist. photographer.
jackson hole music blog

Reckless Kelly + Screen Door Porch + Jeff Crosby & the Refugees

Posted on Jul 29, 2014

(this piece was published by Planet JH Weekly)

reckless kellyEven considering that the Idaho-born Braun brothers founded Reckless Kelly in Bend, Oregon before moving to Austin in 1997, they more-or-less define the “Texas country” tag. Texas country refers to a sub-genre of alt-country and country-rock that brings the carefree attitude of the outlaw and the truthful, straightforward lyrics of roots music and Americana. Or, as frontman Willie Braun told Seattle Times last year, “Not this Toby Keith bullshit. Good country…Rainier and whiskey-drinking country.”

Reckless Kelly’s Grammy-nominated album Good Luck & True Love [2011]—which also took home four Lone Star Music Awards and sent three singles to #1 on Texas Radio—was followed up last year by the band’s eight studio release, Long Night Moon. The latter is a classic road record, conceived from eighteen years of

Read More

The Motet: 7-pieces, 7 albums + The Deadlocks

Posted on Jul 29, 2014

(this piece was published by Planet JH Weekly)

TheMotetFeel-good Afrobeat, funk, disco and soul, The Motet has come to Jackson several times over the last ten years, though the most recent incarnation of the band has grown into it’s tightest touring unit yet. Once a revolving cast of crushing Colorado players, drummer Dave Watts has steered the project through a commitment to push the sonic envelope. With the release of The Motet’s seventh album, Watts felt it necessary to call it simply The Motet, a reflection that the group has finally become what it has striven to be throughout its existence. The band is a seven-piece including a two-piece horn section, drawing inspiration from some of the bands they have chosen for Halloween costume performances over the years—Parliament Funkadelic, Earth Wind and Fire, Tower of Power, and Jamiroquai.

Opening this show is The Deadlocks, an authentic Jackson-grown tribute to The Grateful Dead. The band is celebrating its 5th anniversary this week, including an additional performance for Jerry Garcia’s birthday (9 p.m. Friday at Pink Garter Theatre; $7). Music on Main: The Motet with The Deadlocks, 6 p.m. Thursday at Victor City Park. Free, all-ages. TetonValleyFoundation.org.

Read More

Polish your chops @ Targhee Music Camp

Posted on Jul 29, 2014

(this piece was published by Planet JH Weekly)

TargheeBluegrassCamp(byAaronDavis)Acoustic instrumentalists still have time to register for next week’s Grand Targhee Music Camp (Aug. 4-7). Now in its 9th year, the camp represents an opportunity to get one-on-one instruction with some of the hottest acoustic and bluegrass pickers in the business. The balance of high-level instruction with ample fun comes in the form of structured and unstructured jamming, primary classes based on instrument, and elective workshops. Most classes are geared towards intermediate players. This year’s cast of instructors includes Danny Barnes (guitar/banjo), Jeff Austin (Songwriting), The Lomax Project Band (banjo, singing, bass, guitar, mandolin), Grant Gordy (guitar), Roy Andrade (fiddle, old-time banjo), Ben Winship (mandolin), Tom Murphy (mandolin), and Dan Miller (guitar). Grand Targhee Music Camp, August 4-7 at Grand Targhee Resort. $475. TargheeMusicCamp.com.

Read More

Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band + Wyatt Lowe & the Ottomatics

Posted on Jul 23, 2014

(this piece was published by Planet JH Weekly)

The-Reverend-Peytons-Big-Damn-Band-Band-PhotoRaw and gruff and all that hillbilly stuff, Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band’s new album Between the Ditches debuted at number one of the iTunes Blues Chart. Americana and Delta blues is pushed to the pavement over 250 tour dates a year for the trio, which is rounded out by Peyton’s wife, Breezy, and junkyard percussionist Ben “Bird Dog” Bussell. The era of their music can be linked to Peyton’s instrumentation on the last album—two 1930’s National guitars, a cigar box guitar, a custom shop Gibson flattop 1929 L2 and an Airline map electric guitar. Stupendous performers, they are. Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band + Wyatt Lowe & the Ottomatics, 9 p.m. Wednesday at the Pink Garter Theatre. $14-$17. PinkGarterTheatre.com.

Read More

The Lonesome Heroes regroup, record new album

Posted on Jul 23, 2014

(this piece was published by Planet JH Weekly)

Lonesome heros 2013 360-1Austin’s The Lonesome Heroes have been burning up Highway 287 every year from Texas to Wyoming since 2006. Frontman/guitarist/songwriter Rich Russell is a troubadour if I’ve ever seen one. Russell recently recorded a new batch of songs with a new cast of memorable Heroes—Nick Lochman (vocals, upright bass), Gary Newcomb (electric guitar), and Dave Sims, Jr. (vocals, drums)—who will accompany him for a two-night run at The Silver Dollar Bar. The Lonesome Heroes’ 2012 release Daydream Western won the Independent Music Award for Vox Pop, and just last year, the band’s music was featured on ABC TV series, Nashville. Get ready for big hooks via Newcomb and a driving rhythm section that has taken this band into a new dimension of indie country-rockin’ goodness.
The Lonesome Heroes, 7:30 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Silver Dollar Bar. Psych-country, indie rock. Free. 732-3939.

Read More

The Coffis Brothers & The Mountain Men

Posted on Jul 23, 2014

CoffisA splice of folk, blues, country and rock sounds like a dime-a-dozen splice, but when it’s done with brotherly chemistry, multiple competent vocalists and interesting songwriting, it’s a home run. Let’s meet The Coffis Brothers & The Mountain Men, who have managed to put a contemporary step on golden era‘60s rock. Born and raised in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California, brothers Jamie and Kellen have a melodic flow that brings all of the classic elements together, not unlike the knack that Creedence Clearwater Revival had. You’ll have two chances to catch the five-piece this week. The Coffis Brothers & The Mountain Men, 10 p.m. Thursday at Town Square Tavern; 7 to 11 p.m. Monday at Q Roadhouse Restaurant and Brewery (free).

Read More

Two kinds of country: Craig Campbell + The Black Lillies

Posted on Jul 23, 2014

(this piece was published by Planet JH Weekly)

BlackLilliesA contemporary pop-country act can usually be spotted from a distance via their fluorescent song titles. “Truck-N-Roll,” “Topless,” “That’s Why God Made a Front Porch,” and especially, “My Baby’s Daddy,” are dead giveaways for Georgian Craig Campbell. The self-proclaimed sharp dresser will be joined by standout Americana group The Black Lillies at this year’s Teton County Fair Concert on Friday.
The Black Lillies are fronted by the articulated Appalachian drawl of frontman/guitarist/pianist/songwriter Cruz Contreras. His delivery and tone has drawn comparisons to Randy Travis, Dan Tyminski and the great Ralph Stanley. While the similarities are warranted, production aesthetics of The Black Lillies’ studio albums—combined with poetic lyrics and the rootsy singer-songwriter foundation—exposes the subtle, yet distinct elements that distinguish the Americana and (pop) country genres. Jackson Hole Live and Teton County Fair presents Craig Campbell with The Black Lillies, 5:30 p.m. Friday at Snow King Ball Field. Free, all-ages. JacksonHoleLiveMusic.com.

Read More

Targhee Fest rocks a 10th Year!

Posted on Jul 18, 2014

(a portion of this piece was published by Planet JH Weekly)

Hard Working Americans

Hard Working Americans

For it’s eclecticism, access to National Forest activities, family-friendly vibe, and overall intimate environment in which to experience some of the top touring acts in the world, Targhee Fest is arguably the most anticipated regional festival of the summer each year.

Celebrating its 10th Anniversary, Targhee Fest will deliver a spectacular lineup this weekend. The three-day fest kicks-off on Friday with local folk/soul duo Benyaro, followed by New Orleans blue-rock supergroup Royal Southern Brotherhood, which includes soul singer/percussionist Cyril Neville, Devon Allman, Mike Zito, Yonrico Scott and bassist Charlie Wooton. The Wood Brothers trio continues the blues-rock vibe before handing the stage over to masterful guitar legend Buddy Guy, now seventy-eight years young! The Trap Bar late show on Friday will feature Americana-rockers Jeff Crosby & the Refugees ($5).

If only to catch one day of the fest, I’d be partial to Saturday for its six-act stack of varying acts. Seven and eight-string guitarist Charlie Hunter will appear with longtime collaborator and drummer Scott Amendola. Over the next four months, the duo is releasing four five-track EPs, each focusing on the music of a particular artist such as Cole Porter and Hank Williams. Cult alt-country artist Robert Earl Keen will be followed by Americana songstress Amy Helm (daughter of The Band’s Levon Helm) and the Handsome Strangers.

Tedeschi Trucks Band

Tedeschi Trucks Band

Also Saturday, another band of ace players from other successful groups, The Hard Working Americans are a roots-rock and country cover band featuring witty frontman Todd Snider, Dave Schools (of Widespread Panic), guitarist Neal Casal (of Ryan Adams & the Cardinals), keyboardist Chad Staehly, and drummer Duane Trucks. The much-anticipated Chris Robinson Brotherhood, which also includes Casal, will ramp up the evening with material from their three studio albums before headliner Big Head Todd and the Monsters close the day. The Trap Bar late show on Saturday will feature rock band Musketeer Gripweed ($10).

As for the four bands on Sunday, you may remember seven-piece powerhouse soul band Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds from Jackson Hole Live a few years ago. They will kick off the day followed by the familiar faces of Nicki Bluhm and The

10th Annual Targhee Fest Lineup

10th Annual Targhee Fest Lineup

Gramblers, a band that music connoisseurs have seen develop into an infectious unit over the last few years. The third supergroup of the weekend, Trigger Hippy, is fronted by singer Joan Osborne and also includes Black Crowes drummer Steve Gorman and multitasker Jackie Greene. The monster of monster bands these days, ten-piece closer Tedeschi Trucks Band, is a phenomenal experience in terms of big band dynamic soul-rock. There’s no better husband-and-wife combination when it comes to the grit of Susan Tedeschi and slide virtuoso Derek Trucks. The Trap Bar late show on Sunday will feature the Americana roots-rock of The Hooligans (free).  10th Annual Targhee Fest, Friday through Sunday at Grand Targhee Resort. $55-$65/daily, $159-$175/three-day. GrandTarghee.com for full schedule and ticketing.

Read More