(a portion of this piece was published by Planet JH Weekly)
Many of us have ended up in Jackson from other corners of the country, serendipitously. Singer-songwriter Kory Quinn—who spent a summer working at Colter Bay a couple of years ago—ended up in Jackson after getting busted for marijuana in Cisco, Texas while on a road trip. He would go on to release the Angels and Outlaws EP in April of 2012 with a song that came out of that experience, as well as an album cover that captures Quinn and his band mate in jail stripes.
“The Sheriff of the jail, East Land County Jail, took the picture,” Quinn told Oregon Music News. “It’s a little more involved than just getting busted. We had a going away show and traded some illegal substance. I woke up the next morning and smoked on our way out of town and we were pulled over by the cops, who happened to have a K9. There’s so much more that goes into this but that’s the basics. ‘$2000 Song’ came to me while I was there.”
The Chicago native lived in Austin for a brief time, too, before settling in Portland, Oregon where he formed Kory Quinn and the Comrades while also maintaining his position as a high school Latin teacher. The band’s sound brings to mind another alt-country-rock-grass outfit, local six-piece One Ton Pig. Described by one reviewer as a “hobo intellectual,” Quinn’s recordings contain classic country elements with Americana flare.
“In Jackson, I was introduced to old country greats like Hank Williams, Bob Wills, the just-after-prohibition-era stuff,” he said.
Unlike some other bands with a comparable following, Quinn’s music is authentic and his voice can ramble above a rowdy train beat or croon with downbeat ragtime. His songwriting splices well-worn lyrical paths while executing singular twists to familiar melodic lines, a combination that this wandering troubadour has forged through two albums and an EP. Kory Quinn & the Comrades, 7:30 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Silver Dollar Bar. Free. 733-2190.