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jackson hole music blog

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

Posted on Nov 27, 2016

guitarlessons

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 ad@aarondavismusic.com.

Instruction on multiple instruments

Aaron Davis; ad@aarondavismusic.com, 307-413-2513. Teaches a wide range of guitar styles including finger picking, slide, soloing and strumming while singing from Three Hearted Recording Studio. Also offering songwriting assistance, intro to mandolin, music production and recording services in a mountainside cabin setting.

Jackson Hole Music Store; 307-201-1700, jacksonholemusicstore@gmail.com. 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, dpbundy@hotmail.com. Teaches drum set, bass guitar and guitar Monday through Thursday at his home studio in Driggs, Idaho.

Jack Tolan; jack.tolan@gmail.com. Private and small group lessons on guitar, bass, mandolin, and ukulele. All ages.

Susan Jones; sunami11@hotmail.com. Piano, guitar and ukulele lessons in Wilson and at

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Motherload Halloween soundtrack

Posted on Oct 27, 2016

(this piece was published by Planet Jackson Hole)
Dean Ween Group at the Pink Garter Saturday

Dean Ween Group & The Meat Puppets at the Pink Garter Saturday

...Also Ben Folds, Moon Hooch, Teton Serenade, Sneaky Pete, Chanman Roots Band, Wyatt Lowe and beyond

The mass of music offerings for this Halloween weekend is unprecedented. This is off-season?!

The Deaner, Dean Ween, Michael “Mickey” Melchiondo, Jr.—he’s all the same beast of a guitarist, vocalist, songwriter and yes, a fishing guide. I first heard his international cult band Ween in 1992 on a mix tape, the same tape that introduced me to Phish. In 1984, Deaner co-founded Ween as a middle school student with Aaron Freeman (Gene Ween) in New Hope, Pennsylvania. This weekend, he’ll bring his Dean Ween Group, which includes the touring members of Ween except Gene. The super double-bill pairs them with The Meat Puppets courtesy of KHOL, Jackson’s community radio station.

Seeing Ween three times in the late ‘90s was as mind warping as listening to The Pod (1991) or Pure Guava (1992), two of their nine strikingly non-mainstream studio albums that are like nothing I’ve heard before or since. Deaner’s fresh release Oct. 21, The Deaner Album, brings his love of classic guitar rock to fourteen tunes including four instrumentals, and sound waves that echo cracked country and the quirky mix of soul, funk, metal and punk that has defined his career.

“After Ween [took a four-year hiatus in 2012], I put my guitar down for almost a year,” Deaner says in a press release (he hasn’t given a proper interview in years according to his publicist). “I’ll never do that again. I’m so into practicing and writing and being good at my craft right now. I’m back in playoff shape. I write and play and record all day, every day, and I’m going to keep it there for the rest of my life.”

At times, The Deaner Album plays out, like a Ween discography bookend with splashes of digital backing drum tracks, the same way Ween performed as a duo for over a decade. And, of course, there’s some ridiculously hilarious subject matter (“Exercise Man,” “Bundle of Joy”) and other surprises like “SchwartzePete”—a tight instrumental and loving tribute to Les Paul, originally written long ago for a TV pilot with Deaner playing all of the instruments. Moreover, it’s a trippy set of accessible guitar-inspired anthems. The biggest change for Deaner was moving into his own studio, converted from an old

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Go Out West Fest, young man

Posted on Aug 23, 2016

OutWestFestSummer_poster_web (1)

“I headed west to grow up with the country,” sang Gram Parsons in his song “Return of the Grievous Angel,” a cult-classic recorded in 1973. The concept comes from the phrase “go west, young man,” based on the concept of Manifest Destiny and America’s expansion westward.

The regional bands of Sunday’s Out West Fest—Birdhunter, Patrick Chadwick, Screen Door Porch, and organizers Canyon Kids—know the feeling of chasing dreams westward. From nearly top to bottom, the bill is full of musicians that journeyed west in their early twenties to find opportunity and access to the mountains they’d dreamed of. The music followed. The brainchild of duo-led Canyon Kids, the fest signals another Rocky Mountain summer in the books, yet brings together four acts that are forging paths of their own in a rural pocket of the country.

"I first headed West to check out America and our National Parks...explore and adventure and have opportunities to do exactly what I want with my time," said Canyon Kids vocalist/rhythm guitarist Bo Elledge. "I had spent time in other gorgeous places doing seasonal work but this place has more sense of community and a welcoming music scene."

What sets these acts apart and what ties them together is the emphasis on creating a sound of their own through song craft, and interacting with piers that share a similar zest for the mountain-musician lifestyle. The fest was inspired in part by the WYOmericana Caravan Tour, which Screen Door Porch and Canyon Kids linked up for in 2015. Collaborative encores and cross-band collaborations were a staple of the tour, and Out West Fest embodies this tradition that often produces moments that could never be rehearsed, nor replicated.

Pinedale duo Birdhunter opens the show. Samantha Rise (vocals, ukulele) and Ryan Ptasnik (drums, keyboard bass) have a refreshing sound meshing jazz, folk, soul and early blues sensibilities. Patrick Chadwick has had a prolific run as of late, releasing his terrific Soul of Mine EP earlier this year as well as a collaborative EP with Victor Pokorny, Stay! Positive!, which was released digitally on iTunes etc. just last week. Roots-rock/Americana band Screen Door Porch will stage a quintet after a run of festivals and before entering the studio to record a fourth album. Canyon Kids will close the day with their six-piece version of the band, which often nudges subtle acoustic moments to a rockin’ bang. Last year’s release Best Loved Poems of the American People was one of my favorite albums of 2015.

Out West Fest featuring Canyon Kids, Screen Door Porch, Patrick Chadwick, and Birdhunter, 5 p.m. at Village Commons. Free, all-ages. OutWestFest.org.

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Shakey Graves returns with fellow Austinites Calliope Musicals

Posted on May 24, 2016

Shakey Graves performs at the Americana Music Association Showcase at Gatsby's during SXSW on March 14, 2014, in Austin, TX. (Erika Goldring Photo)

For a just a regular dude that’s turned into a big deal, Shakey Graves aka Alejandro Rose-Garcia is not that normal, creatively speaking. His hometown of Austin knows what’s up. The city’s mayor at the time proclaimed Feb. 9, 2012 as Shakey Graves Day, which the twenty-six year old has utilized over the years as his own indie release date. For three days, he puts all of his music on Bandcamp for free downloads, and every year he releases a unique EP, unreleased material, or live album. After three days, the freebies disappear until the next year. Well played, sir.

“I think the way that my music has been absorbed is pretty much through Internet culture for the most part,” Rose-Garcia told The 13th Floor in March. “It’s less of album sales and radio play, and more of YouTube hunting and word of mouth, and I feel like that’s an inherently younger way of acquiring music in the first place.”

Shakey Graves performed last year on the Jackson Hole Live outdoor stage—solo and as a power trio. His solo tunes included a Gibson hollow body electric while singing and playing a suitcase kick drum that was positioned behind him and played with the heel of his

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Unprecedented: An Evening with Luther Dickinson, Rich Robinson, Ivan Neville, and Robert Randolph

Posted on Jan 13, 2016

(this piece was published by Planet Jackson Hole)
Luther Dickinson

Luther Dickinson

It’s audacious to call this Friday’s concert—billed as An Evening with Luther Dickinson, Rich Robinson, Ivan Neville, and Robert Randolph—as one of the best bills of the year. It’s only mid-January, and there are eleven and a half months left to go. Take into consideration, though, the Dickinson-led North Mississippi Osborne set at the recent Fireman’s Ball, Randolph’s crushing set at Jackson Hole Live, or better yet, the fact that this is a rare one-off collaboration of high-caliber musicians that have never shared the same stage as a unit. Don’t assume the typical concert experience, either. Much of the magic will be made on the spot, with reciprocating vibes determining the next variation.

Ivan Neville

Ivan Neville

“Shannon [McCormick, Programming Director at Center for the Arts] saw Southern Soul Assembly—which is JJ Grey, Marc Broussard, Anders Osborne and myself—which actually inspired this show we’re doing in Jackson Hole,” explained Dickinson. “So Shannon and I got to talking and he was like ‘Man, let’s do something like that,’ so we kept poking around to get the right lineup. I’ve played with all of the cats on this bill in different incarnations, but never

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