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jackson hole music blog

MURS’s Have a Nice Life Tour

Posted on Oct 13, 2015

(this piece was published by Planet Jackson Hole)

MURSAs a kid, L.A. rapper MURS was a skateboarder and video gamer that grew up around Crips gang members. His love of both geek and hip-hop culture made for a relatable mix of lyrics to each subculture. As a teenager, he hustled his music hand-to-hand on the streets for rent, leading to a stage name that is an acronym with multiple meanings including “Making the Universe Recognize and Submit” and “Making Underground Raw Shit.”

This past May, MURS released the debut album on his own Strange Music label, “Have a Nice Life.” This is following a stint with Warner Brothers that included a string of collaborative albums such as 2012’s “This Generation” with Fresno rapper Fashawn. MURS describes Strange Music as “a home for strong, original personalities.” He signed

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Songwriter’s Alley moves to Silver Dollar Showroom!

Posted on Sep 17, 2015

SongwriterAlley_Wort

Stoked to move into a 7-week residency at the Silver Dollar Showroom, Sept 16 – Oct 28! Such a great space for Songwriter’s Alley. Featured Songwriters for Fall 2015…

Sept 16 – Pat Chadwick
Sept 23 – Canyon Kids
Sept 30 – Tim Farris (of One Ton Pig)
Oct 7 – TBA
Oct 14 – Lauren Conrad (of Shark Week)
Oct 21 – Jessie Lestitian (of Shark Week)
Oct 28 – Seadar Rose (of Screen Door Porch)

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Silver Dollar Bar lusters with remodel

Posted on May 20, 2015

(this piece was published by Planet Jackson Hole)

Stage view render of the new Silver Dollar Bar room
Stage view render of the new Silver Dollar Bar room

Electrifying times at the historic Silver Dollar Bar in The Wort Hotel, where construction phase of a remodel has been in the works since mid-winter. The space itself has grown forty percent to the West, where a newly designed bandstand and dance floor sit in the former locale of the Silver Dollar Mercantile gift shop. A smaller replica of the current bar has been produced—original artwork and silver dollars included—that will face the stage in the Northwest corner of the new addition. Essentially, there will now be three rooms divided (or not) by partition walls—the original bar area to the East, the central room where the stage and dance floor were previously, and the West room, which will initially open on music nights only.

Acoustically and aesthetically, the Silver Dollar has, at times, been a challenge to produce a quality audio experience via “the box” where the previous stage used to sit. The area was soundproof, but not necessarilyconducive to the flow of sound. Speakers were flown in the main barroom a couple of years ago, which allowed sound to travel further without sacrificing certain frequencies. The latest room design is more open with speakers mounted not only above the stage, but also strategically tiered in the other two spaces in order to manage volume while allowing for sound to blanket the room. For what is arguably the venue with the most consistent dinner crowd that is also coupled with four nights of weekly live music, stepping up the audio/visual will likely prove to be a worthwhile investment.

With the new space also comes another weekly band residency, “Thursday Dance Party,” courtesy of Dixieland and jazz band Jackson Six, led by the infamous trombone troubadour John Kidwell. The devoted crew of swing dancers will surely appreciate this new night (debuting May 28), along with the new dance floor real estate.

To celebrate the Grand Re-Opening this Saturday, local country-soul band Bootleg Flyer will break in the new stage, adorned by a special horn section for the night. Silver Dollar Bar Grand Re-Opening with Bootleg Flyer, 7 to 11 p.m. Saturday. Free. 732-3939.

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Mike Dowling releases his 10th Album with Dornan’s show

Posted on Mar 24, 2015

(this piece was published by Planet JH Weekly)

MikeDowlingMike Dowling’s guitar playing is a delicacy. His brand of vintage blues, ragtime and bottleneck is not the raw slide attack of 1930’s-era Elmore James or Robert Johnson, but a rather refined, virtuosic approach that comes off the six string in a subtly smooth fashion. It’s no surprise, then, that his recordings are essentially as natural as the early style recordings—as in, minimal reverb, virtually no overdubbing, and occasional accompaniment. For his new LP, Tracks, it’s all about his resonator guitars, which are featured in ten of the eleven tracks ranging from instrumental tunes to his own vocal accompaniment. It’s a solo acoustic set with self-penned tunes matched to a variety of songs by Mississippi Fred McDowell, Irving Berlin and Bobby Charles. Mike Dowling Album Release Concert, 8 p.m. Friday at Dornan’s. $20 at Valley Bookstore, The Liquor Store and Dornan’s (733-2415). 

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Wood Smoke Rising from the Woodshed

Posted on Mar 3, 2015

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

WoodSmokeRising

Local up-and-comers Wood Smoke Rising have been woodshedding this winter, working on a debut LP of original material slated for a June release. Like several of the local traditional bluegrass outfits before them (Anne & Pete Sibley, The Flannel Attractions, Random Canyon Growlers), Wood Smoke Rising cut its teeth at the Jackson Hole Hootenanny jamming crowd favorites like “Lonesome Fiddle Blues” and “How Mountain Girls Can Love.” Guitarist/vocalist Mike Swanson, banjoist/vocalist Andy Gabel and Josh Metten founded the band in 2012, rounded out in 2013 by mandolin player Lucas Nash and followed by the addition upright bassist/vocalist Rob Sidle in 2014.

The progression from campfire stringband to gigging, writing and recording a full-length record has been a long time coming for

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