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jackson hole music blog

Alex and the XO’s

Posted on Oct 14, 2014

(this piece was published by Planet JH Weekly)

Alex_XOsIndie-pop and alternative quintet Alex and the XO’s formed at Illinois State University in 2011. Backed by Ryan Ristucci (guitar, vocals), Trenton Perry (mandolin), Storm Angone (bass), and Joe Brandenburger (drums), front woman Alexandra Fisher (lead vocals, ukulele, guitar) brings an articulated, Alanis Morissette vocal delivery of jangly pop melodies and at times, rock n roll energy. Venturing west for what looks like their first tour in the area, the XO’s have a spectrum of haunting to catchy tunes for their Jackson debut. Alex and the XO’s, 10 p.m. Tuesday at Pinky G’s. Free. 733-1500.

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Sub Pop songstress Sera Cahoone in Pinedale

Posted on Oct 8, 2014

(this piece was published by Planet JH Weekly)
sera cahooneOriginally a drummer that had been writing songs on guitar since high school, thirty-nine year-old Sera Cahoone is an anomaly in the singer-songwriter world. The Sub Pop artist migrated from Colorado to Seattle in 1998 to open a snowboard/skateboard shop, though quickly transitioned into the music scene. She played drums with several bands including Carrisa’s Weird, singer-songwriter Patrick Park, and on Band of Horses’ seminal debut, Everything All the Time. Cahoone released her solo, self-titled debut in 2006 followed by her Sub Pop debut, 2008′s Only As The Day Is Long.

Cahoone’s sound falls closest to indie-folk with ample breathing room and a patient, broad stroke approach to song delivery. Her introspective, emotionally-open lyrics are important modes of expression for the self-admitted introvert. Words are her transport. There’s a sweetness to her laidback, melodious approach in which the vocal itself contains all of the surprise. It’s through this instrument, her voice, that she maintains a stout

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When the fishin’ is good, the livin’ is easy

Posted on Oct 6, 2014

Snake River fine-spotted Cutthroat

Snake River fine-spotted Cutthroat

It’s usually this time of year – when the aspens are a golden hue and the trout bite is aggressive – that reflections of a Wyoming summer are covered in dusting or even several feet of snow. Not this year. A Native American summer will extend into mid-October here in the Hole, and it feels a little like the days of my youth in ole Kentuck. Last year’s bulky winter combined with unusual bouts of rainy weather has made for superb fishing conditions since last March. Thanks to the folks in the local fishing scene that have provided the advice (Tyler at Orvis Jackson Hole) and to these great Jackson Hole Fishing Reports: Boots Allen’s report at Snake River Anglers and JB’s report at Fish the Fly. In my experience, this has been the best year of fishing since moving to JH in 2001. Cheers to trout hunting and music pickin’!

 

 

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Q&A with Wyoming Public Radio’s Grady Kirkpatrick

Posted on Sep 30, 2014

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

Grady Kirkpatrick (center) with the 2014 WYOmericana Caravan

Grady Kirkpatrick (center) with the 2014 WYOmericana Caravan

Reflecting the colorful character of the state while keeping a finger on the national pulse, the glue to Wyoming’s music scene is Wyoming Public Radio (WPR). WPR Program Director and Morning Music host Grady Kirkpatrick took the reigns in December of 2007. Kirkpatrick has added a significant boon to the community-minded, artist-driven, non-formulaic regional radio experience. With WPR’s on-air fund drive that began last Saturday, Kirkpatrick discusses station happenings and what’s to come.

Aaron Davis: Morning Music has hosted more live bands and musicians in the studio during last couple of years. Is this a reflection of WPR’s willingness to have more live music, or is there more demand from bands that reach out?

Grady Kirkpatrick: Live music has always been a part of Morning Music and we’ve been fortunate to have more national and regional musicians coming through the area wanting to play on both Morning Music and the Ranch Breakfast Show. We are lucky to have many talented musicians in Wyoming and all over the region. WPR has hosted artists that are playing the Live at Dennison Lodge music series in Dubois. We would love to bring in more national touring musicians that play in Denver, Jackson and Salt Lake, and route through Laramie. We just added eTown to our schedule Saturdays at 1 p.m. It’s a music performance program based in Boulder, CO so there’s an opportunity to collaborate with them to bring in musicians in for live or recorded performance.

AD: What is the benefit of having live, in-studio bands performing as opposed to just spinning their latest album on-air?

GK: Most musicians have good stories to tell about their music or their inspiration behind the music. I think our listeners appreciate hearing “live radio” and in-studio performances along with

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Nasty phunk in the Commons

Posted on Aug 20, 2014

(this piece was published by Planet JH Weekly)

photo: Michael Weintrob

photo: Michael Weintrob

Drawing on mastery of all of the tools that make funk music what it is, Dumpstaphunk is a self-assured, borderline supergroup that is at least supercharged. The term supergroup has worn to dilution when considering some past projects, though Dumpstaphunk does not fall into the disappointing side of putting a batch of seasoned players together.

The musically pedigreed quintet includes Ivan and Ian Neville, the sons of Aaron and Art Neville respectively. Ivan has performed with a slew of stars including Rufus and Keith Richards, while Ian cut his teeth in the Neville Brothers Band. D-phunk drummer/vocalist Nikki Glaspie backed Beyonce in the early years, while the double-bass player attack (yes, two basses!) of Tony Hall and Nick Daniels III bring plenty of soul while adding plenty of junk to the trunk. The bottom line is this: the idea of a heavy, pulsing

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Black Mother Jones

Posted on Aug 20, 2014

(this piece was published by Planet JH Weekly)

BlackMotherJonesTenaciously distorted, energetic and rockin’ the roll, local quartet Black Mother Jones isn’t scared to also dip a heavy foot into modern garage-y terrain, even hip-hop. The band has flown under-the-radar for much of the summer, unshackling from the woodshed for his August run of shows which included an opening slot at last week’s final Music on Main, another great support slot this week at Concert on the Commons this Sunday with Dumpstaphunk, as well as the band’s lone headlining show of the summer—a collaborative public party with Cycle Greater Yellowstone at the Mangy Moose this Saturday.

“Taylor [Upton] and I are continuing to write and hone more refined songs and arrangements which we can’t wait to bring life into over the next year,” said lead guitarist/harmony singer Leif Routman. “We really are a band that loves to improvise, and that shines in our live setting. We also include a huge variety of covers from genres hip hop to 80′s metal to jazz fusion, not to mention trying out new unrecorded originals. And we like to make people dance!”

BMJ released its studio debut in 2013, Prepared for Nasty Weather, which was voted Best Original Album by Planet Jackson Hole readers. Black Mother Jones, 9:30 p.m. Saturday at the Mangy Moose in Teton Village. $5. MangyMoose.com.

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Jazz on the Green

Posted on Aug 20, 2014

(this piece was published by Planet JH Weekly)

PamPhillipsFor those in search of a laidback family vibe with quality local jazz in an outdoor setting, pull up to Jazz on the Green featuring pianist/vocalist Pam Drews Phillips along with vocalist Nicole Madison and Friends. Bring a blanket or chair, pack a picnic, or buy dinner from Cafe Genevieve’s food truck. Jazz on the Green with Pam Phillips, Nicole Madison and Friends, 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday on the lawn of St. John’s Episcopal Church. Free, all-ages. StJohnsJackson.diowy.org.   

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Targhee Bluegrass Fest celebrates #27

Posted on Aug 5, 2014

(this piece was published by Planet JH Weekly)

Tim O'Brien & Darrell Scott

Tim O’Brien & Darrell Scott

By my acute calculations, the climax of summer music offerings is this week. Get it while it’s hot! If you’re not juiced for this year’s Targhee Bluegrass Festival lineup, maybe you just need some stronger coffee. It would be difficult to pick just one of the three days, but in case you must, here’s a daily fly-by.

Friday opens with hard-driving North Carolina string band Town Mountain at 4 p.m. I caught this quintet at Bear Trap Festival last summer, and they’re traditional goodness with lead singer Robert Greer leading the charge with an IBMA Momentum Award for “Vocalist of the Year.” Jayme Stone’s Lomax Project will follow, focused on songs collected by folklorist and field recording pioneer Alan Lomax. Tim O’Brien and Darrell Scott have a terrific new album, We’re Usually A Lot Better Than This, and have been hitting the

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