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jackson hole music blog

Mandy Rowden’s Bad Habits

Posted on Mar 24, 2015

MandyRowdenSinger-songwriter Mandy Rowden was one of the hardest working musicians that I met during my time in Austin, Texas. The songstress and multi-instrumentalist, who also founded and runs the successful instructional school Girl Guitar Austin, just released These Bad Habits, a solo album featuring Austin staples Lloyd Maines, Bard Rice and Redd Volkaert. Rowden wrote all eleven tracks on the album including the song “Haunt You,” co-written with Billy Abel.

Growing up, Rowden’s musical diet had been limited to gospel and classical, the only sounds allowed in her East Texas family’s fundamentalist Baptist household, where she was home-schooled through eighth grade.Rowden picked up a guitar in high school, and was introduced to Americana while studying English and Film at Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State). That led her to, as she puts it, “quit the classical scene,” and find her own voice. And what a voice it is, both lyrically and literally. Rowden possesses gorgeously nuanced vocals, which she wraps easily around verses baring emotions at once intensely personal and fully relatable.

“Like most chick songwriters, I’ve been guilty of writing heavily about my thoughts and feelings on relationships,” she admits. “And my response is, ‘Screw it, it’s what I’m feeling, so it’s what I’ll write!’ Love and love lost are some seriously universal topics, so I don’t see them going out of style any time soon.” Mandy Rowden, 9 p.m. Monday at Town Square Tavern. Free. 733-3886.

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The Rendezvous Fest takeover: Robert Earl Keen, Mix Master Mike, Franti, Lukas Nelson, Screen Door Porch…

Posted on Mar 17, 2015

(this piece was published by Planet JH Weekly)

Rendezvous Fest Schedule
**All Shows are free
Thursday, March 19 (Tram Stage, 3 p.m.) – Screen Door Porch
Friday, March 20 (Jackson Town Square Stage, 5 p.m.) – Robert Earl Keen, Jason Spooner Band, Wyatt Lowe & the Mayhem Kings
Saturday, March 21 (Tram Stage, 3 p.m.)  – Sneaky Pete & the Secret Weapons
Saturday, March 21 (Rendezvous at the Mountain at Teton Village Parking Lot, 5:30 p.m.) – Mix Master Mike, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Mandatory Air
Sunday, March 22 (Tram Stage, 2 p.m.) – Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, Chanman Roots Band

Mix Master Mike

Mix Master Mike

Rendezvous Fest brings warm spring weather

When the man behind the crime-spree song “The Road Goes on Forever (and the Party Never Ends)” tells you that he’s “had some killer times in Jackson” and “had the worst hangover of [his] life there thanks to [his] good friend Kip Attaway and that madman Don Wackerman,” there’s reason to believe that our small community holds some late night memories for him. Building on legendary, Texas singer-songwriter Robert Earl Keen is a hard-edged story man, capable of engulfing you in the intricacies of a moment, a social situation, a feeling, and do it within the context of a five minute tune.

Robert Earl Keen's band

Robert Earl Keen’s band

For much of his eighteen-album career, beginning with No Kinda Dancer [1984/Sugar Hill], Keen has been able to balance this sensitive story telling (“Corpus Christi Bay”) with rowdy barroom sing-a-longs (“That Buckin’ Song”)—all the while contributing to the what would emerge as the genre of alt-country sometime around 1998. His introduction into the Texas Heritage Songwriters Hall of Fame puts him alongside

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Couch by Couchwest premieres the latest Screen Door Porch video “Chasin’ Homesteader Blues”

Posted on Mar 17, 2015


SXSW is so 2008 :-/ Yesterday, Couch By Couchwest premiered a new SDP video (2 of 3 in the series) for “Chasin’ Homesteader Blues,” an Aaron/Seadar co-write from Modern Settler. This was a rare opportunity for the band to film at the National Elk Refuge, on the PORCH of the historic Miller House — one of the first homesteading sites built in 1885. The Miller Ranch represents the coming together of settlement, ranching and conservation in Jackson Hole. Thanks to Christie Quinn for the brilliant lens work and Lori Iverson at the Refuge for advising. Plenty of elk showed up for the session and a bald eagle loomed overhead in a tree during the entire shoot!

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Under the Tram Series + Rendezvous Fest

Posted on Mar 3, 2015

(this piece was published by Planet JH Weekly)

Music Under the Tram & Rendezvous Fest Lineup 2015
**All shows are free and begin at 3 p.m. on the Tram Stage at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort unless noted
Saturday, March 7 – One Ton Pig
Saturday, March 14 – Major Zephyr
Thursday, March 19 – Screen Door Porch
Friday, March 20 (Town of Jackson stage) – Robert Earl Keen, Jason Spooner, Wyatt Lowe
Saturday, March 21 (before Rendezvous Fest Main Event) – Sneaky Pete & the Secret Weapons
Saturday, March 21 (Rendezvous Fest Stage) – Michael Franti & Spearhead, Mix Master Mike
Sunday, March 22 – 2 p.m. Chanman Roots Band, 4 p.m. Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real
Saturday, March 28 – Lazy Eyes
Saturday, April 4 – Moonalice
Sunday, April 5 (Closing Day) – Mandatory Air

Mix Master Mike

Mix Master Mike

Even if powder days haven’t been stacked within our weekly schedule as of late, come early March, there’s always reprieve with Music Under the Tram (March 7-April 5) and the accompanying Rendezvous Fest (March 19-22) at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. Reasons to trek out to the Village become celebratory and social, complimented with an eclectic mix of local, regional and national talent to close your weekends as shadows capsulate the Tetons. Keep in mind that there will be an entry gate into the outdoor venue where outside alcohol, food and dogs will not be allowed. Enjoy March Radness!

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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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Screen Door Porch gets Bonnie Bramlett’s stamp of approval for “Poor Elijah/Tribute to Johnson”

Posted on Mar 3, 2015

In a series of events that recently blew our minds, Bonnie Bramlett (of Delaney & Bonnie) laid her eyes and ears on the this new Screen Door Porch video “Poor Elijah/Tribute to Johnson” (a cover of the tune from the album On the Road with Eric Clapton, the 3rd album by Delaney & Bonnie). Bonnie was kind enough to re-post the video and comment via The Legendary Bonnie BramlettFacebook page: “Feel so honored I just love these kids!! I love the tone of this girl’s voice she’s so unique and I love the choices they made for the video everything about this project reeks of intense feeling. very very good I’m honored truly.”
Thanks Bonnie. You’re a hero.

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Dirty Birds late night at The Trap

Posted on Feb 25, 2015

(this piece was published by Planet JH Weekly)

SisterSparrow

Soul queen Arleigh Kincheloe, a.k.a Sister Sparrow, commands the stage with body language that is both sly and stirring, coupled with a boundless voice that draws you into her infectious smolder. Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds is a powerful ensemble, trimmed in the last couple of years from an eight-piece to a sextet featuring Arleigh’s brother, Jackson, on harmonica, backed by a tight conglomeration of guitar, bass, trumpet and baritone sax.

SisterSparrow_bandJamming the Fight EP from fall of 2013, there’s a heavy sense of funky Memphis soul adorned by a raspy vocal style that can push the limits to an Aretha Franklin-inspired sound. Or, you can just layback and let this ultra-talented band turn the energy to eleven through epic song arrangements. In the live setting, the band can also dig into

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West Coast triple hop: Zion I, Los Rakas & Locksmith

Posted on Feb 25, 2015

(this piece was published by Planet JH Weekly)

zionIThe underground movement of DIY-minded, independent emcees in the Bay Area has somewhat faded since Zion I arose from the scene nearly twenty years ago. Though lacking the mainstream success they sought, mixing spiritualism with hip-hop and trip-hop beats while focusing on positivity in their lyrics has created a cult following for the duo. MC Zumbi and DJ/producer Amp Live have remained not only social conscious, but wide reaching in their choice of

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