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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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Canyon Kids tap American poets for sophomore album

Posted on Sep 23, 2015

(this piece was published by Planet Jackson Hole)

cover“Out where the sun is a little brighter/Where the snows that fall are a trifle whiter, Where the bonds of home are a wee bit tighter/That’s where the West begins.

Out where the skies are a trifle bluer/Out where the friendship’s a little truer, That’s where the West begins.”

~Excerpt from the poem and song, “Out Where The West Begins”

Canyon Kids—the creative collaboration of vocalist/guitarist Bo Elledge and multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Dusty Nichols—released their sophomore album, “Best Loved Poems of the American People,” last Friday. The eleven-month project was tracked at Teton Artlab with the help of a grant from CSA Jackson Hole. Using only four microphones and a modest recording setup, Nichols engineered the recording. The range of local studio guests included John Wayne Harris Jr. (drums), Jake Green (drums), Adam Woolley (electric bass), Matt Herron (fiddle), Bobby Griffith (trumpet), Leif Routman (upright bass), Sheena Dinesh (bassoon), Madelaine German (keys), Wyatt Lowe (lap steel), and The String Lake Quartet.

The album’s concept involved interpreting American poems by composing music to complement the words. The hooky album single, “Out Where The West Begins,” is borrowed from a poem that was first published in 1917 by Arthur Chapman. On the track, Herron delicately weaves fiddle around Elledge’s husky croon, with a rollicking outro allowing Nichols to cut loose on

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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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Rising Appalachia: Earthy, tribal folk

Posted on Sep 15, 2015

(this piece was published by Planet Jackson Hole)

Rising_Appalachia

The history of the Appalachian region is rich with the old-time music days of yore. From the pre-banjo and pre-guitar era of the early 1800s when solo fiddle tunes kept the rhythms tight, to the inclusion of the banjo after 1860, and onto the popularity of the guitar beginning in 1910, the sounds and arrangements have constantly evolved.

Enter the tandem duo of delicate and weaving voices that is Rising Appalachia, featuring sisters Leah and Chloe Smith, and backed by guitarist/bassist David Brown and pan-cultural percussionist Biko Casini. Born in Atlanta, former Asheville, North Carolina residents and currently dwelling in New Orleans, the Smith sisters grew up on “Appalachian lullabies at night and soul music for breakfast” while also being trained in classical and jazz piano. The sound that has risen from the ashes of their

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World’s Finest at Teton Mountain Bike Fest

Posted on Sep 2, 2015

(this piece was published by Planet Jackson Hole)
WorldsFinest
Grand Targhee Resort hosts Bike Fest, bands, clinics & more

On paper, the drifting imagination may have a hard time relating to a sound that claims “ska-Americana-dub-grass.” The equation of folksy guitar strumming, skanky dance beats, funky horn soloing, a dynamic electric banjo, and vocal melodies borrowed from classic reggae are an anomaly on their own. The bar of expectations is raised to its fullest when a band calls themselves World’s Finest.

As evidenced on its third studio effort, “Headwaters,” the band is engaging and compositionally stimulating. The greatest progression from its debut album, “33,” is the Avett Brothers-inspired vocal arrangements by guitarist Chris Couch, banjoist Dan Hurley, and saxophonist Sean McClean. The harmonic formula does wonders for the type of feel good music that steers away from the righteous lyrics of classic reggae acts in favor of contemporary storytelling of travel and love. In the live set, they’re also not scared to throw in a classic ‘90’s cover like Freak Nasty’s “Da Dip.”

World’s Finest will be entertaining at the four-day 6th Annual Teton Mountain Bike Festival at Grand Targhee Resort, which was rated the number one bike park in the Northwest by MTBParks.com. From group rides, adaptive clinics, jump parks and 2016 bike demos, to point-to-point cross country racing like the twenty-five mile Super D, the fest has something to offer for every type of rider. Find more information about the bike fest at TetonMountainBikeFest.tvtap.org.

World’s Finest, 7:30 p.m. Saturday at The Trap Bar at Grand Targhee Resort. Local classic rock band Rock Creek plays 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Trap. Free, all-ages. GrandTarghee.com.

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Jerry Joseph & the Jackmormons get reboot

Posted on Sep 2, 2015

(this piece was published by Planet Jackson Hole)

JerryJackmormonsJerry Joseph’s public story of beating a heroin addiction and passing through discouraging times explains the rough edge in his personality, and in his cathartic lyricism. His philosophy of substance over production textures with respect to songcraft is an attribute Joseph links to the sharp contemporary songwriters that he respects—Elvis Costello, Warren Zevon, Tim Bluhm, and Nick Lowe.

Joseph paid his dues with reggae rockers Little Women in the mid-‘80s, which also included guitarist Steve Kimoch for a brief era, of whom he’s been playing duo gigs with as of late. Joseph described Little Women as “a mash-up of Burning Spear and the Grateful Dead dressed up like the New York Dolls.” Jam giants Widespread Panic were big fans of the band, adopting some of Joseph’s tunes as staples in their own sets—“North,” “Chainsaw City,” and “Climb to Safety.”

Joseph was named to the Oregon Music Hall of Fame this year, corresponding nicely as his band The Jackmormons celebrate twenty years. The current band lineup includes longtime collaborators Steve Drizos on drums, bassist Steve James Wright, and another great songwriter/guitarist in Jeff Crosby, which has made a name for himself in the region—first with jamband Equal Eyes, and more recently with his Americana/rock project Jeff Crosby & the Refugees.

I’ve been waving the banner of this kid Jeff Crosby for a couple of years now,” Joseph told Jambase last fall. “I put out his record and I think he’s the real deal. I don’t know if playing with me is the smartest move he could make [laughs] but he’s fucking awesome.”

Jerry Joseph & the Jackmormons, 10 p.m. Wednesday at Town Square Tavern. $10. 733-3886.

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28th Annual Grand Targhee Bluegrass Festival

Posted on Aug 5, 2015

(this Cover Story was published by Planet Jackson Hole)

Lake Street Dive

Lake Street Dive

The fusion of old timers and newcomers. The updating and preservation of tradition. The human eagerness of gathering with a like-minded tribe to revel in movements of acoustic music. Welcome to the 28th Annual Grand Targhee Bluegrass Festival. No mammoth Telluride Fest or the 78,000 people that gather at Merlefest, just slopeside simplicity with a few thousand compatible folks. Legend states that Chief Targhee was crucial in keeping the peace between white men and his tribesman. Allow Grand Targhee Resort to accentuate what is quintessential to the mountain lifestyle — peaceful intimacy and spatial goodness, prime camping and nearby accommodations, high-altitude beauty, access to National Forest activities and, of course, good company.

“This festival’s resiliency really is a testament to Geordie’s commitment,” festival talent buyer Tom Garnsey said during an interview with The Planet in 2009, referring to Targhee’s owner George “Geordie” N. Gillett III. “We’ve paced ourselves over the years, [as is] the American way, instead of finding some corporation to come in and make a seven-stage mess out of the place.”

Festival culture with respect to concert bills has long intrigued, especially when it comes to bluegrass. Just like the ole saying, “there’s nothing like a Grateful Dead show,” there’s also nothing like a bluegrass festival where “pickin’ tunes” extend beyond the mirage of main stage acts into the adjacent family-friendly campgrounds, parking lot jam circles and the first-rate Targhee Music Camp. The traditional musical language that has developed in bluegrass is comparable to

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JH Live: Shakey Graves + Turnpike Troubadours

Posted on Aug 5, 2015

(this piece was published by Planet Jackson Hole)

Shakey Graves

Shakey Graves

The hottest double-bill of the season could be upon us: Shakey Graves and Turnpike Troubadours at Jackson Hole Live. Here’s the scoop on the two acts that are currently on fire, all-the-rage and drawing hordes of Americana fans:

Singer-songwriter Alejandro Rose-Garcia, a.k.a. Shakey Graves, first grabbed the attention of indie music fans with his 2011 album “Roll the Bones,” which became one of Bandcamp.com’s best-selling and most-streamed offerings. His splice of blues, country and rock ‘n’ roll was presented in a lo-fi package, yet endearing to fans of such raw recordings. His 2014 sophomore release “And the War Came” took him from an up-and-coming Austin talent to a nationally renowned musician, and the album remained in the top 10 of the Americana Music Association’s airplay chart since its release last October.

All Shakey Graves albums have been available as name-your-price offerings ever since Austin’s then-mayor proclaimed Feb. 9, 2012 as “Shakey Graves Day,” which he has utilized over the years as

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