(a majority of this piece was published by Planet Jackson Hole)
There’s no better holiday to celebrate our country’s phenomenally massive development of American roots music than Independence Day. Homeland composition has been harvested through sheer liberation and liberty, expressing ideas, melodies and genres that never before existed. Whether you’re in Jackson, Teton Village, Victor, or Pinedale, there’s reason to grab a lawn chair, your favorite beverage, and let the colors fly.
Begin the festive week on at Music on Main in Victor City Park (6 to 10 p.m. Thursday, free, all-ages) featuring the earthy pop rock of California’s The Mother Hips, along with the gritty Americana and slide-induced country-blues of Screen Door Porch. The Mother Hips have been around for nearly twenty-five years, during which they developed a cult following for their rootsy mix of ‘70s rock and power pop, a dirty-yet-sweet approach that earned the attention of American Recordings Label founder Rick Rubin.
Friday, July 3 will feature music on two big outdoor stages—Jared and The Mill with Wyatt Lowe & The Mayhem Kings at Snow King Ball Field for Jackson Hole Live (5:30 p.m. Friday, free, all-ages) and The Delta Saints at Concert in the Commons in Teton Village (8 p.m. Friday, free, all-ages).
Jared and the Mill brings a sound reminiscent of Dawes meets The Lumineers—clear, introspective songwriting focused on the lyrics at hand with plenty of pop groove, strong vocal harmonies, and folk-rock elements. They wear nice jeans and have clean, non-rugged voices that while far from rock ‘n roll, holding certain sensibilities for those willing to get lost in story songs. As for seventeen year-old Wyatt Lowe and his veteran band, don’t miss a chance to see a young artist that continues to push his own envelope, evidenced on his debut release Songs from the Bottomless Well.
If raw blues-rock with gritty soul and gospel tickles your fancy, look no further than The Delta Saints, a Nashville-based quintet that takes guidance from heroes Jack White, My Morning Jacket, The Black Keys and Led Zeppelin. Their music is high-energy, which has taken them to Europe six times not to mention some quality festival stages in the U.S. like Wakarusa and Summerfest.
What is there to do on the 4th? If you are willing to drive Teton Pass, I’d steer towards the Knotty Pine’s 19th Annual God Bless American Pig Roast featuring Erin Harpe and the Delta Swingers, Lovewhip, Chanman Roots Band, Adam Ezra Group, and more (10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, free, all-ages). Not only is there continuously rad music all day, there will be 500 pounds of pork to be devoured!
Also on in Teton Valley, the City of Driggs has launched its own day-long celebration, featuring hot air balloons, bounce houses, face painting, dance performances, magicians, live music and more. The lineup includes Sweet Thursday (4 p.m.), Brian Pounds (5:15 p.m.), the Southern soul of singer-songwriter Wendy Colonna (6:30 p.m.), and a closing set my alt-country sextet Major Zephyr (8:30 to 10 p.m.), followed by fireworks (3:30 to 10:30 p.m. Saturday in downtown Driggs, free, all-ages).
If you want to keep it local, and that goes for the music as well, Jackson Hole Live will feature alt-grass folk-rock purveyors One Ton Pig with indie-soul duo Benyaro at Snow King Ball Field (5:30 p.m. Saturday, free, all-ages), followed by fireworks. A Latin/Salsa dance party will lift off at Concert in the Commons in Teton Village with Calle Mambo as well as Jazz Foundation of JH Big Band (4 p.m. Saturday, free, all-ages). The music starts up with the Jazz Foundation, followed by Grand Teton Music Festival’s classical-based Music in the Hole audio feed (6 to 8 p.m.), with a closing set by Calle Mambo (8 to 10 p.m.), and a fireworks show as a grand finale (10 p.m.).
Late night revelers are in store for an all-out funk party courtesy of Sneaky Pete & the Secret Weapons at Town Square Tavern (10 p.m. Saturday, $10). The grooving dance-folk sextet just did a five-week loop of the Northwest supporting its album debut, Breakfast, which charted recently at #16 on Jambands.com Radio Chart. For an alternative after the Fireworks at Snow King, walk up to Haydens Post for the peaceful acoustic folk of The WyKnotts (8 to 11 p.m., Saturday, free, all-ages).
A honkytonk holiday is in store for Pinedale’s annual 4th of July picnic at American Legion Park. The Pinedale Fine Arts Council will present Rosie & the Ramblers along with Pinedale-based punk grass quartet, Green River Steamboat (5 p.m. Saturday, free, all-ages).
Experience your personal independence and stay safe.