(this piece was published by Planet Jackson Hole)
Picking a New Year’s Eve party to ring-in sweet ’16 will be a fun endeavor in Jackson this year with lots of options to choose from. Do you want something close to your bed? A bluegrass hoedown? An EDM dance party? Mainstream country? A funk-nasty soul groove vibe? This year’s party menu is local-heavy, featuring a smattering of Teton County’s favorite party bands and a pair of traveling acts.
Starting on Town Square as we work our way West, it’s a band that has taken the region by storm over the last year. There’s good reason that groove-funk band Sneaky Pete & the Secret Weapons have found a homebase as Town Square Tavern’s go-to holiday and event band—they have that beat, that dance-party vibe with funky keys, a punchy horn, and doing it with an original stamp. Recently downsizing from a six-piece to a five-piece as drummer Zach Zimmereman left the band (now Station Manager at KHOL 89.1 FM) and Gregory Miles switched from perscussion to drum kit, The Weapons’s debut album “Breakfast” reached number five on the Relix Magazine/Jambands.com radio chart. Sneaky Pete & the Secret Weapons, 10 p.m. Thursday at Town Square Tavern. $15/advance, $20/day-of-show. 733-2886, 307Live.com.
A human jukebox band from Nashville, Beyond Control has a two-week stand at the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar. Popular country (The Judds), classic rock (Fleetwood Mac), and Top 40 (Lady Gaga, Lady Antebellum) are sure bets. Beyond Control, 9 p.m. Thursday at Million Dollar Cowboy Bar. $15. 733-2207.
If it’s alternative and outlaw country that shakes your boots, don’t look any further than Major Zephyr with guest Ben Winship. Zephyr alone is a highly talented outfit with top-notch soloists and a Johnny Cash-voiced frontman in Pete Muldoon. Add the Winship factor, a world-class mandolinist, and this seven-piece will not only pack the dance floor but keep the seated crowd fully engaged. Major Zephyr featuring Ben Winship, 8:45 p.m. to 12:15 a.m. Thursday at the Silver Dollar Showroom. Free. 732-3939.
Across the street at the Pink Garter Theatre, it’s Seattle four-piece Down North. Mixing party-fueled soul and rock, the group is fronted by vocalist/dancer Anthony “RenaGade” Briscoe.
“People think we’re a funk band,” Briscoe told Inlander this month. “Three of the dudes are black and we’re playing rock ‘n’ roll, and so people don’t know what to call it. But there are no horns on the stage. We’re soul. Rock ‘n’ roll has soul. we’re about bringing musicianship back to pop music, because that’s what it used to be.” Down North with late night set by DJs Souly Hitz and OH! Nassi, 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. Thursday at Pink Garter Theatre/The Rose. Bo Elledge and Sheena Dinesh, of Canyon Kids, open the show. $25-$30. PinkGarterTheatre.com, 733-1500.
The early-eve-into-late-night DJ party can be found at the Virginian, where DJ Londo and Cut la Whut will spin for several hours. DJs Londo and Cut la Whut, 9 p.m. Thursday at the Virginian Saloon. Free. 739-9891.
Moving onwards to Teton Village, one of the valley’s most intriguing shows will feature monster banjoist and slide guitarist Tony Furtado joining local jamgrass/Americana purveyors One Ton Pig. The Pig already performs at a high level at their mainstay Tuesday gig at the Silver Dollar, but you can’t help imagining that this will have the six-piece rehearsing with a new fire lit beneath them. One Ton Pig featuring Tony Furtado, 9:30 p.m. Thursday at the Mangy Moose. $20. MangyMoose.com.
Road tripping over Teton Pass to Teton Valley, the Knotty Pine will host Montana’s greatest funk export in recent years, Cure for the Common. The “electro thunder funk” quintet may play Teton County as much as it’s home in Bozeman, banking on the fact that we love our live band dance grooves. Cure for the Common, 10 p.m. Thursday at the Knotty Pine in Victor. $12. KnottyPineSupperClub.com, 208-787-2866.
Up Ski Hill Road at Grand Targhee Resort’s Trap Bar you’ll find Jackson’s Uncle Stack & the Attack, a band focused on playing what the cover-loving crowd wants to hear—Led Zeppelin, forgotten disco gems, and R&B classics. Uncle Stack & the Attack, 9 p.m. Thursday at The Trap Bar. $10/advance, $15/day-of-show. GrandTarghee.com.