Targhee sets festival dates, early lineups

By Jim Stanford on January 31, 2012

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Black Joe and The Honeybears are on fire, as J.J. Grey might say.

By popular demand, Black Joe Lewis and The Honeybears are coming to the Tetons this summer.

The soul-rock band from Austin, Texas, will perform at the eighth annual Targhee Fest, which will be July 13-15. Also booked are Florida swamp rockers J.J. Grey and Mofro and Mississippi blues crooner Paul Thorn.

Targhee also has set a preliminary lineup for its 25th annual Bluegrass Festival on Aug. 10-12, featuring Steep Canyon Rangers, The Infamous Stringdusters, Donna the Buffalo, Kane’s River, Hot Rize and Darrell Scott.

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pathway stroll wards off winter blues

By Jim Stanford on December 5, 2011

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View of Flat Creek, as seen from newly plowed Garaman Trail.

Cheer up, it’s only -13 outside.

Wouldn’t want to be in Rafter J subdivision this morning, in a home heated by electricity, as the power is out and the cold is hampering repair work.

In these frigid, short days, a time of transition before ski season fully sets in, it helps to get out of the house or office and just walk. Even a 10-minute stroll in the sun can do wonders for one’s disposition.

That’s why I’m grateful to the anonymous donor who has made possible the plowing of the Russ Garaman Trail behind the west Jackson post office, along Flat Creek. This is a move whose time has come; grooming the pathway in years past for nordic skiing was a lofty goal, but Wyoming is not Norway, and hardly anyone ever skied to school or work using the trail.

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in memoriam: Jeff Newsom

By Jim Stanford on August 5, 2011

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Newsom on his trademark harp.

Jeff Newsom, the Teton Valley musician known for his harmonica playing, died Thursday after an 18-month battle with illness. He was 52 years old.

Newsom, who lived in Driggs, was diagnosed with ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, in February 2010. In April of that year, friends held a huge benefit for him at The Wildwood Room in Victor and celebrated the release of a CD of his music, called The Henhouse Tapes.

Newsom played blues for years with Bob Greenspan, as well as with Loose Ties, Derrik and the Dynamos, and U.S. Bluez. Earlier in his career, he blew the harp with Otis Rush and Gary B.B. Coleman. He often sat in with touring bands who passed through Jackson Hole, including Rick Danko, the late bassist for The Band.

Friend and fellow musician David Swift called him, “A brilliant mind, a monster wit, a true cat.”

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musicians rally around stricken bluesman

By Jim Stanford on April 17, 2010

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Blow a few bars tonight for Jeff Newsom. The fund-raiser starts at 7 p.m. at the Wildwood Room in Victor.

It’s always jarring to find a fighting-for-life-type Facebook page for someone you didn’t even know is sick, especiallly a vigorous mountaineer.

So the news came as a shock earlier this winter that Driggs, Idaho, musician Jeff Newsom is battling ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. The affliction strikes the nervous system, causing Jeff, an eminently talented harmonica player and builder of telescope mirrors, to lose the use of his hands and voice.

Strangely, I found out the morning after watching The Last Waltz.

Jeff was at The Last Waltz, hanging backstage with some of the musicians. Years later, he backed up Rick Danko, late guitarist for The Band, at the Mangy Moose.

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Lukas Nelson, Chuck Prophet added to Targhee Fest

By Jim Stanford on June 11, 2009

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Lukas Autry Nelson has his dad's voice and a kicking band. Heather Erson photo

Lukas Autry Nelson has his dad's voice and a kicking band.

Back in April, a hastily arranged free concert by Willie Nelson‘s son Lukas at the Knotty Pine created quite a buzz.

As is often the case with these musicians who get a taste of the west side of the Tetons, the band already has a return gig. Lukas Nelson and the Promise of the Real will open Targhee Fest on July 17.

Also, guitarist Chuck Prophet, who played Music on Main in Driggs last summer, has been added to the bill for July 19.

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