Denson, Galactic, Franti returning

By Jim Stanford on January 3, 2014

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Michael Franti and Spearhead are coming back around the way, playing the free Jackson Hole Mountain Festival concert on March 29.

Happy new year!

Musically, 2014 is off to a great start, with the likes of Del McCoury and MarchFourth Marching Band ushering in the year on a festive note.

And the schedule for the winter has been filling out, giving fans much to look forward to — including return visits from local favorites.

The Knotty Pine recently announced a couple of big shows, including Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe on Feb. 20 and, in what has become an annual tradition, Galactic on March 11. Tickets are $25 and $40, respectively, available online.

Leftover Salmon will play shows on both sides of the Tetons during a Western ski tour: the Pink Garter on March 13 and Knotty on March 14.

The Garter also has reggae legends Black Uhuru on Valentine’s Day, Pimps of Joytime on Feb. 25 and crooner Martin Sexton on March 20. Tickets are $26, $17 and $25 in advance at the theater and Pinky G’s.

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mixed showing for Aussie musicians

By Jim Stanford on August 19, 2013

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John Butler wails while performing with his trio last week at Center for the Arts.

At first glance, one of the bands playing in Jackson last week appeared to have been miscast for the venue. It turned out to be not the one people expected.

Australian guitarist John Butler and his trio performed at Center for the Arts on Aug. 13, a night before his fellow countryman, Xavier Rudd, played the Pink Garter. The roots-rock trio can be loud and rollicking, prompting fans to wonder whether Butler, too, would have been better served at the Garter.

Instead, the 450 or so who filled the theater were treated to a show that was intimate, mesmerizing and, at times, even rowdy.

Butler came out on banjo and alternated between six-string, 12-string and lap steel guitars. From the opening notes, he dropped jaws with his picking, using a variety of pedals, looping and other effects to create a much larger sound.

He explained that his mother spent her 20s in Jackson Hole, and he always wanted to visit. The band and crew arrived a few days early, with “one mob” riding motorcycles to Yellowstone and another mob “hiking around some lake.”

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Tedeschi, Trucks headline center lineup

By Jim Stanford on May 21, 2013

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(Title track from 2012 album)

Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi, the blues-belting, axe-grinding husband-and-wife duo, will make their long-awaited return to the Tetons next month to kick off summer at Center for the Arts.

The Tedeschi Trucks Band will perform on the solstice, June 21, at the downtown Jackson theater. Tickets go on sale May 29.

Also playing the center this summer are Paul Thorn on July 17, Kathy Mattea on July 24, the Hootenanny on Aug. 12, John Butler Trio on Aug. 13 and Shawn Mullins on Sept. 19.

Tedeschi Trucks Band has been in demand among readers of this site for years. The group (formerly called Soul Stew Revival) played Targhee Fest in 2008, and a possible return had been in the mix until the band decided to tour with the Black Crowes this summer. Tedeschi also sang at the center in 2009.

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Civil Twilight to rock center

By Jim Stanford on January 17, 2013

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Since taking over programming at Center for the Arts last fall, promoter Shannon McCormick has worked hard to make the theater a better venue for rock music.

Although the acoustics are excellent and the space inviting, the center traditionally has drawn an older, sit-down audience. Production costs are high, and tickets have been expensive.

Still, McCormick has searched to find bands new to Jackson while holding prices lower, and although the names may not be familiar, fans left raving, for example, after last week’s performance by Ruthie Foster.

Tonight the center presents Civil Twilight, an ensemble originally from South Africa but based in Nashville. The group played the Bonnaroo and Voodoo festivals last year and has opened for Smashing Pumpkins, Jimmy Eat World, Bush and Florence & The Machine.

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free tickets to Ruthie Foster at arts center

By Jim Stanford on January 7, 2013

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Happy new year, everyone! Let’s start off 2013 right by giving away two floor tickets to blues artist Ruthie Foster on Thursday at Center for the Arts.

Foster, a Grammy-nominated songwriter and guitarist from Texas, got her start singing in her uncle’s choir at age 14. She studied music in college, fronted a blues band that played biker bars, and later served in the Navy.

For her 2009 album The Truth According to Ruthie Foster, she worked with a distinguished cast that included guitarist Robben Ford and keyboardist Jim Dickinson. She recorded her latest CD, Let It Burn, in New Orleans with George Porter Jr. and Russell Batiste of the Funky Meters, backed by the Blind Boys of Alabama. Amazon calls the album a “deeply intimate recording: a smoky mix of original songs coupled with inventive interpretations of an unexpected collection of covers,” ranging from Adele to Los Lobos, The Black Keys and Johnny Cash.

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