trails, tunes await festgoers

By Jim Stanford on July 19, 2013

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Steve Jones descends the new 38 Special trail into Teton Canyon.

One of the perks of the Widespread Panic weekend at Grand Targhee — redeeming the festival from just total hedonism — was trying out some of the new mountain biking trails at the resort.

Targhee has been improving its trail network in recent years, adding signage for the Quakie Ridge Loop in Rick’s Basin and Lightning Loop to the south. The Mill Creek downhill into Teton Canyon also has seen a substantial upgrade.

Now there are a couple of well-marked routes going up and down Peaked Mountain. Accessed from Lightning Ridge, the Peaked trail climbs in gradual switchbacks to the top of the Peaked chairlift before linking up with 38 Special, a long downhill full of banked turns. 38 Special descends into Mill Creek, and riders can continue all the way to Teton Canyon or climb back to the resort.

There’s also plenty of lift-served downhill biking on the front of Fred’s Mountain, for those who prefer to do their climbing via a chairlift ride.

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Mountain Fest satisfies, in the end

By Jim Stanford on April 2, 2013

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Guitarist John McCauley, center, leads Deer Tick at the Pink Garter on Sunday with guitarist Ian O’Neil and bassist Chris Ryan. The empty space in the middle is where the drummer would have been; his absence was unexplained.

On a day when pro triathlete Adam Wirth of Boise captured the PPP crown, a huge crowd gathered at Teton Village to celebrate spring’s arrival during the Jackson Hole Mountain Festival.

Perhaps as many as 4,000 people turned out Saturday for the PPP awards party, music by Lazy Eyes beneath the tram and the featured concert by Black Mother Jones and O.A.R. Parked cars lined the village entrance road all the way to Highway 390, in what may have been the largest turnout yet for the festival.

While the selection of the headliner generated strong opinions, one thing everyone could agree on was fine weather and free music make for a great party. Tailgates with generous spreads of food and beverages could be found from the PPP finish line at Astoria to the village parking lots. Most of the buzz around O.A.R. was whether rock star Dave Matthews — staying at Teton Village on vacation, skiing and snowmobiling — would join them onstage. (He did not.)

The diehard music fans pushed the festival into the wee hours of Sunday night, when the Providence, R.I., rock group Deer Tick played the Pink Garter.

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Alabama Shakes to close Targhee Fest

By Jim Stanford on March 1, 2013

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Alabama Shakes are one of the headliners for the ninth annual Targhee Fest.

Grand Targhee announced its entire slate of summer music today, and the lineups are as deep as the celebrated powder dumps at the resort.

For Targhee Fest on July 19-21, the ‘Ghee has landed one of the hottest new bands in the country, Alabama Shakes. Also performing at the fest are J.J. Grey and Mofro, Bruce Hornsby and the Noisemakers, John Hiatt, Wood Brothers, Son Volt, Los Lobos, Anders Osborne and Sister Sparrow. Targhee is working on at least one more major artist for the festival.

The 26th annual Bluegrass Festival on Aug. 9-11 will feature The Infamous Stringdusters, Sam Bush Band, Trampled by Turtles, Greensky Bluegrass, Guy Clark, Elephant Revival and more.

These festivals are in addition to the three-night Widespread Panic extravaganza on July 4-6. Tickets for all events and multi-day passes will go on sale soon.

No matter their taste, fans will have a hard time taking it all in this summer.

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Widespread Panic to return to Targhee

By Jim Stanford on March 1, 2013

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They spent a little time on the mountain, and now they’re coming back for more.

Widespread Panic, the Southern rockers who celebrated their 25th anniversary tour in 2011 with a three-night run at Grand Targhee, will return to the Alta, Wyo., resort this summer for another holiday blowout.

Panic again will play three nights, from July 4 to 6. A host of supporting acts will make for a festival atmosphere, as in 2011. Tickets go on sale March 8.

These will be the 18th, 19th and 20th shows the band from Athens, Ga., has played in the Tetons. Over the years Panic has performed at the Mangy Moose, Snow King (many times) and The Spud Drive-In, also on the Fourth of July. The verdant slopes of Targhee, with a stage nestled beside the forest at 8,000 feet, have become a favorite. The band inquired about a return last year, and — in no secret to local Panic fans — plans have been in the works for months.

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Deer Tick to play Pink Garter

By Jim Stanford on February 27, 2013

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Mountain Fest weekend is going to end with a bang.

Deer Tick, the young rock band from Providence, R.I., will perform at the Pink Garter Theater on Sunday, March 31. One night earlier, O.A.R. will play a free concert at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort following the PPP.

Fronted by guitarist and singer John McCauley, Deer Tick has a stripped-down, almost retro sound that features strains of country and punk. The group has received a good bit of radio play locally since the 2009 album Born on Flag Day.

Tickets are $18, available online or at the Pink Garter and Pinky G’s.

The theater is about to hit the peak of its winter slate, with the Colorado bluegrass troupe Leftover Salmon performing Sunday and reggae legends The Wailers on March 7.

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