Franti serenades Jackson Hole tram

By Jim Stanford on March 30, 2014

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Before performing a free concert last night at Teton Village, Michael Franti played an intimate set aboard the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort aerial tram.

Franti and guitarist J. Boogie strummed two acoustic songs as they rode partway up and down Rendezvous Mountain. About 50 lucky riders enjoyed the show, which the resort announced via Twitter.

On the way up, Franti sang “I’m Alive (Life Sounds Like),” from his latest album, All People. The resort used the song in a promotional video this winter. On the way down, Franti invited riders to join him on a new song he’s working on, “Smile All Over Again.”

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Karl D. kicks off Rendezvous at Snow King

By Jim Stanford on March 27, 2014

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Last month, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe played a smoking-hot show at the Knotty Pine, but a blizzard struck that night, closing Teton Pass and stranding music fans on both sides.

Those who missed out have another chance to catch the funk-blasting sax master, this time for free. Tiny Universe will perform tonight at Snow King Center, the first of three consecutive nights of free music for the new Jackson Hole Rendezvous.

Formerly known as the Jackson Hole Mountain Festival, the Rendezvous continues Friday at Teton Village with Blues Traveler, a last-minute substitution for Steel Pulse, whose singer is ill. Traveler played the debut event in 2006. On Saturday, Michael Franti and Spearhead return for the festival’s centerpiece.

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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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let it roll

By Jim Stanford on July 15, 2011

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The mud has dried out, the forecast is calling for sunshine, and music fans are on a move as the seventh annual Targhee Fest opens today. The three-day event will feature Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Michael Franti and Spearhead, Little Feat, the Funky Meters and more.

The schedule is posted here. Fans can buy tickets and camping passes on site at Targhee, and plenty are available. The resort again will offer a free shuttle to and from Driggs every half-hour until 2 a.m. Check the schedule for details.

Winner of the Targhee Battle of the Bands, The Deadlocks are high-stepping into town to open the fest at 4 p.m. today. Other local bands playing the first slot are Jet Black Ninja Funkgrass Unit on Saturday and The Miller Sisters on Sunday.

Targhee says the slope has recovered from the Widespread Panic melt-off and should be in much better shape. Also, Rick’s Basin is open for mountain biking, with a couple of fun cross-country loops through the wildflowers. More advanced riders can tackle the Mill Creek downhill into Teton Canyon. Lift-served downhill riding is not yet available.

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Michael Franti on passing of Gil Scott-Heron

By Jim Stanford on July 15, 2011

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Michael Franti at the 2011 New Orleans Jazz Fest.

After nearly two decades of touring, Michael Franti and Spearhead have become big stars. “The Sound of Sunshine” was a radio hit, and the band’s music can be heard on various TV commercials.

But for Franti, headlining Saturday at Targhee Fest, life wasn’t always so sunny. Check out Live at the Baobab, for instance, for more incisive and somewhat darker social commentary. Early in his career, a major influence was the rap forefather Gil Scott-Heron.

When Scott-Heron died in May, the music world mourned his passing with various remembrances. One of the most insightful and personal came from Franti, and it shed light on the soulfulness in which Spearhead’s music is rooted.

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