Jazz Fest: Clapton, Bruce, Phish, Arcade Fire

By Jim Stanford on January 14, 2014

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Trey Anastasio at Jazz Fest 2005. Anastasio and Phish will perform during the first weekend.

Is it Jazz Phest yet?

Phish, exiled from the Fairgrounds since 1996, returns for the 2014 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, joining the likes of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana, Robert Plant, John Fogerty, Arcade Fire, Vampire Weekend, Alabama Shakes and the Avett Brothers.

These headliners will perform along with dozens of Big Easy luminaries such as Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue, Rebirth Brass Band, Irma Thomas, Allen Toussaint, Aaron Neville, The Radiators and Dumpstaphunk with Art Neville. The 45th annual festival takes place April 25 to May 4.

Ticket prices start at $50 per day. More details and daily music lineup are available here.

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at Targhee, surprises well into the night

By Jim Stanford on July 29, 2013

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Brittany Howard, right, gave an impassioned performance with Alabama Shakes. Yes, that’s a tattoo of Alabama on her arm.

Last Sunday’s performance by Alabama Shakes was the most highly anticipated set at Targhee Fest, and the young rockers from Athens, Ala., did not disappoint.

“Are you scared to wear your heart out on your sleeve?” the quartet’s lead singer and guitarist, Brittany Howard, sang late in the show on “You Ain’t Alone.”

Howard poured her heart all over the Targhee stage, wailing on vocals and guitar on achingly beautiful songs like “Hold On.” A crowd of nearly 4,000 swayed and danced in appreciation. After a 90-minute set, the band returned for a four-song encore as the sun sank low over the distant hills of Idaho.

While the red-hot Shakes were a highlight as expected, what made the ninth annual Targhee Fest such a stirring weekend were unexpected high points seemingly around each bend.

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Galactic, Hot Tuna headed back to Tetons

By Jim Stanford on November 27, 2012

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In what is fast becoming a winter tradition, the NOLA funk band Galactic will return to play the Knotty Pine on Feb. 20. This will be the group’s third visit to Victor, Idaho, in the last four years. Tickets are $35 and available now on the Galactic website, but go on sale Friday at the Knotty without a service fee.

Living Colour vocalist Corey Glover, featured above, again will accompany the band. Knotty Pine owner Brice Nelson called Galactic’s last visit in March “one of the best nights of music in our 17 years.”

The show is part of the “Freeze Out Tour” that will take Galactic from Mardi Gras in New Orleans across the West to The Fillmore in San Francisco.

The Pink Garter Theater in Jackson also has been fleshing out its winter schedule, with Hot Tuna — the acoustic duo of Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady — on Feb. 15 and slamgrass jammers Leftover Salmon on March 3. Tickets for Hot Tuna go on sale at noon Friday for $35.

The Pink Garter also will host a New Year’s Eve Funkathon with the Colorado rock band Fox Street Allstars for $15.

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storm’s impact hits home

By Jim Stanford on November 2, 2012

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Massive oak overturned by the storm outside the Stanford home on Long Island.

In 2005, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, National Geographic ran a cover story about the increasing number and severity of hurricanes. I sent the magazine to a friend whose parents’ home was destroyed on the Mississippi coast.

At the time I was worried about the future of New Orleans — not New York.

The images coming out of Queens and New Jersey this week look a lot like Louisiana and Mississippi post-Katrina. My family was fortunate: Being far enough inland on Long Island, flooding was not a danger. But my mom said her house shook unlike anything she had experienced in her life, and a towering oak fell over in the front yard, luckily away from the house.

My family went without power for nearly four days. Cell service was wiped out for much of that time, but mom had her trusted, wall-mounted rotary phone that allowed her to stay in touch. An oil lamp brightened the nights.

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festival time

By Jim Stanford on July 13, 2012

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The Dirty Dozen, led by baritone saxophonist Roger Lewis, left, and trumpeter Greg Davis, right, wail at the Town Square Tavern.

Downtown Jackson felt like an episode of Treme last night, with Meters guitarist Leo Nocentelli playing the Pink Garter and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band rocking the Town Square Tavern just up the street. There was even a “Davis Can Save Us” city council candidate running around shaking hands.

The twofer of New Orleans funk was part of a musical frenzy that erupted on both sides of the Tetons, as over in Idaho, Black Joe Lewis and The Honeybears played Music on Main, followed by Boombox at the Knotty Pine.

All of this was setting the table for the weekend’s main event, the eighth annual Targhee Fest, featuring Trigger Hippy (Jackie Greene and Joan Osborne) and Toots and the Maytals today and Black Joe, Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Railroad Earth and Drive-By Truckers on Saturday. Lucinda Williams and J.J. Grey and Mofro close the festival on Sunday. Click here for a schedule.

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