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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Edward Sharpe sends fans Home elated

By Jim Stanford on June 2, 2013

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Singer Alex Ebert reaches for a note, not a beer, during the opener, “40 Day Dream,” on Wednesday at the Pink Garter. Click to enlarge.

“I want the whole damn world … to come dance with me,” Alex Ebert bellowed into the microphone. As if for emphasis, he jumped down into the crowd and began hopping and jigging with fans.

The moment, during “Man on Fire,” was indicative of the 90-minute set Ebert’s band performed Wednesday at the sold-out Pink Garter Theater. A rabid crowd had waited years for Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros to play in Jackson, and from the opening notes, the show was an outburst of joy.

During the first song, “40 Day Dream,” a group of young women locked arms in front of the stage and began swaying back and forth to the rhythm and singing along. Others shook mini-tambourines purchased at the band’s merchandise table. The lovefest was on.

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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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film screening benefits American Rivers

By Jim Stanford on March 26, 2013

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From its beginnings as a trickle of snowmelt off Two Ocean Pass to the thunderous cataracts of its Grand Canyon and sinuous meandering through the plains of Montana, the Yellowstone River is the longest undammed river in the lower 48 states.

A new film by Hunter Weeks follows a 30-day journey by drift boat down the river to its confluence with the Missouri at Fort Buford, N.D. Where the Yellowstone Goes chronicles the people and landscapes the party encounters while floating and fishing this majestic waterway.

Weeks will show the film and take questions Wednesday night in a benefit for American Rivers at the Pink Garter Theater. Tickets are $10, available online or at Jack Dennis Sports and Teton Mountain Lodge. Showtime is 7 p.m.

I’ve always thought of the Yellowstone as one of the uppermost headwaters of the Mississippi. Along those lines, I’d someday like to make a journey from Atlantic Creek all the way to New Orleans.

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