Targhee: Tedeschi Trucks, Chris Robinson

By Jim Stanford on April 1, 2014

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Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi perform with their band at Center for the Arts in Jackson on the summer solstice last year.

Once again, the strains of Southern rock will reverberate through the hills surrounding Grand Targhee this summer.

The lineup for the 10th annual Targhee Fest on July 18-20 features Tedeschi Trucks Band, whose guitarist is Allman Brothers protege Derek Trucks. A pair of Black Crowes will perform with side bands: singer Chris Robinson with his Brotherhood and drummer Steve Gorman with Trigger Hippy.

Widespread Panic bassist Dave Schools returns in Hard Working Americans, fronted by crooner Todd Snider (auteur of this patriotic hymn). Royal Southern Brotherhood, featuring another Allmans scion, guitarist Devon Allman, also will play at the Alta, Wyo., resort.

Rounding out the lineup are Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers, The Wood Brothers, Charlie Hunter and Scott Amendola, Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds, Amy Helm and the Handsome Strangers, The Hooligans, and Big Head Todd.

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John Butler sports the colors

By Jim Stanford on March 10, 2014

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Australian guitarist and banjo picker John Butler spent a few days in Jackson Hole last summer before playing a show at Center for the Arts. Evidently he did a little shopping when he was in town.

Alas, the shirt is not one of Tommie Williams’ Dedicate designs, but a knock-off from one of the shops around the Square.

Butler’s trio released a new album last month, Flesh & Blood. They previewed a few of the songs in Jackson.

Given this performance in the Jambase studio, the album is worth a listen.

“Always remember that after winter, there follows spring,” he says, introducing one of the new songs. “Thank god.”

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singer Blunt films video around Tetons

By Jim Stanford on August 28, 2013

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On the heels of John Mayer, Band of Horses and this French guy comes the latest artist to film a music video in Jackson Hole.

James Blunt, the English singer and guitarist, shot the video for “Bonfire Heart,” the single from his forthcoming album, while riding his motorcycle through the valleys on both sides of the Tetons earlier this month. A host of locals, including a sheriff’s deputy, make cameos, and the video culminates with a celebration at the Stagecoach Bar in Wilson.

The 39-year-old crooner originally sought to film at the Cowboy Bar and approached the town about closing North Cache for several hours on a Saturday evening, but that idea was greeted coolly. Fortunately, he settled on the ‘Coach.

Blunt’s new album, Moon Landing, is due out in the U.S. in early November.

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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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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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