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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hanging on to Solid Rock

By Jim Stanford on July 10, 2013

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Jimmy Herring belts out a solo with help from Jojo Hermann and John Bell on Saturday as Widespread Panic plays the last of three shows at Grand Targhee.

John Bell blew on his hands as he stepped to the microphone to begin the second set Saturday at Grand Targhee.

“We’ve been freezing our asses off the last few days,” the Widespread Panic singer and guitarist said. Then, he smiled at the wide-eyed fans ready to dance before the stage. “Warm people!” he said in his trademark growl.

Rather, it was the hot music that kept fans moving throughout a marathon three-night run at the Alta, Wyo., resort. No matter how worn out everyone was from the revelry and 8,000-foot elevation, time after time the Southern rockers picked up the crowd with simmering grooves.

Whether it was the funk throwdown of “Arleen” from the last set Saturday, the cover of “No Sugar Tonight” to close Friday or a blistering “I Walk on Guilded Splinters” on July 4, Widespread brought the heat. A few pre-show rain showers — cool weather by Wyoming standards but perhaps freezing to Athens, Ga., musicians — failed to put a chill on the festivities.

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Panic fan’s guide to Targhee 2013

By Jim Stanford on July 4, 2013

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Yeah, the air here, breathing’s great. John Bell at Targhee in 2011.

The slopes are free of snow. Mud and mosquitoes shouldn’t be a problem. The band may still need oxygen, but they won’t have to bundle up in jackets.

Widespread Panic is headed North again, back to the land of sunny rocks and funny trees that is Grand Targhee. The veteran Southern rockers will play three concerts at 8,000 feet at the Alta, Wyo., resort, beginning on the Fourth of July.

Whereas the band’s last visit, in 2011, came after a massive winter that left snow on much of the mountain — allowing fans to make turns before the shows — this time Widespread arrives in the full splendor of summer in the Tetons.

“Instead of skiing from top to bottom, you’ll be able to mountain bike top to bottom,” says Ken Rider, the resort’s marketing director.

Although there’s a chance of thunderstorms in the next few days, conditions should be ideal compared to the challenges of 2011. Here’s a guide for Spread Heads heading up into the hills for a musical Vacation.

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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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JH Live: Steve Earle, Robert Walter

By Jim Stanford on May 31, 2013

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Steeped in the sounds of New Orleans, Robert Walter’s 20th Congress plays simmering funk and jazz. The band returns Aug. 3.

For its second summer, Jackson Hole Live has stepped up its lineup and struck the right balance between country, rock and funk.

Earlier this week, organizers announced most of the artists for the free concert series at the base of Snow King. Outlaw country troubadour Steve Earle and The Dukes will play July 14, while funk keyboardist Robert Walter convenes his groovy 20th Congress on Aug. 3, in conjunction with a new brew fest.

Steve Earle

Guitarist Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real, rocking harder in his dad Willie’s footsteps, open the series on June 29. As announced earlier, Old Crow Medicine Show will headline the Fourth of July concert at the base of the King, joined by Young Dubliners and Jackson Hole’s own One Ton Pig, among others. One headliner remains to be booked for August.

Coupled with Music on Main (Thursday nights) in Victor and Concerts on the Commons (Sundays) in Teton Village, the Jackson series gives music fans plenty of free options this summer, in addition to three festivals at Grand Targhee.


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