in memoriam: Slim Weston

By Jim Stanford on February 12, 2014

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Leon “Slim” Weston

Leon “Slim” Weston, the iconic cowboy lifty who greeted skiers at Grand Targhee for 45 winters, died last night after a battle with cancer. He was 72 years old.

Weston’s smile, cowboy hat and long, lean frame were a fixture at Targhee since the resort’s inception in 1969. He appeared in Warren Miller films and a host of ski magazines, gaining as much of a reputation as the resort’s fresh powder. A snowboarder, he was known to give out hugs and back rubs in the lift lines.

“He is the spirit of Grand Targhee and is greatly missed,” resort spokesman Ken Rider said. “A bunch of heavy hearts over here today.”

Weston was diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2011 and had been fighting an ongoing battle. Still, he worked three days at the resort last week.

“Whatever he wanted to work, we’d let him work,” Rider said.

Weston was a farmer and rancher who lived outside Driggs. He got his nickname after riding up on his horse at the beginning of a Miller ski movie, and the filmmaker called him “Ol’ Slim.”

Rider said the resort is deferring to Weston’s family on plans for a memorial service. More information will be posted as soon as it is available.

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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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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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free concerts coming to Snow King

By Jim Stanford on May 18, 2012

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Robert Randolph at the Knotty Pine in 2002. Randolph and his Family Band return to play gospel-infused funk and rock Aug. 26 at Snow King.

Jackson is getting its own version of Music on Main this summer.

After years of talk by various promoters, the new operators of the Snow King Center rink have organized a free concert series similar to the outdoor shows that have been a hit in Teton Valley, Idaho.

Here’s the schedule, with a sixth event yet to come:

    Saturday, June 23 — The Dunwells
    Saturday, July 7 — Boom Chick
    Wednesday, July 25 — Justin Townes Earle
    Wednesday, Aug. 5 — The Features
    Sunday, Aug. 26 — Robert Randolph and the Family Band

Local bands will open. Beer and food concessions and sponsorships will pay for the music, and any remaining proceeds will go to youth hockey and skating programs at the rink. The shows are open to all ages.

The biggest name on the slate is Randolph, who first played the Teton area at the Knotty Pine in 2002. Since then the pedal steel player has returned to open for the Black Crowes in 2006 and play the Jackson Hole Music Festival in 2008.

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Jazz Fest comes to Victor

By Jim Stanford on March 20, 2012

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Galactic arrived in Teton Valley to a spring snowstorm yesterday and enjoyed a day off. “Hanging in lovely cold Victor ID,” the band Tweeted.

Things will get considerably warmer tonight when the New Orleans funk ensemble takes the stage for a sold-out show at the Knotty Pine. The log cabin club will resemble a sauna straight out of Frenchmen Street in the Big Easy.

With an extra day of rest, band members could ride some of the nearly 2 feet of powder that has blanketed the Tetons, or delve into the Kansas City barbecue served by Knotty Pine owner Brice Nelson — “the best food we’ve ever eaten at a venue,” saxophonist Ben Ellman proclaimed during the group’s last visit in 2009.

Either way, the band is likely to come out roaring. On this tour Galactic again is joined by trombonist Corey Henry, along with singer Corey Glover, former frontman for Living Colour. The group just released a new album on Mardi Gras Day, Carnivale Electricos, featuring a host of guest musicians.

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