JACKSON, Wyo. — Fire prevention officer for Sublette County’s Unified Fire by summer, road dog troubadour November through May, Pinedale multi-instrumentalist and songster Reckless Rooster makes his Jackson debut tonight at The Virg.
“Rooster,” as his buddies would refer to him, has released two full-length albums—The Mountain and Sad Bastard Tunes—as well as the Hill Country Ramblin’ EP since launching a solo career in 2016. His concoction of country-folk is self-proscribed as “mountain country trash,” referring to a no-holds-barred lyrical approach to down-on-your-luck realism.
“I’m stoked for the show,” Rooster said. “This is my last scheduled week of touring before transitioning to my summer job of wildland firefighting. The good news is that I’m hoping to get back to touring year round after this fire season. My fourth record, Death On The Highway, will be coming out later this year.”
A sideman for various Pinedale musicians over the years, Rooster stages a one-man-band stage attack when taking the stage solo. He manages vocals, kick drum and tambourine while trading off between guitar, square neck dobro and fiddle. For him, going solo was more out of necessity than a planned transition.
“They say, ‘If you wanna go fast, go alone. If you wanna go far, go together.’ I always wanted to have a band but Pinedale is so isolated. That’s the reason I started touring as a one-man-band. I simply couldn’t find any nearby musicians that wanted to live in a van and play 100+ shows a year all across the west so, I went at it alone and here I am still doing it. It’s kinda nice sometimes to be on my own schedule but eight years in I’m getting pretty worn out of being out there on the road all alone.”
Performing in Jackson, as many solo musicians have found in recent years, can be a difficult proposition with lack of stages to support such acts, until now.
“This is actually my first ever show in Jackson. I had tried to play some places in the past but always got told they weren’t interested or that it was mandatory I bring at least a three-piece band. For years I always joked that Jackson doesn’t allow “mountain trash like me” to play, but The Virg, I guess they’re into that haha. I’ve been heavily supporting them since they started back up.”
Reckless Rooster, 9 p.m. to midnight Thursday (tonight) at The Virginian Saloon. Free. VirginianSaloon.com.