Winter Music Preview: snow season draws a flurry of musical grooves

JACKSON, Wyo. — Considering the intimidating travel conditions that are generally looming during a Wyoming winter, it’s a testament to the hardy nature of touring acts that trek here to perform out of their natural habitat. And our local scene is stronger than ever. Grab your calendar and make the most of this short window of cultural offerings. Here’s a snapshot, a winter music taster of show offerings.

The Knotty Pine Supper Club in Victor has one of the most enticing club lineups of the batch. The Silent Disco craze is happening, and Dec. 20 will feature this concept of choosing your own DJ channel (in your personal headphones) from a selection of live DJs.  Other highlights in the calendar include soulman Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal (Dec. 31), Batdorf & Brother Wolf (Jan. 24), local funksters Sneaky Pete & The Secret Weapons (Jan. 31, Feb. 1), Boombox with Ethno (Feb. 7), afrobeat big band Antibalas (Feb. 26), Cajongrass purveyors (March 14-15), Galactic featuring Anjelika Jelly Joseph (March 18), and jamband Spafford with Yak Attack (March 19).

Also situated in Teton Valley, The Trap Bar at the base of Grand Targhee Resort hosts liveley, free après-ski shows (3 p.m. to 6 p.m.), and the occasional evening shindig. This weekend features Americana blues/alt-country quartet Aaron Davis & the Mystery Machine (Dec. 13) and blues rockers Batdorf & Brother Wolf (Dec. 14). Also check out vintage jazz with Papa Chan Trio (Dec. 24), roots duo Winship & Sneed (Dec. 26), hair band 86! (Dec. 27), Boot Juice (Jan. 6), bluegrass quartet Laney Lou & the Birddogs (Jan 17-18), Kris Lager Band (Jan. 31, Feb. 1), Major Zephyr (Feb. 14), Mardi Gras Party with Jackson 6 (Feb. 23), Leap Day with Ticket to Space (Feb. 29), Clusterpluck (March 1-2), Wyatt Lowe (March 14), and White Lightning Open Mic every Wednesday starting Jan. 14.

Oliver Wood of The Wood Brothers // Photo: Aaron Davis

The Center for the Arts recently announced its winter lineup, which leans towards the vibrant, roots-based movement that’s currently blanketing the country. Among the artists is singer-songwriter Josh Ritter (Dec. 27), a curated song share type of concert billed as An Evening with Vince Herman, Oliver Wood, and Justin Townes Earle (Jan. 19), solo set from indie rocker Courtney Barnett (Feb. 6), an evening with mandolin master Chris Thile (Feb. 9), original funksters Sneaky Pete & the Secret Weapons (March 10), sister roots duo Larkin Poe (March 18), and two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Famer David Crosby & the SkyTrails Band (May 22).

The Mangy Moose is offering the most consistent access to live music in the region. This includes a daily lineup of free, local après-ski music (4 p.m. to 7 p.m.) in addition to several evening shows. Après-ski sets will feature outlaw country band Major Zephyr (Sundays), Aaron Davis & the Mystery Machine (Mondays), a new project of Aspen Dawn and Joe Rudd dubbed Les Américains (Tuesdays and Fridays), covers duo Whiskey Mornin’ (Wednesdays), and indie folk-rockers Canyon Kids (Saturdays). As for evening shows starting at 9:30 p.m., check out Kurt Van Meter Band (Dec. 28), pop cover band Changing Lanes (Dec. 31), Yonder Mountain String Band (Jan. 27), electronic family band Petty Plus (Jan. 11), AC/DC tribute act Hell’s Belles (Jan. 25), psych rockers Amoramora (Jan. 31, Feb. 1), Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal (Feb. 14), A-Mac and The Height (Feb. 15), indie folk-grass strummers Trout Steak Revival (Feb. 23), and G Love and Special Sauce (March 29).

In downtown Jackson, the music scene is a barhopping extravaganza concentrated towards the Silver Dollar Showroom, Million Dollar Cowboy Bar, and the Pink Garter Theatre/The Rose. The Pink Garter just announced a two-night New Year’s Eve run with The New Orleans Suspects (Dec. 30-31), an all-star group of Crescent City musicians paying tribute to Dr. John. Other shows include Andrew Munz’s one-man comedy “I Don’t Ski” (Dec. 27-28), the return of The Motet (Jan 18-19), Tribal Seeds with The Expanders (Feb. 13), Fruition with TK & The Holy Know Nothings (April 2), Citizen Cope (May 24), and most Thursdays feature Salsa and Bachata dancing in the lobby of The Rose.

The Silver Dollar Showroom in the Wort Hotel will continue the long-standing tradition of Bluegrass Tuesdays with One Ton Pig (including New Year’s Eve and Fat Tuesday, Feb. 25) as well as every other Thursday with classic covers from Tasha and the Good Fellows. Music offerings are generally free, 7:30 to 11 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Some highlights from the winter calendar include “Colo-Caribbean Newgrazz” band Coral Creek (Dec. 13-14, Feb. 7-8), up-and-coming twang rockers Strumbucket (Jan. 3), Cali rock band Boot Juice (Jan. 4), Aaron Davis & the Mystery Machine (Jan. 17-18), Banshee Tree (Jan. 24-25), Pixie & the Partygrass Boys (Jan. 31, Feb. 1), Tylor & the Train Robbers (Feb. 21-22), and a special “Showroom Session” to be announced for March 19.

The Million Dollar Cowboy still hosts country-rock bands for a week or even two residencies. This includes Kurt Van Meter (Dec. 30-Jan. 4), Pinedale-based songwriter Jared Rogerson & the Rodeo Wreck (Feb 4-5), and Richie Law (Feb. 17-22).

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