MUSIC BOX: Ringing in the Year of the Sheep

By on December 31, 2014

Jackson Hole, Wyoming – We bid farewell to 2014 with an overly deep snowbase, and an equally dense showing of music options to ring in 2015. From laidback jazz bars to the rowdiest of high altitude rock ‘n’ roll, there’s something for everyone.

Purveyors of high-mountain alt-grass, six-piece One Ton Pig is thinking outside the box for New Year’s Eve by setting up shop at Camp Creek Restaurant and Bar in Hoback Canyon, about 15 miles south of Jackson. A multi-course prime rib dinner is an option, and a new pizza kitchen will fulfill late-night cravings. Tickets are $15, and the music kicks-off at 9 p.m.

123114musicbox.lyricsleadSome of the more attractive touring acts fall on the west slope of the Tetons this year. The Knotty Pine in Victor will host hip-hop artist Lyrics Born (10 p.m., $25-$28), who is one of the best-selling indie artists of his genre, throwing down minimalist grooves and a less-bling-more-honesty approach to lyricism. Up the road at Grand Targhee Resort’s Trap Bar, the theme is Thift Store Funk Party with a super groovy, blues-rock quartet in Kris Lager Band (9 p.m., $20-$25).

The two late-night parties in Teton Village will feature quality local cover bands. At the Mangy Moose, catch Uncle Stack & the Attack (9:30 p.m., $18), or celebrate at 9,095 feet via the Bridger Gondola for the Gondi-Gala with nine-piece Whiskey Mornin’ (9 p.m., $71). For an early-evening option, stop by the Ascent Lounge in Four Seasons Resort for The Miller Sisters, a country-soul duo (4 to 7 p.m., free).

If it’s a quieter, jazz-filled room you are yearning for, there are a couple of options. Papa Chan Quartet will play ‘20s to ‘40s standards at Teton Pines Restaurant (7 to 10 p.m., free), while Keith Phillips plays a grand piano alongside bassist Aaron Miller at The Granary in Spring Creek Resort (7 p.m. to 12:15 a.m., free).

In and around Jackson’s Town Square, local sextet Sneaky Pete & the Secret Weapons will be pulsing a funk-groove party at Town Square Tavern (10 p.m., $20), while country/classic rock band Beyond Control maintain their nightly, month-long residency at the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar (9 p.m.). One of the few early-evening options, country/Americana band Quenby & the West of Wayland Band will entertain at Silver Dollar Bar (8 p.m., free).

123114musicbox.badIf you’re looking for a costumed dance party with the King of Pop, Pink Garter Theatre will play host to Who’s Bad: The Ultimate Michael Jackson Tribute (9 p.m.). Tickets are $55, with the option of adding a VIP table for $100. A YouTube confirmation of Jackson’s imitator, Joseph Bell, solidifies one thing for sure: this dude has serious dance moves. Bell can also hit the high notes, appeared in the TV movie The Jacksons: An American Dream, and is a spitting image of his subject. This will be quite a production, and it has sold out more than 50 shows across the UK, including London’s O2.

Beyond NYE, McMurtry supports Complicated Game

An artist that lives by the sentiment, “It is not our job to be loved, it’s our job to be remembered,” Austin singer-songwriter James McMurtry’s schedule doesn’t push beyond the Texas border during the winter months except to perform at Center for the Arts on Friday. McMurtry’s poignant lyricism draws out the grit (and sometimes the ugly underbelly) of American society by utilizing keen character sketches and parody through his songs.

123114musicbox.mccmurtryOn his first album in six years, Complicated Game (due Feb. 24), the lead single, “How’m I Gonna Find You Now,” is “a speed-freak song,” according to the Grammy-nominated McMurtry. “It comes from hanging out in North Texas where there’s just way too much meth. Some of my cousins are strung out on it, and it’s not funny. So sometimes you’ve gotta turn those songs into a cartoon to get to them.”

James McMurtry (solo), 7 p.m. on Friday at Center Theater. $29-$34. jhcenterforthearts.org.

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About Aaron Davis

Aaron Davis is a decade-long writer of Music Box, a singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, member of Screen Door Porch and Boondocks, founder/host of Songwriter’s Alley, and co-founder of The WYOmericana Caravan.

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