MUSIC BOX: Finest tunes

By on September 1, 2015

Grand Targhee hosts bands, bikes booze and more

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Watch World’s Finest as the band attempts to live up to its name Sunday at the ‘ghee during the Annual Teton Mountain Bike Festival.

Jackson Hole, Wyoming – On paper, the drifting imagination may have a hard time relating to a sound that claims “ska-Americana-dub-grass.” The equation of folksy guitar strumming, skanky dance beats, funky horn soloing, a dynamic electric banjo, and vocal melodies borrowed from classic reggae are an anomaly on their own. The bar of expectations is raised to its fullest when a band calls themselves World’s Finest.

As evidenced on its third studio effort, “Headwaters,” the band is engaging and compositionally stimulating. The greatest progression from its debut album, “33,” is the Avett Brothers-inspired vocal arrangements by guitarist Chris Couch, banjoist Dan Hurley and saxophonist Sean McClean. The harmonic formula does wonders for the type of feel good music that steers away from the righteous lyrics of classic reggae acts in favor of contemporary storytelling of travel and love. In the live set, they’re also not scared to throw in a classic 1990s cover like Freak Nasty’s “Da Dip.”

World’s Finest will be entertaining at the four-day 6th Annual Teton Mountain Bike Festival at Grand Targhee Resort, which was rated the number one bike park in the Northwest by MTBParks.com. From group rides, adaptive clinics, jump parks and 2016 bike demos, to point-to-point cross country racing like the 25 mile Super D, the fest has something to offer for every type of rider. Find more information about the bike fest at TetonMountainBikeFest.tvtap.org.

World’s Finest, 7:30 p.m., Sunday at The Trap Bar at Grand Targhee Resort. Local classic rock band Rock Creek plays 7:30 p.m., Saturday at The Trap. Free, all-ages. GrandTarghee.com.

Jackmormons get reboot

Jerry Joseph’s public story of beating a heroin addiction and passing through discouraging times explains the rough edge in his personality, and in his cathartic lyricism. His philosophy of substance over production with respect to songcraft is an attribute Joseph links to the sharp contemporary of songwriters that he respects—Elvis Costello, Warren Zevon, Tim Bluhm and Nick Lowe.

Joseph paid his dues with reggae rockers Little Women in the mid-1980s, which also included guitarist Steve Kimoch for a brief era, of whom he’s been playing duo gigs with as of late. Joseph described Little Women as “a mash-up of Burning Spear and the Grateful Dead dressed up like the New York Dolls.” Jam giants Widespread Panic were big fans of the band, adopting some of Joseph’s tunes as staples in their own sets—“North,” “Chainsaw City” and “Climb to Safety.”

Joseph was named to the Oregon Music Hall of Fame this year, corresponding nicely as his band The Jackmormons celebrate 20 years. The current band lineup includes longtime collaborators Steve Drizos on drums, bassist Steve James Wright, and another great songwriter/guitarist in Jeff Crosby, which has made a name for himself in the region—first with jamband Equal Eyes, and more recently with his Americana/rock project Jeff Crosby & the Refugees.

“I’ve been waving the banner of this kid Jeff Crosby for a couple of years now,” Joseph told Jambase last fall. “I put out his record and I think he’s the real deal. I don’t know if playing with me is the smartest move he could make [laughs] but he’s fucking awesome.”

Jerry Joseph & the Jackmormons, 10 p.m., Wednesday at Town Square Tavern. $10. 733-3886. PJH

Aaron Davis is an award-winning singer-songwriter, journalist, multi-instrumentalist, frontman for bands Screen Door Porch and Boondocks, and founder/host of Songwriter’s Alley.

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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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