MUSIC BOX: Rock-In the New Year

By on December 29, 2015

Welcome 2016 with lots of funk, a little bit of country-grass, some R&B and a couple of hopping DJ parties.

Don’t miss the majorly talented local outfit Major Zephyr at The Wort on New Year’s (left), or dig into some soulful rock ‘n’ roll at the Pink Garter care of Seattle’s Down North.

Don’t miss the majorly talented local outfit Major Zephyr at The Wort on New Year’s (left), or dig into some soulful rock ‘n’ roll at the Pink Garter care of Seattle’s Down North.

Jackson, WY – Picking a New Year’s Eve party to ring-in sweet ’16 will be a fun endeavor in Jackson this year with lots of options to choose from. Do you want something close to your bed? A bluegrass hoedown? An EDM dance party? Mainstream country? A funk-nasty soul groove vibe? This year’s party menu is local-heavy, featuring a smattering of Teton County’s favorite party bands and a pair of traveling acts.

Starting on Town Square, you’ll find a band that has taken the region by storm over the last year. There’s good reason that groove-funk band Sneaky Pete and the Secret Weapons have found a homebase as Town Square Tavern’s go-to holiday and event band — they have that beat, that dance-party vibe with funky keys and a punchy horn, and they do it with an original stamp. The band recently downsized from a six piece to a five piece as drummer Zach Zimmerman left (he’s now station manager at KHOL 89.1 FM), and Gregory Miles switched from perscussion to drum kit. The Weapons’ debut album “Breakfast” reached number five on the Relix Magazine/Jambands.com radio chart. Sneaky Pete and the Secret Weapons start playing at 10 p.m., Thursday at Town Square Tavern. $15 advance, $20 day-of-show. 733-2886, 307Live.com.

A human jukebox band from Nashville, Beyond Control has a two-week stand at the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar and will be putting on a show for New Year’s Eve. Popular country (the Judds), classic rock (Fleetwood Mac) and Top 40 (Lady Gaga, Lady Antebellum) are sure bets. Beyond Control, 9 p.m., Thursday at Million Dollar Cowboy Bar. $15. 733-2207.

If it’s alternative and outlaw country that shakes your boots, don’t look any further than Major Zephyr with guest Ben Winship. Zephyr alone is a highly talented outfit with top-notch soloists and a Johnny Cash-voiced frontman a la Pete Muldoon. Add the Winship factor, a world-class mandolinist, and this seven-piece band will not only pack the dance floor but also keep the seated crowd fully engaged. Major Zephyr featuring Ben Winship, 7:30 to 11 p.m., Thursday at the Silver Dollar Showroom. Free. 732-3939.

Across the street at the Pink Garter Theatre, it’s Seattle four-piece Down North making an appearance. Mixing party-fueled soul and rock, the group is fronted by vocalist/dancer Anthony “RenaGade” Briscoe.

“People think we’re a funk band,” Briscoe told Inlander this month. “Three of the dudes are black, and we’re playing rock ’n’ roll, and so people don’t know what to call it. But there are no horns on the stage. We’re soul. Rock ’n’ roll has soul. We’re about bringing musicianship back to pop music, because that’s what it used to be.”

Bo Elledge and Sheena Dinesh, of Canyon Kids, open the show. Down North with late night set by DJs Souly Hitz and OH! Nassi from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m., Thursday at Pink Garter Theatre/The Rose. $25-$30. PinkGarterTheatre.com, 733-1500.

An early-eve-into-late-night dance party can be found at the Virginian, where DJs Londo and Cut la Whut will spin for several hours. DJs Londo and Cut la Whut, 9 p.m., Thursday at the Virginian Saloon. Free. 739-9891.

Moving onward to Teton Village, one of the valley’s most intriguing shows will feature monster banjoist and slide guitarist Tony Furtado joining local jamgrass/Americana purveyors One Ton Pig. The Pig already performs at a high level at its mainstay Tuesday gig at the Silver Dollar, but you can’t help imagining that this performance has had the six-piece band rehearsing with a new fire lit beneath it. One Ton Pig featuring Tony Furtado, 9:30 p.m., Thursday at the Mangy Moose. $20. MangyMoose.com.

Road tripping over Teton Pass to Teton Valley, the Knotty Pine will host Montana’s greatest funk export in recent years, Cure for the Common. The “electro thunder funk” quintet may play Teton County as much as its home in Bozeman, banking on the fact that we love our live band dance grooves. Cure for the Common, 10 p.m., Thursday at the Knotty Pine in Victor. $12. KnottyPineSupperClub.com, 208-787-2866.

Up Ski Hill Road at Grand Targhee Resort’s Trap Bar, you’ll find Jackson’s Uncle Stack and the Attack, a band focused on playing what the cover-loving crowd wants to hear — Led Zeppelin, forgotten disco gems and R&B classics. Uncle Stack and the Attack, 9 p.m., Thursday at the Trap Bar. $10 advance, $15 day-of-show. GrandTarghee.com. PJH

Aaron Davis is a songwriting troubadour, multi-instrumentalist, founding member of Screen Door Porch and Boondocks, and 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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