MUSIC BOX: The West is the Best

By on March 23, 2016

A quartet of local original acts headline Out West Fest; blistering touring acts close the season.

“From the 20-something schemers to the 40-year-old dreamers, this town can’t tell them apart.”

—from Patrick Chadwick’s song “Won’t Let You Out”

San Fermin’s eight-piece band (top left), headlines a KHOL bash at the Pink Garter Theatre Wednesday. Canyon Kids  (bottom left) celebrate a new album during the Out West Fest Friday at the Garter; Patrick Chadwick (right), will also be in the house.

San Fermin’s eight-piece band (top left), headlines a KHOL bash at the Pink Garter Theatre Wednesday. Canyon Kids  (bottom left) celebrate a new album during the Out West Fest Friday at the Garter; Patrick Chadwick (right), will also be in the house.

JACKSON HOLE, WY – It’s a post-Rendezvous gift that just keeps on giving. Enjoy this dense week of concerts before the bottom falls out and you’re relaxing in a relatively quiet April mountain town.

From the masterminds of our own Canyon Kids—Dusty Nichols and Bo Elledge—let’s introduce the inaugural Out West Fest. Featuring four locally-based bands that are making music that I consider on par with some of this country’s greatest music cities, our scene is slowly re-shaping from a breeding ground of event and wedding bands to a hotbed of original acts that are drawing national attention. Each ticket to the show will also include a chance to win a yearlong online Yoga subscription courtesy of Yoga Today, an acoustic guitar from Jackson Hole Music, or a custom pair of skis designed and crafted by Maiden Skis.

The event was sparked by the updated full-length release of Canyon Kids’ Best Loved Poems of the American People, a concept album that features original songs along with interpretations of American poems through music that was composed to complement the words. The eight-song set features over a dozen local musicians, and the obvious chemistry shared between Nichols and Elledge has evolved. They will perform as a six-piece.

Over the past year, Nichols has also been co-producing and helping to engineer Patrick Chadwick’s debut EP, Soul of Mine, so the idea to expand two album releases into a full-fledged party that also includes Benyaro and Sneaky Pete & the Secret Weapons (who both happen to be working on new recordings of their own), made complete sense.

“I kind of gave up a couple times,” Nichols said of organizing the event. “Corralling four bands for the same date is not easy. With these two album releases we thought ‘why not showcase even more of the original music happening here and make it a bigger event?’”

For Chadwick—primary songwriter for the now dispersed bluegrass/folk quartet The Flannel Attractions—Out West Fest is the perfect opportunity to unleash his yearlong, four-track project. As a lyricist, songwriter, guitarist and singer, Chadwick’s music can be considered a diamond-in-the-rough. He’s pushing beyond the bluegrass realm with an indie-folk flavor that encompasses soul-pop, alt-country and more intricate arrangements.

“Being here five years and getting to know a bunch of other musicians, I took the luxury of using whatever instrumentation would serve each song,” Chadwick explained. “It was recorded in five different locations, some with Dusty and some on my own. For the show, I’ll be joined by Flannel bandmates Lucas Nash on mandolin, Leif Routman on bass, as well as Matt Herron on fiddle, Lauren Conrad singing harmony, and Jacob Green playing drums.”

Groove purveyors Sneaky Pete & the Secret Weapons have a new band member in drummer Phillip Walker, and will be making the trek to Boise for Treefort Music Fest the day after this show, proudly representing Wyoming as apparently the only band from the square state that was selected this year.

For acoustic, indie-soul duo Benyaro—the project of guitarist/vocalist/percussionist Ben Musser along with upright bassist/vocalist Routman—momentum is building for the announcement of their fourth studio effort. Recording began in spring of 2015 with Danny Kadar, who produced arguably the best Avett Brothers’ album (2007’s Emotionalism) as well as Grizzly Bear and Band of Horses.

Expect four acts playing about 40 minutes each, and a collaborative set to close out the first Out West Fest.

Out West Fest featuring Canyon Kids (album release), Sneaky Pete & the Secret Weapons, Patrick Chadwick (album release), and Benyaro, 9 p.m. Friday at the Pink Garter Theatre. $8-$10. PinkGarterTheatre.com, 733-1500.

Sneaky Pete & the Secret Weapons (left), and Benyaro (right), round out the bill for the Out West Fest Friday at the Pink Garter Theatre.

Sneaky Pete & the Secret Weapons (left), and Benyaro (right), round out the bill for the Out West Fest Friday at the Pink Garter Theatre.

The day the music didn’t die

Let me help you plan a ridiculous week of music consumption, day by day. Following a successful Winter Membership Drive, KHOL 89.1, Jackson Hole’s Community Radio station will celebrate with the quirky, indie-pop of San Fermin’s eight-piece band (Wednesday, Pink Garter Theatre; $15-$35) with the catchy Denmark outfit, The Foreign Resort.

Meanwhile, 307 Live will present the space groove of Magic Beans and newgrass string band The Kitchen Dwellers on the same ticket (Wednesday, Town Square Tavern; $10).

Originators of the “polyethnic Cajun slamgrass” genre, Colorado legends Leftover Salmon roll out a two-night run on the west slope (Thursday, Knotty Pine; $25), and Grammy-winning country-blues guitarist Mike Dowling will provide the intimacy in Moose (Friday, Dornan’s; $20).

Seek out One Ton Pig during après-ski under the tram (Saturday, JHMR; free) then watch eight-piece Chanman Roots Band turn the Hill Climbers into roots-reggae lovers (Friday and Saturday, Silver Dollar; free).

If your heart desires old-fashioned rock ‘n’ roll, take in some ZZ Top, Led Zeppelin and AC/DC with Switchback (Friday and Saturday, Town Square Tavern; $TBD).

Get it! PJH

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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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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