MUSIC BOX: Wyoming Songwriters Highjacked

By on June 21, 2016

Dixieland jazz group Jackson 6 releases covers album, Marc Broussard plays the Center and Texans invade Tavern.

Left: Local flavor abounds on Jackson 6’s release, Highjacked. An album release party happens Monday at the Stagecoach. Right: Marc Broussard‘s bayou doused soul sweetens Center for the Arts on Monday.

Left: Local flavor abounds on Jackson 6’s release, Highjacked. An album release party happens Monday at the Stagecoach. Right: Marc Broussard‘s bayou doused soul sweetens Center for the Arts on Monday.

JACKSON HOLE, WY – After a year of research and three years of sporadic recording, local Dixieland and New Orleans-style jazz ensemble Jackson 6 will celebrate the release of its sophomore album, Highjacked, at the Stagecoach Monday, June 27. 

Bandleader John Kidwell’s concept of “ripping off” his favorite Wyoming songwriters and re-arranging their songs has been casual bar talk for the better half of the last decade, and he did well to chase it down. After seeing how many musicians were involved (19) and the number of songwriters (12) that were hijacked, it was a multi-faceted project that shines light on Wyoming’s burgeoning scene, one that has largely remained off the radar to folks in other parts of the country.

“It took a while because we were assembling songs that we’d never done before and we wanted to get the local artists that we really wanted,” Kidwell said from his Lander abode. “I narrowed the list of songs down from about 17. Most were recorded at The Henhouse [in Victor] with some guest tracks recorded in London, Oklahoma City, Portland and L.A.”

The Wyoming songwriters covered are Michael Batdorf, Mike Dowling, Jalan Crossland, Pam Phillips, Justin Smith, Pete Muldoon, Jo La Fevre, Jack Tolan, Peter “Chanman” Chandler, Aaron Davis (yours truly), Keith Phillips, Anne and Pete Sibley, and one cover of a cover—Bill Briggs’ arrangement of a traditional song originally recorded by Uncle Dave Mason. While one can expect a Dixieland vibe to a little more than half of the album with a Kidwell croon, there’s also a fair amount of straight-ahead country feels (“Bosler,” “Getting By,” “Buddy Won’t You Roll Down the Line”) and two guest vocalists—Bill Briggs singing his own arrangement and Batdorf singing Crossland’s “Bosler.” The core studio band is Keith Phillips (keys, accordion), Jason Baggett (drums) and engineer Ben Winship (bass, mandolin, backing vocals) along with Kidwell on lead and backing vocals, trombone and percussion.

Kidwell has been a staple in the local scene for over a decade and is a frequent stage guest to many acts including Pam Phillips Trio and Boondocks. He’s also a member of Chanman Roots Band.

Please note that there is a new jazz band in town with a similar name, J6, which is the spin-off project of former Jackson 6 member, saxophonist Jason Fritts.

Jackson 6 album release party, 7:30 p.m. Monday, June 27 at the Stagecoach Bar in Wilson. Free. 733-2207.

Broussard’s bayou soul

The term “Bayou soul” could only come from one place—Louisiana. Marc Broussard embodies that Southern swagger of funk, blues, R&B, rock and pop much like his friend and occasional collaborator Anders Osborne. With a vocal style that hints at Otis Redding, Broussard has been a road dog for much of his career supporting big acts like Maroon 5, Dave Matthews Band, Willie Nelson and Bonnie Raitt among others. His rootsy folk-rock was last documented with 2014’s A Life Worth Living followed by a Christmas album, Magnolias & Mistletoe, last year. He’ll be in tow with Chad Gilmore (drums), Joe Stark (guitar), and David Raymond Jr. (bass).

Marc Broussard, 8 p.m. Monday, June 27 at the Center Theater. $49-$59. JHCenterForTheArts.org; 733-4900.

Two nights of top-notch bands at Town Square Tavern this week. Top: Midnight River Choir anoints audiences Friday. Bottom: Mike and the Moonpies saddle up with honky-tonk Thursday.

Two nights of top-notch bands at Town Square Tavern this week. Top: Midnight River Choir anoints audiences Friday. Bottom: Mike and the Moonpies saddle up with honky-tonk Thursday.

Choir born from the river

The sleeper show of the week goes to Midnight River Choir—a well-produced group from New Braunfels, Texas, that brings raw rock energy with a soulful, harmony-ladened vocal attack. Up-tempo, bluesy boogies with a double guitar are this quartet’s bread and butter while lead singer Eric Middleton gets plenty of choir help from his brethren. Strength in numbers was the realization when the band met on a Guadalupe River float trip and started singing together as strangers. Sometimes things are just meant to be.

Midnight River Choir, 10 p.m. Friday, June 24 at Town Square Tavern. $5. 733-3886.

Double Texas country

From honky-tonkin’ to country and Western two-stepping, you’d think Austin’s Mike and the Moonpies might have found their way to the Silver Dollar, Cowboy Bar or Stagecoach Bar, yet this dance party will be at Town Square Tavern. On the band’s third album, Mockingbird, lead man Mike Harmeier sings, “With my Levi jeans and snakeskin boots, I dress like 1982.” You’ll get plenty of classic sounding Texas country with opener Sam Riggs, who just released Breathless, a set that veers toward the mainstream with a foot in Red Dirt country.

Mike and the Moonpies with Sam Riggs, 10 p.m. Thursday, June 23 at Town Square Tavern. $5. 733-3886. 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.

160622Music_PlanetPicks

160622Music_PlanetPicks-2WEDnesday

Songwriter’s Alley Open Mic feat. Tasha Ghozali & Rob Sidle Band (Silver Dollar), Byron Tomingas (Jenny Lake Lodge)

THURsday

Mike & the Moonpies with Sam Riggs (Town Square Tavern); Major Zephyr (Silver Dollar)

FRIday

DJ Souly Hitz of Head 2 Head (The Rose)

SATurday

Sneaky Pete & the Secret Weapons (Silver Dollar)

SUNday

The Stagecoach Band (Stagecoach Bar)

Monday

Jackson 6 Album Release (Stagecoach Bar); Marc Broussard (Center Theater)

TUESday

One Ton Pig (Silver Dollar)

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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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