MUSIC BOX: Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler
Fat Tuesday and Mardi Gras weekend bring Pimps of Joytime with March Fourth, B-Side Players and Jackson 6.
JACKSON HOLE, WY – The cultural energy of Mardi Gras, or Carnival, brings a blitz of New Orleans-inspired sound waves to the Tetons this week. Fat Tuesday is always the day before Ash Wednesday, which is always 46 days before Easter, which can fall on any Sunday from March 23 to April 25. Got that? If you guessed that Fat Tuesday falls on the last day of February this year, you’re right. The festive atmosphere through the weekend is a surefire way to pretend that you are in the Crescent City.
You may want to consider starting your Fat Tuesday by grabbing festive Cajun grub at Snake River Brewing for a foundation before catching local Dixieland staples Jackson 6 at the Silver Dollar (7:30 p.m., free), and ultimately touching down across the street at the Pink Garter Theatre for a super double-bill. Brooklyn’s Pimps of Joytime will follow a set by the 20 musicians, dancers and circus-like artisans of March Fourth Marching Band, who decidedly have their scope on the Fat Tuesday that falls on March 4 in 2025.
Pimps of Joytime have a contagious sound. Its new release, Third Wall Chronicles, drops March 24 and is an album co-produced by Pimps’ lead man Brian Jay and Los Lobos’ Steve Berlin. The Joytime arrives at a warmly produced intersection of the Brooklyn indie music scene, New Orleans funk and San Francisco soul, along with massive dance beats. It’s largely Jay’s in-house production style that makes this set sound rather fresh. In the case of the track “Jack Stackin,” he pulls from samples via his vast catalogue of recordings for base elements while layering atop, in this case, vocals through a low-fi mic purchased for $40 at a thift shop.
“Brian Jay is a bit of a genius,” said Steve Berlin, who won Grammy awards with such varied sounds as Los Lobos, Buckwheat Zydeco, Ozomatli, and John Lee Hooker. “It was a blast just coming in and making a few things larger and more colorful. He has the remarkable ability to get an idea, get a sound and make it real at a speed that I’ve never seen before.”
The fourth full-length release from the band also reflects Jay’s heavy rotation of Afrobeat and Tame Impala-inspired EDM. It’s a new direction for the five-piece, which also consists of Mayteana Morales (vocals), Kimberly Dawson (vocals), David Bailis (drums) and John Staten (guitar). The heart and literal soul of the project pulls from the brain of Jay, who finds equal inspiration from simply one man singing with an acoustic guitar to infusing a Brooklyn DJ attitude with NOLA funk and the vocal stylings of the great soul singers of the 50s and 60s. It doesn’t get much slinkier than “Mud,” a tune that has guest Ivan Neville singing over an irresistible lesson in slow groove.
“There’s a soulful G spot that I am forever trying to please with vintage tones or even a single note on the guitar,” Jay said. “I’m always trying to get off in a musical sense. I love a fat groove that has some stank on it, but centered around the best song I can possibly compose.”
Beads, masks, wigs, and jesters will all come in handy for this one.
Pimps of Joytime and March Fourth Marching Band, 9 p.m. Fat Tuesday, February 28 at the Pink Garter Theatre. $20 to $25. PinkGarterTheatre.com
B-Side: Down to the Brown
Knotty Pine owner Brice Nelson has been producing shows at the Teton Valley venue and supper club for two decades now. For him, San Diego-based eight-piece B-Side Players are “a special band that has been a cornerstone for our local music scene for 20 years.”
With grit and unrehearsed moments of zen driven by polyrhythmic groove and a worldly musical language, these Players can effortlessly drop you down into Cuba, Jamaica, Mexico and Brazil, owning funk, rock, jazz, cumbia, salsa, and boogaloo. What this largely means is a slammin’ dance party and, it’s the real deal.
B-Side Players Down with the Brown Tour, 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, February 24 and 25 at the Knotty Pine in Victor. $12/show or $20/both nights. KnottyPineSupperClub.com. PJH
Aaron Davis is a singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, recording engineer, member of Screen Door Porch and Boondocks, founder/host of Songwriter’s Alley, and co-founder of The WYOmericana Caravan.
PTO & Stackhouse (Mangy Moose), The Bo & Joe Sexy Show (Town Square Tavern),
A-Mac DZ (Town Square Tavern), Major Zephyr (Silver Dollar)
Willie Waldman (Trap Bar), B-Side Players (Knotty Pine), Screen Door Porch (Silver Dollar)
49er Ball with Bootleg Flyer (Virginian), B-Side Players (Knotty Pine)
Miller Sisters Hymnal Album Release Party (Silver Dollar), Dirt Road Band (Trap Bar)
Teton Dixie Kings (Trap Bar), BOGDOG (Mangy Moose)
Pimps of Joytime and MarchFourth Marching Band (Pink Garter), Jackson 6 (Silver Dollar), DJ BanjoBeats (Snake River Brewing)