Free summer concert series kicks off

By on June 20, 2012

UK band The Dunwells headline JacksonHoleLive’s inuagural show at Snow King Ballpark. – photo by AMI BARWELL

Jackson Hole, Wyo.-It’s been a long time coming folks. A free, all-ages, outdoor concert series in the town of Jackson—JacksonHoleLive begins this week!

A collaboration between Center Management, Inc., the operators of the Snow King Sports and Event Center, Shannon McCormick of Live Event Strategies, and the Town of Jackson brings the community six weeks of free music with proceeds to benefit youth sports programs and basic operations at the Center. Talks of a local series have been in the works since the beginning of Teton Valley’s Music on Main series (started in 2006), and the local series that was originally proposed for the summer of 2008.

“With these concerts, the entire family will enjoy great music in a community setting at Snow King,” said Jackson Mayor Mark Barron. McCormick added, “We’ve gone to a flexible schedule to accommodate everyone’s busy summer schedules.We have done our best to avoid conflicts with other music events and are excited to bring free live music to town.”

The first show will feature pop-folk quintet The Dunwells from Leeds, England, and local rockers Whiskey Morning. Progress in the music biz is not always as easy as The Dunwells have made it look, especially in just under a year. In February, the band released its debut album, Blind Sighted Faith. What followed was a headlining slot at the International Folk Alliance Fest in Memphis, four South by Southwest shows, and a headlining U.S. tour that included support slots for Los Lonely Boys. Not too shabby for the group that includes two brothers and two cousins that range in age from 24 to 30.

“We have all left our day jobs, so now we practice and write a lot more, and are busy laying down demos for the future,” said vocalist/guitarist Joe Dunwell of the newfound success. “I think you can see on stage and off, that we feel we belong. The band is still the same five guys with the same idea to make music and to enjoy every minute doing it.”

The first tag that pops into mind while spinning Blind Sighted Faith is English pop-rock. The blend of self-described “harmony-laced folk, rock, Americana, pop and soul” was produced by nine-time Grammy winner John Porter (The Smiths, Elvis Costello, Ryan Adams), and tracked at Willie Nelson’s Pedernales Studio in Austin. What stands out is the dynamic variation from the album’s pop production versus the rootsy live performances that I found on YouTube. Its acoustic video sessions really showcase the band’s musicality and strong harmonies.

“On the album you can hear every word and really feel the point we are trying to get across,” Dunwell said. “We try and play with as much energy as possible without taking away from the songs. That, to me, is what the fun is all about.”
When asked to share the first thing that comes to mind when he thinks of Wyoming, guitarist Dave Hansen said, “I immediately picture the Wild West, cowboys, horse wrangling and rodeos.”

In addition to bringing world-class musicians to perform during the summer, JacksonHoleLive! will feature local food vendors, on-site bike parking, and a showcase for local nonprofit organizations.

JacksonHoleLive! presents The Dunwells with locals guests Whiskey Morning, 5:30 p.m., Saturday, at Snow King Ball Field. Free, all-ages.


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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