Retro and raw

By on January 23, 2013
Steven Roth to rock the town this week. - courtesy photo
Steven Roth to rock the town this week. - courtesy photo

Steven Roth to rock the town this week. – courtesy photo


Jackson Hole, Wyo.-Opening an arena show for The Who before a debut album has even hit the streets is a surefire way to jumpstart a career. Singer-songwriter/keyboardist Steven Roth will have that tremendous opportunity on Jan. 30 in his hometown of L.A., just days after playing Town Square Tavern. I’m guessing that his 100-or-so hits on YouTube will have a couple of zeros added to the end by early spring.

Roth, who released ElePhant as a member of pop-rock band Redstone Hall in 2010 before shortening his last name from Rothstein and going solo last year, brings a raw, soulful rock ‘n’ roll vibe to his swaggering vocals. His voice is ruggedly powerful and stands out, reminding me of another Californian multi-instrumentalist with swagger – Jackie Greene.

If local music connoisseurs have been digging fellow keyboard frontman Andy Frasco as of late, Roth seemingly sidesteps the over-the-top stage antics in favor of a more inviting, 70s-era rock tone laced with pop, blues and funk. Though according to his web bio, “his frontman persona stirs images of Morrison, Jagger and the rest of the captivating icons of crowd chemistry.” Roth’s debut album, Let it in, is set for release on Tuesday and was produced by Dave Cobb (Secret Sisters, Shooter Jennings).

“I want people to feel where I was when I wrote the songs and connect on an emotional level beyond the superficial,” he explained. Roth’s band will be a quartet with guitar, bass and drums.

Steven Roth, 9:30 p.m., Thursday, at Town Square Tavern. $5. 733-3886.

Home-cooked crank and apple pie
You get the idea that maybe Hellbound Glory got its name from living the rugged lifestyle of a country bar band. The tune “Scumbag Country” is an indication: “Walking home at 7 a.m./One last rain on last call/Raising hell with all my rowdy friends/They are snortin’ coke in a bathroom stall.”

Lead singer/songwriter Leroy Virgil delivers honkytonk lines that classic country lovers will appreciate with a big gulp of Bud. These guys roll out of Reno, self-described as “traditional as your grandma’s apple pie and as potent as your cousin’s home-cooked crank.” Bound to be a rowdy time on the west side of the Tetons before the band jumps on tour to support Kid Rock.
Hellbound Glory, 9:30 p.m., Saturday, at the Timberline Bar in Victor. 208-787-5000.

This grass smells like da funk
Since 2007, Jet Black Ninja Funkgrass Unit (JBNFU) have been penning tunes with multiple instrumental sections, changing quickly from one hook to the next while still leaving room for improvisation. In a record store, the well-oiled machine would fall directly between the bin of bluegrass and jamband, even sliding into “other.” As of late, the local trio has been diving into Rage Against the Machine and Metallica while methodically prepping a batch of new originals.

Jet Black Ninja Funkgrass Unit, 9:30 p.m., Friday, at Town Square Tavern. $5. 733-3886.

Well, Hell’s Belles
“The best AC/DC cover I’ve heard? There was an all-girl band in America, Hell’s Belles,” Angus Young told Blender back in 2003.

Jacksonites have a lust for cover bands, and Hell’s Belles is undoubtably one of the favorites. “Back in Black,” “High Voltage,” “TNT”—you’re going to hear all the hits, accompanied with some of the edgiest flare I’ve seen from a group of females.

Hell’s Belles, 9:30 p.m., Friday, at the Mangy Moose in Teton Village. $15.

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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