MUSIC BOX: Maddy & The Groove Spots release debut

By on February 18, 2014
Cover art (by Kelly Halpin) from Maddy & The Groove Spots’ self-titled debut EP.
Cover art (by Kelly Halpin) from Maddy & The Groove Spots’ self-titled debut EP.

Cover art (by Kelly Halpin) from Maddy & The Groove Spots’ self-titled debut EP.

JACKSON, WYO – There’s an undercurrent of burgeoning young music talent in this town that’s not only making a presence on stage, but in the studio. Formed less than a year ago, Maddy and The Groove Spots is releasing a two-song debut EP this week and celebrating in Teton Village.

Fronted by singer-songwriter/keyboardist Madelaine German, the G-Spots consist of bassist Leif Routman alongside former Elk Attack members in guitarist Dusty Nichols and drummer John Wayne Harris, Jr. Backed by a successful fan-funded Kickstarter campaign, the quartet tracked at Henhouse Studio in Victor and brought along a videographer to capture it. Arranged by Routman, produced by Nichols, and written by German, the self-titled release came to fruition with a distinct vibe of contemporary jazz-pop and lounge funk that bubbles just beneath the surface.

German is the daughter of a music teacher, studying voice and piano in a classical and musical theater context throughout college before heading to L.A. to study film score composition.

“My parents were religious and had pretty conservative musical taste, and so for better or worse, there wasn’t really rock or folk music records sitting around my house at all. I was listening to and performing songs by guys like Sondheim and Gershwin. The one exception is the Beatles,” German said of her early influences. “As an adolescent, I got really into Bach, Debussy, Stravinsky … and the Spice Girls.”

“Since I started writing music about a year ago, I’ve had [folk and] jazz pretty heavy on the playlist. … Miles, Coltrane, Keith Jarrett. The biggest challenge I now face is that I’m picking up the studying of improvised style so late in life, and it’s a difficult task. The musical aspect of my songs ranges in style influence from Victorian Burlesque and Beethoven sonata to rocker chick meets 60s funk.”

The two songs – “Afraid” and “Undone” – are available as a stream/download in multiple formats for “name your price” via

Maddy and The Groove Spots EP Release, 9:30 p.m., Friday, at The Mangy Moose in Teton Village. Free.

KHOL will reward members with El Ten Eleven at Center Theater.

KHOL will reward members with El Ten Eleven at Center Theater.

Triple treat of Center shows
El Ten Eleven, Leo Kottke and Keb ‘Mo are all performing at Center for the Arts this week and for most music lovers, that means narrowing down the options.

The only way to see L.A.-based instrumental rock duo El Ten Eleven is to become a member of KHOL, Jackson Hole’s only community radio station, or to have renewed your membership through the Winter Membership Drive. Everyone who donates at the $35 level or higher is invited to attend with a guest. (Become a member at Coincidentally, 10 years in the making, El Ten Eleven combines fretless bass or double-neck bass/guitar looping over drums. The band has released five LPs since 2005.

KHOL Members Appreciation Party with El Ten Eleven, 7 p.m., Sunday, at the Center Theatre.

There’s no point in doubting that two-time Grammy nominee Leo Kottke is a living legend of instrumental-based acoustic guitar virtuosity. Discharged from the Navy in 1964, Kottke put out Twelve String Blues in 1968, which was followed by his major label debut, Mudlark, in 1971. His collaborations with Phish bassist Mike Gordon on 2002’s Clone and 2005’s Sixty-Six Steps attracted attention from a new, younger audience. Kottke is a timeless, under-appreciated songwriter and an indulgence to see in person.

Leo Kottke, 7 p.m., Saturday, at Center for the Arts. $32-$42.

Not unlike the vibe harvested by the late Doc Watson, Keb’ Mo’s casual and congenial stage presence brings the listener even closer to his music. His cheery, blues-meets-soul-folk song play is laced with impeccable guitar playing and a knack for spotlighting real issues in his writing.

Keb’ Mo’, 7 p.m., Monday, at Center for the Arts. $45-$65.

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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