Music Box: Jackson Hole gets Live

By on June 17, 2014

This weekend Anders Osborne kicks off JacksonHoleLive and crafty female songwriters perform.

Jackson Hole, Wyoming – A cultural gateway to summer here in the mountains is outdoor concerts. JacksonHoleLive kicks it all into gear this Sunday with monster rocker-meets-singer-songwriter Anders Osborne and local hard rock band Black Mother Jones.

Osborne’s range of both acoustic sensibility and electric epicness comes across loud and clear through his 13-album discography, dating back to 1989’s Doin’ Fine and through last year’s Peace, his fourth on Alligator Records. The Swedish-born, longtime New Orleans resident is more apt to bring the latter, rock-your-socks attitude for a setting like the one at Snow King Ball Park this weekend. He’s a possessed, growly guitarist with an obsession for massive hooks, colorful overtones and a sound bigger than the mountain itself.

“Peace is light from darkness,” Osborne said last year in a release about his latest album. “The songs are written from the outside looking in. They are not making any judgments. I’m just stating facts. I’m writing from a brighter perspective. There’s less dusk and dark, and much more sunlight. The results are greater than I expected. The driving tones and sounds are free and natural. This is one of the coolest records I’ve ever made.”

Aside from writing all of his own material, Osborne has contributed material to a range of other artists including two co-written tunes on Keb Mo’s Grammy-winning 1999 release, Slow Down. Country superstar Tim McGraw scored a No. 1 hit with his song “Watch The Wind Blow By,” while artists as diverse as Brad Paisley, Tab Benoit, Jonny Lang and Kim Carnes have covered his compositions.

Osborne has flown under the radar for far too long. Put him on yours if you like extended guitar jamming in a power trio setup.

This concert is in conjunction with the Jackson Hole Mountain Games (, a three-day adventure festival featuring mountain biking, bouldering, mountain running, paragliding and stand-up paddleboarding (SUP).

JacksonHoleLive presents Anders Osborne with Black Mother Jones, 5:30 p.m., Sunday at Snow King Ball Park. Free, all-ages. 


Fiasco at the Tav

If you haven’t met The Patti Fiasco, let me introduce you to the project that has been turning my head the most as of late. Raucous female-fronted energy and edgy songwriting via Encampment, Wyoming native Alysia Kraft, this five-piece (including two Star Valley natives) is ready to rumble. Epic electric dobro, thick bass grooves, and colorful three-part harmony make for a sweet yet saucy combination that has a black magic of its own. Take in the whole show and realize why their new album, Small Town Lights, was voted number one in the Ft. Collins peer awards.

The Patti Fiasco, 10 p.m., Friday at Town Square Tavern. $5. 733-3886. 


Female songwriters at new Driggs venue

A breezy combination of rootsy songwriting, a delicately infectious voice, and feel good chord progressions, Arkansas native Shannon Wurst will be making a stop in Driggs to join local singer-songwriter Mary Neil. Wurst’s worthy list of songwriting accolades proves not only the talent that she brings to the stage, but also her persistence in the singer-songwriter circuit. In 2008, she was a semi-finalist in Garrison Keillor’s Talented Twenties Contest as well as the winner of New Song Contest in Winfield, Kansas. She went on to be a Kerrville New Folk Finalist and received Arkansas Governor’s Fellowship Award in Folk Music Composition.

Poetic songwriter Mary Neil, also affectionately known as Moonshine Mary, is the charming host of Grand Targhee’s popular White Lightning Invitational Open Mic in winter.

Shannon Wurst with Mary Neil, 7 to 9 p.m., Thursday at Three Peaks Dinner Table in Driggs. Free. 208-354-9463. 

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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