MUSIC BOX: Shorty, swagger and a celebration of life

By on August 13, 2014

Feel good brass of Trombone Shorty

Trombone Shorty

Trombone Shorty

Jackson Hole, Wyoming – Growing up in the Treme neighborhood of New Orleans – the cultural hub of modern brass band tradition and culture – Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews fronted his first band at age six and toured internationally as a 12-year-old. Now 28, Trombone Shorty and his band Orleans Avenue are making their mark through a combination of hard-edged rock guitar, hip-hop beats and improvisation of the jazz tradition.

A perpetual thinker of ways to make people feel good at his concerts, Trombone Shorty also has the education of touring the world with Lenny Kravitz at age 19. That experience had a huge impact on the prodigy musician, whom also wields a trumpet when not blowing minds on the trombone and singing. Orleans Avenue pushes far beyond the street music of the Crescent City, stretching out into straight funk, blues, rock, soul and R&B, channeling James Brown, Stevie Wonder and Earth, Wind and Fire. The band is rounded out by baritone sax player Dan Oestreicher, Tim McFatter on tenor sax, bassist Michael Ballard, drummer Joey Peebles, and Pete Murano on guitar.

In 2010, Trombone Shorty released the Grammy-nominated Backatown, followed in 2011 by For True, which topped Billboard Magazine’s Contemporary Jazz Chart for 12 weeks. Released in September 2013, Say That To Say This, was co-produced by Shorty and R&B titan Raphael Saadiq.

The culmination of these three albums, worldwide touring, and an infectious stage vibe that audiences go crazy for, 2014 has already proved fruitful. Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue performed on the 56th annual Grammy Awards with Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Mary Lambert, Madonna and Queen Latifah, as well as made their rounds on all of the most popular TV late shows, as well as Austin City Limits. Groove/funk six-piece Sneaky Pete and the Secret Weapons will open with a set of original, high-energy party music.

Jackson Hole Live Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue with Sneaky Pete & the Secret Weapons, 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday at Snow King Ball Field. Free, all-ages. 

Northwest world-grass

Paralleling the vibe of eclectic string band Railroad Earth, Polecat shouldn’t be pinned as a bluegrass band. The Bellingham, Washington-based quintet incorporates drums and electric guitar along with fiddle, upright bass and twelve-string guitar while delving into world music, country, Celtic and rock. The result is a wide-reaching, song-based approach.

Polecat’s 2013 release, Fathoms, delves into mostly blissful subjects celebrating life, love and spending time with friends. This is not your Southern-bred high and lonesome sound, but rather a contemporary, twang-less play on a variety of melodic paths, anchored by inviting vocals and strong songwriting.

Polecat, 7:30 to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday at the Silver Dollar Bar. Free. 732-3939.



Kris Lager Band. Photo: Lilie Dahl.

Kris Lager Band has a sound that is instantly satisfying. A cousin to The Black Keys vintage swagger of blues, classic rock, funk and jam, this Omaha-based quartet adds even more rich texture to the tightness including various textures in the keyboard family. Lager’s voice has the whiskey-drenched, pack-a-day blues smoke of Warren Haynes.

Having toured with BB King, Buddy Guy, and Los Lonely Boys, these fellas know how to bring the heat. I love the name and the vibe of their 2013 album, Swagadocious, which hooks you in with enough of the classic sounds before you realize how out-of-the-box they can also strut. This could be the most boogie-friendly band to make its way from Nebraska to the Hole, ever.

Kris Lager Band, 9:30 p.m., Wednesday at Town Square Tavern. $5. 733-3886.

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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