MUSIC BOX: Blues swagger; back to the underground

By on December 23, 2014
Kris Lager Band is throwing a Thrift Store Funk Party on New Year’s Eve at The Trap Bar. (Photo: Lilie Dahl)

Kris Lager Band is throwing a Thrift Store Funk Party on New Year’s Eve at The Trap Bar.
(Photo: Lilie Dahl)

Jackson Hole, Wyoming – Kris Lager Band has a sound that is instantly satisfying. A cousin to The Black Keys’s vintage swagger of blues, revivalist rock, funk and jam, this Omaha-based quartet adds another layer 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. The lovable name and the vibe of their 2012 album, Swagadocious, hooks you with enough classic sound before you realize how out-of-the-box they also strut. That album was followed by the Tab Benoit-produced, laidback blues effort Platte River Ruanaway. This time around, they roll into town to play on the exact date of their new release, Heavy Soul & Boogie Trance, an all-analog and mostly live recording produced by low-fi experts Kelly Finnigan and Ian McDonald of Monophonics.

This could be the most boogie-friendly outfit to ring in the New Year with a show on each side of the Tetons.

Kris Lager Band, 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday at Town Square Tavern. $5. 733-3886; Thrift Store Funk Party with Kris Lager Band, New Year’s Eve in The Trap Bar at Grand Targhee Resort. $20-$25.

Dilated Peoples dish classic beats

For those that mostly spin contemporary hip-hop on your gadgets, Directors of Photography, the new album from old-school L.A. lyricists Dilated Peoples, will be a throw back to what was once considered underground. There’s nothing avant-garde about the album’s production or the subject matter, though there can be comfort in staying true to a style. Even three decades later, this is a roots sound representative of time and era, absent of synths or EDM beats.

Dilated Peoples consists of Evidence, DJ Babu (of the Beat Junkies), and Rakaa Iriscience. Before 2014’s Directors of Photography, the trio’s previous release was 20/20, in 2006, as members were persuing solo projects shortly after. Working together in the mid-90s, the group was able to rally an underground scene via non-label releases, including the hip-hop radio hit “Work the Angles,” eventually signing with Capitol in 2000 for the release of The Platform, followed by three additional albums.

Dilated Peoples, 9 p.m. on Sunday at Pink Garter Theatre. $32-$35.

Montana jamband doubles down

Bozeman’s Cure for the Common brings a progressive jamband vibe, breathing Montana air and releasing with a funk-rock approach that spreads hip-hop, reggae and dance music with 20-something flare. Sometimes adorned with a horn section, the core unit has gained traction in the Montana region, moving from a basement concept to a handful of festival and theater stages.

Now a six-piece with a full-time lighting designer, the band is working so hard they will play an apres-ski show at Grand Targhee before crossing Teton Pass and playing an evening show in Teton Village on Saturday. Now that’s hardcore.

Cure for the Common, 3 to 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday in Trap Bar at Grand Targhee Resort (free), and 9:30 p.m. on Saturday at Mangy Moose in Teton Village ($10).

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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