MUSIC BOX: Silver Dollar Bar shines with makeover

By on May 19, 2015

The Silver Dollar Bar is now 40% larger, adorned with a new sound system, stage and dance floor. PHOTO: WORT HOTEL

Jackson Hole, Wyoming – These are electrifying times at the historic Silver Dollar Bar in The Wort Hotel, where the construction phase of a remodel has been in the works since mid-winter. The space itself has grown 40 percent to the west, where a newly designed bandstand and dance floor sits in the former locale of the Silver Dollar Mercantile gift shop. A smaller replica of the current bar has been produced — original artwork and silver dollars included — that will face the stage in the northwest corner of the new addition. Essentially, there will now be three rooms that can be divided by partition walls— the original bar area to the east, the central room where the stage and dance floor were previously, and the west room, which will initially open on music nights only.

Acoustically and aesthetically, the Silver Dollar has, at times, been a challenging space to produce a quality audio experience in “the box” where the previous stage used to sit. The area was soundproof, but not necessarily conducive to the flow of sound. Speakers were added to the main barroom a couple of years ago, which allowed sound to travel further without sacrificing certain frequencies. The latest room design is more open with speakers mounted not only above the stage, but also strategically tiered in the other two spaces to manage volume while allowing for sound to blanket the room. For what is arguably the venue with the most consistent dinner crowd that is also coupled with four nights of weekly live music, stepping up the audio and visual aspects of the stage will likely prove to be a worthwhile investment.

With the new space also comes another weekly band residency: Thursday Dance Party, courtesy of Dixieland and jazz band Jackson Six, led by the infamous trombone troubadour John Kidwell. The devoted crew of swing dancers will surely appreciate this new night (debuting May 28), along with the new dance floor real estate.

To celebrate the Grand Re-Opening this Saturday, local country-soul band Bootleg Flyer will break in the new stage, adorned by a special horn section for the night.

Silver Dollar Bar Grand Re-Opening with Bootleg Flyer, 7 to 11 p.m. Saturday. Free. 732-3939.

Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em

It sure is cool to see former Jacksonites from the formative days of yesteryear’s local music scene making waves on the regional and national front. Featuring former locals Pete Barrett (guitar, vocals, songwriting) and Matt Cornette (banjo), Missoula’s The Lil’ Smokies formed in 2009 along with Andy Dunnigan (dobro), Scott Parker (upright bass), Cameron Wilson (mandolin) and Jesse Brown (fiddle). The progressive bluegrass sextet has succeeded in growing a Montana following while also getting recognized on a national level. The Lil’ Smokies were honored most recently by the International Bluegrass Music Awards (IBMA 2014) with a nomination for the Momentum in Bluegrass Band Award.

The Lil’ Smokies, 10 p.m. Wednesday at Town Square Tavern. $5. 733-3886.

Bluegrass sextet, The Lil’ Smokies, performs Wednesday.

Bluegrass sextet, The Lil’ Smokies, performs Wednesday.

Smashing and electric

Celebrating 25 years of rugby in Jackson Hole, JH Moose Rugby will host live music, and both live and silent auctions in support of the men’s and women’s teams on Saturday. Jackson’s freshest cover band, The Electric Bliss, will unleash a soundtrack of alt-rock, disco, funk, pop and metal. The lineup includes Kirsten Farney (vocals), Mike Covell (guitar), Steve Ranck (drums) and David Bundy (bass).

The 1st Annual Smasher’s Ball with The Electric Bliss, 9:30 p.m. at Town Square Tavern. JH Moose Rugby fundraiser. $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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