MUSIC BOX: The Groove Within and The Pig

By on November 29, 2016

Particle and Kung Fu bring jamtronica fusion, One Ton Pig celebrates 10 years of Bluegrass Tuesdays.

Kung Fu chops up the Garter with Particle on Wednesday.

Kung Fu chops up the Garter with Particle on Wednesday.

JACKSON HOLE, WY – Insistent dance floor thumping, prog-rock and disco-flavored sounds were not always a staple in the jamband scene. Jamtronica, or funk-tronic, grew at the hands of Particle, a band that formed in L.A. in 2000 and was at the forefront of the movement that also included Sound Tribe Sector 9 and Lotus. Particle revived the touring machine earlier this year and has since teamed up with fellow funk “nu-sion” band Kung Fu for a double-bill package of electronic dance-rock.

Particle’s lineup will include longtime friends guitarist Mike Daum (Night Phoenix) and drummer Kito Bovenschulte (FiKus) into the fold, both of which have been special guests with the band throughout the years. With a focus on the live show including marathon sets like a five-hour show at Bonnaroo for more than 20 thousand people, Particle released a single studio album, Launchpad in 2004, followed by Transformations Live for the People in 2006.

As for Kung Fu, take a spin with Joyride, the band’s 2016 release that weaves powerful grooves with a fusion that brings to mind Weather Report and Mahavishnu Orchestra with more of an EDM-informed sensibility. The band consists of virtuoso Tim Palmieri (guitar and vocals); Robert Somerville (tenor sax and vocals); Beau Sasser (keyboards and vocals); Chris DeAngelis (bass guitar and vocals) and Adrian Tramontano (drums/percussion).

“We want to hold the groove within while taking a lot of chances,” Palmieri told Grateful Web. He has been compared to a spawn of John McLaughlin and Robert Fripp. “Everyone’s a great listener and killer player and the music is intense, especially at high altitude. You get to the point where you’re not thinking, but you’re in control of you’re thinking. It’s a paradox of controlled freedom.”

Kung Fu with Particle and Cut La Whut, 9 p.m. Wednesday, November 30 at the Pink Garter Theatre. $20., 307-733-1500.

One Ton Pig celebrates a decade of Tuesday jams at The Wort.

One Ton Pig celebrates a decade of Tuesday jams at The Wort.

Grass-fed Pig turns 10

“Cultivate this love on a single night and let that shit grow.” – from “Two to Get on Stage,” written by One Ton Pig’s Michael Batdorf

Whether you moved here last month for your first winter or rolled into town a decade ago, chances are solid for the average bargoer or swing dance connoisseur that you’ve encountered the Pig, the One Ton Pig. From alt-country story songs to progressive jam-grass and that dependable train beat, the sextet celebrates their 10th anniversary of Bluegrass Tuesdays coinciding with the Wort’s 75th anniversary year.

As the ole saying goes, “Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered,” and this Pig has not tempted hoggish greed but rather settled into its Tuesday residency and never looked back. In a sense, they’ve fattened up their local following by trimming the fat. Not overly ambitious towards burning up miles of pavement touring the country in a van—which they’ve certainly had the goods to do and occasionally have dabbled in—the band also didn’t burn themselves out that way. Instead, they have evolved under the umbrella of a magnetic Tuesday and summers full of gigs while holding down day jobs.

The ultra-talented Pig began as a quartet with “a single season contract” at the Silver Dollar Bar featuring founding members guitarist/vocalist Michael Batdorf, guitarist/vocalist Justin Smith, drummer Jason Baggett, and bassist Greg Creamer. Andy Calder soon replaced Creamer on bass, followed by the addition of mandolinist Tim Farris a few years later. The sextet was completed when fiddler Matt Herron moved to the valley about five years ago. The current lineup can be heard on the band’s 2015 release Lastville, their third studio album of original material since recording a debut live album in 2008. While Batdorf is the primary songwriter, Smith and Farris have also contributed originals for the group, which has developed a brotherly chemistry in its tenure.

The weekly Bluegrass Tuesday party attracts an equal slice of Jackson’s demographic—the 90-dayers, cowboys and ranchers, ski bums, tourists of all stripes, and a hardcore club of dancers that have come to love the Pig beat. While the tradition has a few decades to catch up to the Stagecoach Band’s 47-year residency on Sundays in Wilson, there’s no doubt that Tuesdays with One Ton Pig is a well-attended tradition that’s built to last.

“It’s not the stage I got a problem with, it’s that I gotta get back home,” Batdorf howls after the minimum “Two to Get on Stage.” And we’re right there with you, boys. Meet ‘em at The Wort.

One Ton Pig 10th anniversary, 7:30 to 11 p.m. Tuesday, December 6 at the Silver Dollar Showroom. Free., 307-732-3939. PJH

Aaron Davis is a singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, recording engineer, member of Screen Door Porch and Boondocks, founder/host of Songwriter’s Alley, and co-founder of The WYOmericana Caravan.



Kung Fu with Particle and Cut La Whut (Pink Garter Theatre)


Lazy Eyes at Moose Hockey (Snow King Center), Sneaky Pete & the Secret Weapons (Silver Dollar)


Sneaky Pete & the Secret Weapons (Silver Dollar), Beats By Capella (Town Square Tavern), Lazy Eyes at Moose Hockey (Snow King Center)


Stagecoach Band (Stagecoach)


Jackson Hole Hootenanny (Dornan’s)


One Ton Pig (Silver Dollar), Jon Wayne & the Pain (Town Square Tavern)

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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