MUSIC BOX: Final Hurrahs

By on April 11, 2017

Lazy Eyes rocks Targhee for closing day, Gary Small & the Coyote Brothers migrate from Sheridan.

Lazy Eyes

JACKSON HOLE, WY – The best part about closing weekend shenanigans is that it happens twice—JHMR last weekend, and Grand Targhee this Sunday. The weekend at Targhee’s Trap Bar will feature Celtic Americana band Swagger on Friday, and an epic closing party with basement rock band Lazy Eyes on Sunday. The Teton Adaptive Fundraiser and race is on Saturday.

“We love Targhee and the onslaught of closing day costumes. The Trap is a great intimate setting with more of a village atmosphere,” said Lazy Eyes guitarist/vocalist Steve Whitney. “There’s seven of us and it’s about split between those of us that live in Teton Valley and Jackson, so we get that hometown feel on both sides.”

Lazy Eyes formed in 2008 with the informal notion to just get together and play music. The love of mountains and a bond over similar tastes in music became the foundation for the large ensemble, which earned silver for Best Cover Band in the 2017 Best of Jackson Hole readers’ poll. From classic rock to punk, hip-hop, blues, and metal, the band has an “avalanche of sound” with an upbeat mentality.

“We really look for the high-energy songs with good vocals and catchy tempos,” Whitney said. “That’s what people gravitate towards. We learned a bunch of new stuff last fall and I feel like it’s evolving right now. We all have other jobs and just do it for fun. It ebbs and flows with the seasons, playing less in the summer and more in the fall and winter. There’s no pressure to get gigs for money, and none of us live together or really hang out outside of the band, so it’s really fun to get together and catch up on a personal level and then connect through the music.” Lazy Eyes, 3 to 6 p.m. Sunday, April 16 at The Trap Bar, Grand Targhee Resort, free.

Park City, Utah-based Swagger, named after a Flogging Molly album, has been touring the region for over a decade and has released three albums over the years—Trouble on the Green (2008), The Grave (2010), and America Land (2013). Led by Rick Butler (vocals, mandolin, guitar & octave mandolin) along with Dennis Harrington (fiddle, vocals), Manny Slack (bass), Mark Mottonen (drums and Celtic percussion), and Andrew Marshall (guitar, mandolin, octave Mandolin, vocals), the band has made Targhee a regular late-season stop over the last several years. Swagger, 3 to 6 p.m. Friday, April 14 in The Trap Bar at Grand Targhee Resort, free.

Gary Small

Sheridan Coyotes stampede into valley

Purveyors of Santana-esque boogie music spread across rock ‘n’ roll, blues and surf, Sheridan-based Gary Small & The Coyote Brothers will return to the Wort for a two-night run. Small is a member of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe, whose reservation resides in remote Southeast Montana to the east of the Little Bighorn Battlefield. Small lived in Portland, Oregon, for years before returning to Wyoming to care for his father many years ago. While in Portland, he released one of his personal favorites, Wild Indians (2002).

“I’ve always wanted to get back into the Wild Indians format. It’s a very Bob Marley, Santana, and War kind of vibe, lots of musical parts going on,” Small told PowWows. “In 2010, we had a Wild Indians reunion concert and did a one time concert at the WYO Theater. I flew some of my main guys in from Portland to do it. I’m still getting compliments about that show. Since then I bought my own recording gear and we have a beautiful studio to record in, out in the country. It’s a great environment to make music, nothing elaborate, just standard recording tools. But now we have all the studio time in the world.”

Small has been nominated for and won a handful of Native American Music Awards (Nammy) over the years, including Best World Music for his 2013 album Hostiles & Renegades, Songwriter of the Year, and Best Male Vocalist. The Coyote Brothers won the Wyoming International Blues Challenge in 2013 and 2014, traveling to Memphis to represent the state. Gary Small & The Coyote Brothers, 7:30 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, April 14 and 15 at the Silver Dollar Bar, free. 307-733-2190. PJH

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


Vinyl Night (The Rose)


Swagger (Trap Bar), Gary Small & the Coyote Brothers (Silver Dollar), Pam Drews Phillips Trio (The Granary),


Gary Small & the Coyote Brothers (Silver Dollar)


Lazy Eyes (Trap Bar), Stagecoach Band (Stagecoach Bar), Open Mic (Pinky G’s)


One Ton Pig (Silver Dollar)

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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