MUSIC BOX: Total Eclipse of the Musical Hearts

By on August 16, 2017

Eclipse weekend features Twiddle, The Deer, Supersuckers, Close but No Segar, David Gans and Sneaky Pete.


JACKSON HOLE, WY – The alarm is sounding for the final Jackson Hole Live concert this Friday, and thus the onset of summer dissipation. Progressive, tension-and-release exploratory jammers Twiddle are the season closers and it’s going to be a head-spinning mix of psych rock, reggae, pseudo-grass, and Santana-toned improvisational soloing via vocalist/guitarist Mihali Savoulidis.

Savoulidis is a technical standout and the band as a whole has been gaining copious steam in the last several years. Having formed in 2004 at Castleton State College in Vermont, yes, this is the “other Vermont jamband” you’ve been hearing about.

“We’ve been going really hard at it for 12 years,” Savoulidis recently told Live Music News, “and I think a lot of people think our success happened overnight, or that we just kind of popped up in the last few years, but we’ve really been hitting the country hard for a lot of years, playing every small rock club across the country.”

Twiddle has released four studio albums since 2007, including PLUMP: Chapter One (2015/remastered 2017) and PLUMP: Chapter Two (2017). These albums have really upped their cred with both eclectic jamband lovers and critics. Sessions took place over two years and include a number of guests across string, horn and choral arrangements. The quartet has concluded that it was the hardest work they’ve ever put into a recording project. The double-album aptly fits the purpose of cataloging two new batches of songs based on how they relate to one another.

“Now the first album was very songwriting oriented,” Savoulidis said. “A lot of those songs I had written over the years were developed live with the band. With the second disc, we decided to go back to our roots a little more. The songwriting was a lot more spread out, and it was a much more collaborative effort as far as the writing goes. When we started as a band, I was writing a lot more story time lyrics about characters. I started writing about my own kind of personal experiences, which was a little more introspective, and I think just a little more human.”

Jackson Hole Live presents Twiddle with local electronic duo Head to Head, 5:30 p.m. Friday, August 18 at Snow King Ball Field. Free, all-ages.

The Deer

Thrice Austin

Pinedale Fine Arts Council’s Soundcheck Concerts are a harmonious sleeper series, staging quality off-the-radar acts that eventually become a mainstay to Wyoming’s summer touring scene. Often a common thread to these shows is a connection to Austin, Texas, and for the series finale it’s a triple bill of Austinites—The Deer, The Lonesome Heroes, and Wyoming/Colorado/Texas trio Whippoorwill—coinciding with Pinedale’s Total Solar Eclipse Festival.

The Deer have an inviting dream-folk and delicate earthy vibe, which focuses its chamber folk foundation around the striking song and vocal chops of Grace Park. The tranquil method of composition is nothing short of gorgeous dream-pop with the patience of Iron & Wine, and that notion is in full display on the band’s third album, Tempest & Rapture. The quartet has obviously grown tight, both personally and professionally.

“Our most mature and collaborative effort yet, Tempest & Rapture solidifies the organic essence of who we are as songwriters and, collectively, as players,” the band offered with the album’s release. “This new album both exemplifies and attests to the cohesive qualities of our musical chemistry, which can only be born out of a decade-plus long friendship filled with creative endeavors, tragedy, and endless artistic and cosmic exploration.”

The Deer’s music blends well within a cosmic, transcendental Texas surf-country sect that The Lonesome Heroes’ Rich Russell has been maintaining for over a decade. Opener Whippoorwill is the alt-folk-rock project of Alysia Kraft (of Patti Fiasco) and Staci Foster along with drummer Tobias Bank (Von Stomper). Distorted electric guitar, non-traditional banjo and tight harmonies bring the boots-in-the-dirt writing to the foreground.

The Deer, The Lonesome Heroes, and Whippoorwill, 5:30 p.m. Saturday, August 19 at American Legion Park in Pinedale. Free, all-ages. The Lonesome Heroes and Whippoorwill also play August 23 at Town Square Tavern, free, and August 24 at the Knotty Pine, $15. 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.


Garrick Ohlsson (Walk Festival Hall); GTMF Woodwind Trio (Alta Library)


Marbin (Knotty Pine); Supersuckers with Risky Livers (Pink Garter)


Twiddle with Head to Head (Snow King Ball Field); The Drunken Hearts (Town Square Tavern); Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash (Bull Moose in Alpine)


Close but No Segar (Town Square Tavern); The Deer, The Lonesome Heroes, and Whippoorwill (American Legion Park in Pinedale)


Sneaky Pete & the Secret Weapons with Shakewell and WYO (Village Commons); Papa Chan Trio (Silver Dollar)


David Gans: Dead Eclipse (Town Square Tavern); Pinky & the Floyd with WYO (Pink Garter); The E.T.s (Mangy Moose)


Stackhouse (Mangy Moose); The Minor Keys (Jackson Lake Lodge)

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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