As I was sitting at my computer on Thursday trying to think of what I should write about, I decided I’d start a new series and do brief profiles every two weeks or so on the upcoming bands and artists that will come through Missoula in the next two weeks. Here goes nothing!
August 1: Stump Tail Dolly The Badlander, price unlisted. Free?
Nashville’s Stump Tail Dolly have been described as a “country and metal band. They’re touring in support of their debut, "Americanoclasm." Lucy B. Cochran is a fiddler and graduate of the Berklee College of Music, while Ryan Clackner is a William Paterson University educated guitarist with a background in jazz. It’s difficult to provide a comparison to existing bands. Maybe if Mastodon’s instrumentalists played folk metal with a fiddler and mostly clean, country-esque vocals by male and female vocalists over the top. It’s weird as hell but strangely compelling.
August 2: The Oh Hellos Top Hat, $12-14
The Oh Hellos are an American folk rock and indie folk brother and sister duo formed five years ago by Tyler and Maggie Heath in San Marcos, TX. Although they only have two official members who appear on recordings, it seems that they tour as a nine-piece band. They’ve released two full-length albums and a Christmas EP, and are currently touring in support of their "Dear Wormwood LP" (2015), which is a concept album telling the story of a protagonist trapped in an abusive relationship, by the way of letters written to the antagonist and drew partial inspiration from C.S. Lewis’ "The Screwtape Letters," Patrick Rothfuss’ "The Name of the Wind," and various mythology and folklore. Their stuff is really cool and I might actually try and go see them if I have the time. I never heard of them prior to researching for this article.
John Adam Smith is the opening act.
August 3: Out To Lunch Caras Park, FREE
As always during the summers, there will be free music and numerous (non-free) food vendors in Caras Park during lunchtime (11 a.m to 2 p.m.)
August 4: Downtown Tonight Caras Park, FREE
As with Out To Lunch, there will be free live music and numerous food vendors, along with a "beverage garden." (5:30-8:30 PM)
August 4: Local Yokel Top Hat, FREE
Local Yokel are a Missoulian bluegrass-inspired five-piece who won a Missoula Independent Best of Missoula award in 2015 and have been touring and playing in and around Montana ever since.
Laney Lou and the Bird Dogs are the openers.
August 4: ZOSO: The Led Zeppelin Experience. The Wilma, $20 advance/ $25 door
ZOSO are a Led Zeppelin tribute band. So, as well as playing covers, they also imitate the look and the “feel” of a Led Zeppelin show, even to the point of trying to look like their respective members of the original band. They’re based in California and tour across the country. There’s not a great deal more I can say about them. They play Led Zeppelin. You know what to expect. They’re supposedly really good.
August 5: Bruce Hornsby and the Noisemakers. The Wilma, $35-45
Bruce Hornsby is a Virginian singer and keyboardist who draws from classical, jazz, bluegrass, folk, Motown, gospel, rock, blues and jam band musical traditions. His previous band, Bruce Hornsby and the Range, won a Grammy in 1987 for Best New Artist, and he won a 1990 Grammy for Best Bluegrass Album and also the 1995 Grammy for Best Pop Instrumental Performance. He also has collaborated with the Grateful Dead, including their recent Chicago reunion shows and The National’s gigantic "Day of the Dead" album tribute album, collaborating with Bon Iver predecessor DeYarmond Edison on “Black Muddy River,” and was an official member for a two-year stretch in the early '90s.
With the Noisemakers, his most recent touring band, he has released seven albums since 1998, culminating in June’s country-tinged "Rehab Reunion," which included appearances by Bon Iver frontman Justin Vernon and soul singer Mavis Staples.
August 5: American Falcon/Drift/Shot Stereo The Palace, FREE
Local bands American Falcon, Drift and Shot Stereo will be playing The Palace. American Falcon, a power trio formed in 2011, describe themselves on Facebook as “Glory Rock,” which they describe as stylistically classic rock, but not one of “the same 45 songs played on classic rock radio,” to quote a 2011 "Independent" article on them. Drift have no videos or bios or anything online, so it’s anyone’s guess. Shot Stereo play “thrashpunk.”
August 6: Steel Pulse The Wilma, $30-40
Steel Pulse are an eight-member Rastafarian roots reggae band from Birmingham, England. They’ve been active since 1975, albeit with a vast number of roster changes. They have a long history of political involvement and activism, with members involved in civil rights issues, often taking part in lawsuits against racist policies. They have released eleven studio albums, including the Grammy-winning "Babylon the Bandit" (1986, Best Reggae Album), two live albums, contributed to or released eleven compilation albums and a large number of singles.
August 7: Emmylou Harris The Wilma, SOLD OUT
Emmylou Harris is an award-winning American singer-songwriter whose music has been categorized as folk, country, country rock and bluegrass. Active since 1975, she won 13 Grammys and numerous other awards, and has collaborated with a vast list of artists including Bob Dylan, Gram Parsons, Neil Young, John Denver, Dolly Parton, Steve Earle and Willy Nelson. She released 26 studio albums and numerous other live and compilation albums.
August 10: Beach House The Wilma, $25-28
Beach House are a dream pop duo from Baltimore who released six studio albums since 2004. Think of if Sigur Ros and Tame Impala collaborated. I’ve been listening to them for a couple months, ever since receiving a digital version of their "Depression Cherry" album from a Schwanke camper. Their stuff is rather introspective and worth a listen.
August 10: Brandi Carlile, Blind Pilot Big Sky Brewery, $36
Brandi Carlile is a critically-acclaimed alternative country, pop and folk rock singer-songwriter from the Seattle area. She released six albums, most recently 2015s "The Firewatcher's Daughter," which earned her a Grammy nomination. Her influences include Patsy Cline, Elton John, Freddie Mercury, Thom Yorke, k.d. lang and Roy Orbison.
August 10: Sista Otis Great Burn Brewing, unknown price
Sista Otis (born Shawn Marie Tinnes) is an award winning American soul singer, songwriter and MC from Detroit who has been making music since the late 1990s.
August 11: Bear Hands The Badlander, $13-15
Bear Hands are a post-punk and indie rock band from Brooklyn, NY. They opened for MGMT, released three albums, two EPs and had a top 10 hit on the Alternative Songs chart in 2014 with “Giants.” They’re touring in support of their 2016 album, "You'll Pay For This." They sound similar to a more sonically traditional (i.e. less hip-hop oriented) twenty one pilots.