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Izaak Opatz

Izaak Opatz, a Montana native, has been working out of L.A. His most recent album, "Mariachi Static," was picked up for a vinyl release earlier this yea.r


Greensky Bluegrass (Friday, Aug. 10)

Lots of people like their psychedelia and their bluegrass, yet rarely do the two genres meet. This Colorado group is an exception: They like to occasionally run their acoustic instruments through some pedals during their jams, which sound fluid regardless.

The band, now regulars in Missoula, will play with opener Fruition on Friday at the KettleHouse Amphitheater. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the show starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $30-$35, available at

Jonny Fritz, Izaak Opatz and Leslie Stevens (Saturday, Aug. 11)

Missoula is home of sorts to two singers who are country, sort of. The two are bringing a like-minded friend for a great triple bill at the Top Hat on Saturday, Aug. 11.

Jonny Fritz was born here, but his parents moved. He's built his career out of Nashville and Los Angeles, and lives here parts of the year.

Izaak Opatz grew up in Whitefish and attended the University of Montana. He spent years working on trail crews in Glacier National Park, but has now been working out of L.A., too.

Opatz, through the Havre-based Dirt Wave Records, released his first solo album, "Mariachi Static" last year.

It caught the attention of Mama Bird Records, which just gave it a vinyl release that Rolling Stone Country was impressed with.

Opatz draws on country and '60s and '70s folk and rock in a way that makes it tough to pigeonhole him. Regardless of style, he's developed a vocal delivery and playing style that's his own: Just jisten to the way he throws in fast guitar fills between his verses.

The vinyl version of "Mariachi Static" includes three tracks that weren't on the original digital release:

"Bathing in the Ganges," "Carmelita Dig" and "Duck Lake Road."

"Carmelita Dig" does indeed have touches of a Tex-Mex feel, including a line about listening to a bad radio playing "Mariachi static."

Fritz has been passing through Missoula and Montana for years now, building a cult among a cross-section of fans.

His last album, "Sweet Creep," was produced by Jim James of My Morning Jacket, who added some indie-friendly window dressing: synthesizers, drum machines. The core remains the same: Fritz's high-pitched and deeply Southern voice and vagabond, outsider lyrics.

The three are playing the Top Hat. Doors open at 8:30 p.m. doors, show at 9 p.m. Tickets are $12 in advance (, $15 day of show. All ages.

Cory Walsh

J.W. Teller (Sunday, Aug. 12)

J.W. Teller, a Mississippi native now living in Montana, has an affecting, dryly weary drawl and a way with words. He has one EP under his belt with hopes to expand into a full-length with the backing of some local regulars: guitarist-vocalist Britt Arnesen, bassist/guitarist/lap steel player Ryan Scott and more.

They've set up a Kickstarter that is in practical terms an advance purchase: A $12 donation gets you a download. There are more perks if you're interested at

Check him out in person with his band, Small Town Darlings, from 5-7 p.m. at Draught Works, 915 Toole Ave. (CW)

Free pre-concert Pearl Jam festival (Monday, Aug. 13)

Mondays can be super-busy, so don't forget there's a 25,000-capacity Pearl Jam concert on campus.

To give some locals a spotlight before the show, the band has lined up Festival at Griz Stadium, running from 3 p.m. to 8:15 p.m.

Working with the Zootown Arts Community Center, there's a line-up of locals: Fantasy Suite (3:30-3:50 p.m.), Go Hibiki (4-4:25 p.m.), ZACC kids rock camps (4:35-5:35 p.m.), MASS FM (5;45-6:15 p.m.), Jack West, Nick Crawford Band (7:05-7:30 p.m.), and Magpies (7:40-8:15 p.m.). There's also food and music and nonprofits doing presentations. It's free and open to the public in the Grizzly tailgate area north of the stadium. (CW)

Cody Jinks (Wednesday, Aug. 15)

Texan Cody Jinks keeps his country raw and rocking, as does his opener Red Shahan. The two will bring their songwriting and vocal skills to the Wilma, with doors at 7 p.m. and a show at $8. Tickets are $35 in advance.

Justin Moore  (Thursday, Aug. 16)

Country singer Justin Moore continues the grand pop-county tradition of singing about things that he wants to do that would be a good old time like mixing cran in his Coke and holing up in a corner booth (or songs about women).

This is the modern-day equivalent of '70s pop rock like Grand Funk Railroad that came up with vapid turns of phrase like “Sin’s A Good Man’s Brother,” and thought it was saying something (Moore’s “You Look Like I Need a Drink”).

I do like my fair share of inane rap music, so I can’t exactly talk. Take your pick — modern bro country sung by a guy with a white straw Bullhide, or songs about Gucci?

If you want to see Justin Moore, you know who he is.

Lee Brice opens at the Kettlehouse Amphitheater. Tickets are $35-47.50 at Doors at 6:30 p.m., show at 8 p.m. (Peter Friesen)

Bombshell Nightlight (Thursday, Aug. 16)

Jon Cardiello writes and sings in Wrinkles, a great local group that put out a darkly moody album, "Separation Anxiety," a few years back and has done some DIY touring.

Cardiello's other project, Bombshell Nightlight, is debuting a new record, "Placid Lake," on Thursday.

For these songs, Cardiello goes full dream-pop. He conjures up dark thoughts, Gothic moods, and often big choruses along with warm textures: lightly distorted guitars, ambient keyboards and aching single-note guitar lines.

Bombshell has a release show on Thursday, Aug. 16, with Rachael Cardiello, Mermaid Bookclub and Koby at the ZACC Below, 235 N. First St. The all-ages show starts at 7:30 p.m., suggested donation is $5. (CW)

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Arts and entertainment

Arts and entertainment

Government reporter for the Missoulian.