Diversity of Wyoming’s music scene on display at recent showcase

Musicians from across the Cowboy State discuss the importance of community, collaboration and the exposure of playing at a large festival.
Wyoming artists Walk The Doctor (left), Wynona (center), and De Gringos Y Gremmies (right) perform at the Treefort Music Festival in Boise as part of the Wyoming Showcase presented by the Wyoming Arts Council. (KHOL)

The 10th edition of the ever-growing Treefort Music Festival took place in Boise from March 23 to 27. KHOL Music Director Jack Catlin was there and had the chance to interview all of the artists from the festival’s Wyoming Showcase, presented by the Wyoming Arts Council

The following interview excerpts features two bands from Laramie, Wynona and De Gringos y Gremmies, and a beatmaker from Cheyenne, Walk The Doctor. Wynona’s brand of indie rock is hard-hitting, complex and melodic. De Gringos y Gremmies is a mostly instrumental band that describes itself as “spaghetti-infused Western surf rock from the high plains of Wyoming.” Walk The Doctor combines dynamic production with a fine-tuned ear to provide listeners with a unique music experience.

The following conversations have been edited for clarity and brevity.

JACK CATLIN/KHOL: Treefort is a great example of the modern music festival, offering more of a full spectrum experience for the attendees with not just music but workshops, speaker series and experiential content. How important is that to you, and where do you see the future of music festivals going from here?

ROB JOYCE (WYNONA): Bringing in all different types of art to create an experience is kind of the point of the music festival, I think, and I’m really intrigued by some of the readings and poetry workshops, the climate-focused workshops that they’ve been putting on, workshops held by folks of different identities. And I think it creates a more welcoming space for people and creates a better experience for everyone.

LARSON LIND (WYNONA): So many people experience music digitally now, and it’s like it’s everywhere. It’s so accessible. They’re exposed to it all the time. It’s easy to take music for granted. So, when you have live experiences like this that are very accessible and for everyone, I think that really brings back into focus that music is an art form that’s performed by people, and I think keeping that connection between the people as the audience and people as the artists is really important in the internet digital world that we live in now.

CONNOR NOVOTNY (WYNONA): Yeah, I think we also can get stuck in our bubbles in various settings, whether it’s culturally or with our friend groups, social groups [or] identity groups. And so having a festival like this means that you’re just by the nature walking down the street, going to be exposed to like 10 different kinds of music or 10 different kinds of projects. So, it’s like all this happening right here in this one space is a really big opportunity to get outside of your bubble.

KHOL: How does it feel to be representing your state, Wyoming?

DUSTY (DE GRINGOS Y GREMMIES): I think it’s very important, especially somewhere like Wyoming, where a lot of people don’t even think about it, necessarily even know that things are out there. We’ve been seeing a lot of great things happen, especially with the Wyoming singer-songwriter contest that John Gardzelewski has been doing. It’s great getting that exposure to people that otherwise would normally just be playing in a bar to a couple of people, maybe and then add another avenue to get that music out there and heard.

KHOL: We’re a community radio station based in Jackson Hole. We love bringing new music from both national and regional acts like you to our listeners. The Wyoming Arts Council has done a great job with the Wyoming Showcase by exposing Wyoming bands to a larger audience. How important is it for you to have that community of like-minded musicians, artists and creatives coming together from a state not necessarily known for its music and supporting each other?

JASON SANCHEZ (WALK THE DOCTOR): It’s very important. You know, it’s for people that make music to be able to get together and share their ideas and collaborate. In the couple of days that I’ve been here in Boise, I’ve met a lot of awesome musicians and a lot of awesome people and it seems like there’s a future to our collaborations and, you know, to create new music. And that’s really what it’s all about.

Listen above for KHOL’s full conversations with Wynona, De Gringos Y Gremmies and Walk The Doctor.

This coverage is funded in part with an Arts For All grant provided by the Town of Jackson and Teton County.

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About Jack Catlin

Jack is KHOL's music director. He says all music is in some way connected no matter the style and his mission is to provide listeners with a unique and memorable experience each time they tune in to KHOL or see him DJ live.

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