Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Salem is smokiní

Live music

Express Staff Writer

Salem will play the Sun Valley Brewery in Hailey on Friday, Sept. 17, at 8:30 p.m. Courtesy photo

The band Salem first came to the Wood River Valley for the 48 Straight King of the Mountain event weekend more than two years ago. Since then, the band has returned to the valley whenever it tours the region. To finish out its summer tour, Salem will play its original blend of hip-hop, jazz and neo-soul-influenced music at the Sun Valley Brewery in Hailey on Friday, Sept. 17, at 8:30 p.m.

"It's been a busy summer," said band member Todd Anders Johnson. "We have been touring since the spring, and this is final push before taking a break."

Salem has been touring nationally for six years at festivals, clubs and sports events from its home in Boulder, Colo. Johnson's socially conscious compositions have led him to the founding of the Risan Project. The Risan Project has been gaining momentum to spread the word about solar power and raise awareness for the health of the planet though multimedia presentations about climate change and energy efficiency.

It toured this past spring on the big-mountain heli-ski and snowboard circuit in Alaska. Alongside the project's education on global warming and ways to lower carbon footprints, Salem was playing music.

"It's a multimedia idea where we show films and have presentations," Johnson said. "We did a summer program on Nantucket and worked with the Nantucket Land Council. It was a solar power fundraiser event."

Salem has been traveling with the Risan Project tours, which include Salem concerts, ski and snowboard film premiers and presentations from environmental organizations such as Protect Our Winters, the Nantucket Land Council and The Climate Project. The Risan Project is touring with the sponsorship of SunCore Solar, the world's first solar-powered cell phone technology, and has begun performing select events on solar-powered stages.

The show includes Teton Gravity Research's 15-minute film "Generations," a ski and snowboard film that shows the effects of climate change. Johnson said Salem is going to continue to play with "Generations" screenings as dates come up for winter presentations.

Salem has played at the biggest ski and snowboard events in North America, including EXPN's Winter X 12 Games, the U.S. Freeskiing Open, the U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix, the U.S. Snowboarding VISA Cup, the Canadian Freeskiing Championships, the Breckenridge Spring Massive, the Keystone River Run Rocks and the Northface Masters of Snowboarding.

Salem has performed alongside Keller Williams, Pato Banton, De La Soul, Sweatshop Union, The Meters (PBS), Bone Thugs N Harmony, DJ Logic, Stanton Moore and Will Bernard, Hell's Belles, Mama's Cookin, Tab Benoit, Rebirth Brass Band, The Motet, Steve Earle and Zilla.

More music in the valley includes Ned Evett and Triple Double on Friday, Sept. 17, and local rock 'n' rollers Run4Cover on Saturday, Sept. 18, at Whiskey Jacques' in Ketchum.

For a complete listing of music events in the valley, see the Music, Dance and Theater section of the Calendar on Page C5 of the printed paper.

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