Around the Town: Helena-area arts and entertainment news published Dec. 30 | Local


New Year’s Eve jazz

The Montana Club hosts: Wilbur Rehmann, Ken Nelson, Bob Schmitt, Gerry Secher and vocalist Sarah Elkins 5:30 to 8 p.m. New Year’s Eve for a special dinner performance.

MJ Williams, Ken Nelson and Bob Bowman perform 9 p.m. to midnight.

For information and reservations, visit

Laney Lou and the Bird Dogs with The Recession Special play Americana with a rock ‘n’ roll drive and vibe 7 to 10 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 30 at the Lewis and Clark Tap Room.

Americana, rock, ska and more

Laney Lou and the Bird Dogs with The Recession Special play Americana with a rock ‘n’ roll drive and vibe 7 to 10 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 30 at Lewis & Clark Tap Room. Tickets are available on EVENTBRITE for $12 in advance/$15 the day of.

Laney Lou and the Bird Dogs consists of Lena (Laney) Schiffer on vocals/guitar/percussion, Matt Demarais on vocals/banjo, Ethan Demarais on bass, Brian Kassay on fiddle/mandolin/harmonica and Josh Moore on vocals/guitar. Their most recent album, “Through the Smoke,” recorded in February of 2021, is one of personal transformation.

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The Recession Special takes their name from the Old Post Pub’s once fabled menu item for the down-and-out. The band seeks to bring the spirit of resistance and resilience back to folk.

Party with Ten Years Gone, New Year’s Eve, Friday, 8:30 p.m. to midnight. The $5 cover includes admittance plus party favors, door prizes and a glass of bubbly at midnight!

Ten Years Gone plays almost every genre – classic rock, alternative, country, pop, funk, and dance. They excel in each of their instruments and have exceptional 3-, 4-, and 5-part harmonies. They are the winners of the Helena IR Best of Helena, Best Band category, for 2015, 2016 and 2017.

It’s New Year’s Day and the first day of recreational marijuana sales in Montana. Commemorate this historic day with two great Montana bands, brought to you by Keeper of the Green and Lewis & Clark Brewing Co: 4:20 p.m. – Big Ska Country and 7 p.m. – Dead Sky (Grateful Dead Tribute.)

Helena singer/songwriter Ben Medina Caplis plays indie rock with some folk and classic rock influences 7 to 8:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 3.

Solid 15 is a monthly singer/songwriter event showcasing local talent, giving songwriters 15 minutes apiece to show their original music, 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 4. This month’s songwriters include: Marly Kendric, Taylor McCarl, Phillip Yanzick and James Schulz.

For info on all the shows: Lewis & Clark Tap Room, 1535 Dodge Ave., or call 406-442-5960.

Carrie Krause

Baroque Music Montana Artistic Director Carrie Krause brings her period instrument quartet to Helena for “Sara Levy’s Salon,” 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan 6, at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church.

Baroque music at St. Paul’s

Baroque Music Montana presents “Sara Levy’s Salon,” 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan 6, at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, corner of Cruse and Lawrence.

Artistic Director Carrie Krause brings her period instrument quartet to Helena for a concert exploring the musical life of Sara Levy, Felix and Fanny Mendelssohn’s great aunt and a favorite student of one of J.S. Bach’s sons.

Sara Levy was at the center of Berlin’s musical life at the turn of the 19th century, hosting literary and musical artists in her home.

Krause’s international ensemble will highlight a rarely heard Mendelssohn early Romantic string quartet, Opus 80, composed in memory of his sister Fanny. Also on the program is a French battle piece about the Napoleonic Wars written during the occupation of Berlin, and a string quartet arrangement of Bach’s iconic Art of Fugue, paired with young Bozeman composer Athena Carson’s own fugue inspired by Bach’s encyclopedic work.

Refreshments will follow the concert. Tickets are $30, $5 for students, available online at

More info: [email protected]


Cohesion Dance Project awarded Quality of Life Grant

Cohesion Dance Project was recently awarded a $9,314 Quality of Life grant from the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation National Paralysis Resource Center.

Sixty-seven grants totaling $1,305,579 were awarded.

The Quality of Life Grants Program supports nonprofit organizations that empower individuals living with paralysis.

Since the Quality of Life Grants Program’s inception, more than 3,400 grants totaling over $34 million have been awarded.

This grant funding supported Cohesion Dance Project’s Facility Accessibility Project with the installation of wave-activated automatic door openers at Cohesion Center’s two main entrances.

“These door openers have improved the ease of access into Cohesion Center for all users, but especially for students with disabilities in Cohesion’s integrated and adaptive dance programming and for audience members attending performances and events at Cohesion Center,” said Artistic Director, Tanya Call.

The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation is dedicated to curing spinal cord injury by funding innovative research and improving the quality of life for individuals and families impacted by paralysis.

Cohesion Dance Project is a non-profit dance production company with a mission to create engaging performances and integrated educational experiences that enrich, inspire, and unite the community through dance.

Square dance lessons

Start out the new year with something new – square dance lessons.

Lessons begin Monday, Jan. 10, 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Jefferson Elementary School, 1023 E. Broadway.

Families, couples and singles are welcome.

For more information, call Glen at 406-459-6450 or Cathy at 406-459-1616.


Scandal at highway commission

Montana Historical Society presents “Scandal at the Montana State Highway Commission with Jon Axline,” 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 6.

When Gov. Elmer Holt accused the state highway commissioners of malfeasance in 1936, it sparked an ugly process that eventually involved the Montana Supreme Court and a Helena newspaper reporter named Paul Maclean, who was later made famous in “A River Runs through It.” 


Charles and Nancy Russell

Charles and Nancy Russell are pictured with Charlie’s beloved pinto Monte outside their home in Cascade in 1897. “Backtracking in Memory” by Nancy Cooper Russell has been recently published by Sweetgrass Books. The book was in progress at the time of Nancy’s death. 

New book by Nancy Cooper Russell

“Backtracking in Memory” by Nancy Cooper Russell has been recently published by Sweetgrass Books and is available in bookstores and at online retailers.

The book was in progress at the time of her death and has been edited and completed by Tom Petrie and Brian Dippie, who have collaborated on bringing what she did finish into print, with sidebars, photographs, and artwork to amplify her text.

Cooper married Charles M. Russell in the little town of Cascade in September, 1896.

She was 18 and an orphan, and he was 32, a former cowboy from a good family in St. Louis, struggling to make his living as an artist.

She would be by his side for the rest of his life as his wife, cheerleader, and extraordinarily capable business manager.

When he died in Great Falls, in 1926, shortly after they celebrated their 30th anniversary, Charlie Russell was world famous as the “Cowboy Artist.”

A few months earlier Nancy had written an acquaintance who remembered her from her hardscrabble youth in Helena: “Yes, I am, or was, the little girl you were talking about, way back in ’94. … I, as you know, married the only Charles Russell in the world and my life has been very full of romance, which they like to make moving pictures out of, only mine happens to be real.”

Nancy realized that with Charlie’s passing, it was up to her to keep that dream alive by keeping him alive for the public, through exhibitions showing his genius with a brush and modeling clay and through books that revealed the man behind the art.

Helena movie listings


760 Great Northern, 442-4225,

● American Underdog, PG

● West Side Story, PG-13

● Spider-Man: No Way Home, PG-13

● The Matrix Resurrections, R

● Journal for Jordan, PG-13

The Myrna Loy

15 N. Ewing, 443-0287,

Kenneth Proto

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