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Billings native Marshall Granger is organizing a trio of Missoula musicians to perform July 31 at the Garage Pub.

Granger plans to reprise some old songs and unveil new ones with help from friends and fellow musicians Skylar Jessen and Genna Mcallister.

Also on the bill is Chris Sand, aka Sandman the Rappin' Cowboy, and Izaak Opatz.

Granger is a big fan of both musicians. Of Sand, Granger said, "I personally think he should someday be considered Montana's poet laureate."

Sand grew up on the Flathead Indian Reservation and has toured the U.S. many times for 20 years, sharing his folk, raps and one-of-a-kind Sandman pillow cases.

The headliner is Opatz, who is touring in support of his new record, "Mariachi Statis."

Fellow musician Jonny Fritz described Opatz as a mountain man from Montana.

"His songs teeter on the edge of sentimental songwriter," Fritz said. "He goes weeks on end without seeing another single person. When he does finally wander into town, he usually comes back with a pack-mule-donkey-satchel-thing chock full of songs about women that he’s been dreaming of, places where he used to be happy, situations he screwed up … really dipping into a well of memories that are probably better left alone," Fritz said.

Kels Koch plays Smiling Dog

Smiling Dog Records plays host to Kels Koch on Friday, July 28, from 7 to 9 p.m.

He is in Montana to contribute to a compilation album and documentary DVD that Dave Martens and Kirk LeClaire are putting together documenting the punk and new wave scenes in Montana during the 1980s.

Kels was in the punk band Beat Nothings when he was in high school in Billings from 1984-1985 and then we continued into college in Bozeman from 1985-1987.

Chris Martin (now of Kinski in Seattle) was a member of the Bozeman lineup. Kels is now in Nashville performing with the rockabilly soul punk group the Million Sellers.


Entertainment Reporter

Jaci Webb covers entertainment for The Billings Gazette.