Bluesday's 10th Summer Kicks Off Free Concert Season in North Lake Tahoe
The tenth summer of Bluesdays in the Village at Squaw Valley returns launches Tuesday, June 12th, with its best summer line-up yet, featuring an a-list of talented blues and jazz musicians.
The free, family-friendly concerts are a popular summertime staple in Squaw Valley taking place every Tuesday from June 12 through September 4th from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.at the main stage in the Village Events Plaza.
Participating musicians include a returning list of legends including Coco Montoya and Mark Hummel’s Golden State/Lone Star Revue, and new additions including Ron Artis II and The Cedric Burnside Project.
“I feel like this will be one of our best years yet,” said Brent Harding, who books the shows through Devildog Productions. “Aside from our usual list of legends, I am particularly excited about new additions Ron Artis II and my old friend from the Hill Country, The Cedric Burnside Project.”
Bluesdays features an outdoor Blues Bar with beer, wine and spirits as well as great grab and go food offerings from Village restaurants. High Camp at Squaw Valley will also feature Music by the Pool, live blues music on the Granite Bistro deck Tuesdays 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. starting June 26. Discounted Aerial Tram Sightseeing & Adventure packages will be available on Tuesdays with $10 off adult and $5 off youth tickets. Guests are invited to stay in the heart of the action in the Village at Squaw Valley with lodging rates beginning at $99 per night each and every Tuesday.
The Village at Squaw Valley welcomes the following musicians for Bluesdays 2018:
June 12 – The Blues Monsters
The Blues Monsters open the weekly Bluesdays summertime series for the fifth consecutive year. The only local band on the lineup, the Blues Monsters formed 27 years ago. The rockin’ blues quartet — Dunn, Tom Barnes, Barry Slayton and Michael Overhauser — will add the three-member Groove Foundry horn section – Jen Campbell, Brian “Nak” Nakagawa and Todd Mather – for a nonstop set from 6 to 8:30 p.m. South Shore keyboardist Terry “The Secret Weapon” Ogg also will join the jam. – Tim Parsons, Tahoe Onstage
June 19 – Nick Schnebelen Band
Before starting his own band, Kansas City blues guitarist Nick Schnebelen played with his family band, Trampled Under Foot, the 2008 winners of the International Blues Challenge. Schnebelen also won the Albert King Award at the IBC for best guitarist. Trampled Under Foot won the 2014 Blues Music Awards for Best Band and Best Album. Schnebelen plays in a trio with Cliff Moore, who played bass with Michael Burks, and drummer Adam Hagerman, who has played with the Hadden Sayers Band, as well as Junior Watson and Big Bill Morganfield. – Tim Parsons, Tahoe Onstage
June 26 – Mark Hummel’s Golden State/Lone Star Revue
Harmonica star Mark Hummel will return to Bluesdays for the seventh-straight year. Blues purists appreciate Hummel’s straight-ahead style. He’s presented Harmonica Blues Blowouts with all-star players for decades, has released dozens of albums and in 2012 published a book, “Big Road Blues: 12 Bars On I-80.” The Lone Star/Gold Coast Revue is comprised of musicians from California and Texas. Hummel, bassist R.W. Grigsby and the band had four Blues Music Award nominations in 2017. – Tim Parsons, Tahoe Onstage
July 3 – Curtis Salgado
Curtis Salgado is one of the most soulful, passionate and award-winning singers alive, and yet his greatest hit in years is a love song to a dog. “I Want My Dog To Live Longer (The Greatest Wish)” is getting radio play all across the nation. Anyone who has outlived their canine companion can related to the tune, part of the new album, “Rough Cut,” recorded by Salgado and his longtime guitarist, Alan Hager. The record has been near the top of the charts for weeks and is a stripped-down contrast to Salgado’s more crooning albums from recent years. Salgado was the inspiration for John Belushi and “The Blues Brothers.” The actor was in Eugene, Oregon, making the movie “Animal House” when he saw Salgado perform. He created the character Joliet Jake Blues based on Salgado’s onstage persona. In 2016, Salgado survived emergency quadruple bypass surgery and two months later swept the Blues Music Awards with honors that included his fourth for Soul Blues Artist of the Year.” This year, he has been nominated for Soul Male Artist. In 2019, he and Hager are almost certain to be nominated for Traditional Blues Album. – Tim Parsons, Tahoe Onstage
July 10 – Debbie Davis
A touring blues woman for more than 30 years, the virtuoso guitarist and passionate singer has 13 solo albums. If Davies’ tone is reminiscent of Albert Collins,’ there’s a good reason. She played in his band the Icebreakers from 1988-91. “It was like a dream come true,” Davies said. “Albert happened to be going through some band changes in his lineup and I got the call. “I opened the shows. We would do a real up tempo instrumental then I would sing one then do this big bruhaha thing and then bring him out. If he broke a string, he would give me the lead. It was a real blues jam band.” The Debbie Davies appearance could be the highlight of a Bluesdays summer that has never been better. – Tim Parsons, Tahoe Onstage
July 17 – Ron Artis II and The Truth
Of all the great Bluesdays guitarists this summer, Ron Artis could be the fastest. Blues is just part of the mix that Ron Artis II & The Truth bring to the bandstand. There’s also soul, folk and gospel. But when he wants to, Artis can accelerate to Jimi Hendrix mode. He plays in a trio with his younger brother Stevon on drums and Riley Pa’Akaula bass. Ron and Stevon are among 11 children who all grew up in Oahu to become musicians or artists. This summer, Artis will make his second consecutive appearance at the Wanderlust Festival. – Tim Parsons, Tahoe Onstage
July 24 – Albert Castiglia
Albert Castiglia is an internationally acclaimed band leader. Still a Florida resident, he has only made one previous Bluesdays appearance, in 2013. He released his seventh album, “Up All Night,” last fall with producer Mike Zito. – Tim Parsons, Tahoe Onstage
July 31 – Joe Louis Walker
The Blues Hall of Fame in Memphis displays the likeness of a litany of legends who are no longer living. One of those busts, however, is of Joe Louis Walker, who is still very much alive and fighting for the blues. Walker appreciates his fellow inductees and wants to emulate Muddy Waters’ philosophy about supporting other players. In 2016, Walker became the first Hall of Fame member to perform at Squaw Valley’s Bluesdays. He was joined by keyboardist Travis Reed, drummer Byron Cage and bassist Lenny Bradford. Walker has been prolific in the studio since his recording career began in 1986. Since 2002, he’s released 12 albums, which vary in styles that range from electric Chicago blues, acoustic, rock, gospel and Christian blues. – Tim Parsons, Tahoe Onstage
August 7 – Kenny Neal
Kenny Neal and the Family Band is based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. All 10 Neal siblings grew up to be professional musicians, and Kenny is the eldest. He was backed by his brothers on Bluesdays show of the summer in 2016. Kenny Neal plays guitar, harmonica and sings. Frederick plays keys, Graylon plays drums and Darnell is the bassist. – Tim Parsons, Tahoe Onstage
August 14 – Chris Cain
San Jose’s Cain has played Bluesdays more than any other artist. Chairlifts were open for skiers on the Fourth of July during his 2017 appearance. He attended a B.B. King concert when he was just three years old and it must have made quite an impression. You can hear King’s influence in everything he plays. Cain studied jazz, which he taught at San Jose City College, and was a professional player before turning 18. His recording career began in 1987. He also plays piano, bass, clarinet and saxophone. – Tim Parsons, Tahoe Onstage
August 21 – Terry Hanck
A saxophone superstar with a bent for vintage rock and roll, Terry Hanck is a beloved Bluesdays headliner. He lives in Florida, but spends most of summers in California, where he built a fan base from 1977-87 when he was in Elvin Bishop’s band during its heyday of hit songs. Hanck won the Blues Music Award for Instrumentalist (Horn) in 2017, 2016 and 2012. Hanck’s blues-based sound is flavored with early rock and roll — when the saxophone, and not guitar, was the featured instrument. A Chicago native, Hanck was inspired by the blues at a 1962 B.B. King concert. Hanck’s West Coast band is top shelf. Johnny Soubrand plays a Fender Telecaster guitar, Butch Cousins plays drums and the bassist is Tim Wagar. – Tim Parsons, Tahoe Onstage
August 28 – Coco Montoya
One of the most respected artists in blues, Coco Montoya will appear at Squaw Valley for the second-straight summer. Montoya is a graduate of the school of Albert. Montoya plays guitar like Albert King, left-handed and upside down, but his tone sounds like Albert Collins. The liner credits on his 2017 album, “Hard Truth,” read like a who’s who of blues artists. It was produced by Tony Braunagel, mixed by John Porter and the musicians include Mike Finnigan, Johnny Lee Schell, Bob Glaub, who, like Montoya, attended Venice High School. – Tim Parsons, Tahoe Onstage
September 4 – Cedric Burnside Project
Bluesdays 10th season concludes with a rare treat, the percussive, hypnotic Hill Country blues from the Cedric Burnside Project. Cedric Burnside is the son of drummer Calvin Jackson and grandson of the all-time great R.L. Burnside. He began touring at age 13. Burnside plays in a duo with guitarist Trenton Ayers, whose father was in Junior Kimbrough’s band. Ayers and Cedric Burnside have been friend since they were children. – Tim Parsons, Tahoe Onstage
New Aerial Tram Hours and High Camp Activities
Beginning June 15, the Aerial Tram at Squaw Valley will expand operating hours, open daily from 10am to 5pm. The Aerial Tram will be open daily from June 15-September 3 as well as Saturdays and Sundays September 8-9, September 15-16 and September 22-23, and Friday through Sunday September 28-30. Enjoy an aerial climb over 2,000 feet from the base of Squaw Valley to High Camp, located at 8,200 feet, with 360 degree views of Lake Tahoe’s high alpine beauty. Daily activities at High Camp including roller skating, hiking trails, the Olympic Museum, disc golf, lawn games, and more. All High Camp activities will be open daily June 15 – September 3. Click here for Aerial Tram rates and details.
Free Aerial Tram Access for New IKON Pass and IKON Base Pass
Guests who have purchased the new Ikon Pass can take advantage of free Aerial Tram rides this summer at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows. Learn more here.
Bluesdays Tuesday Lodging Special
Each Bluesdays Tuesday this summer, guests can book overnight lodging in the heart of Bluesdays action in The Village for $99 for a one bedroom suite, $199 for a two bedroom suite, and $299 for a three bedroom suite with stage views, pending availability. Guests will enjoy being steps away from the Blues Bar, food and drink specials, and the music. Click here for more information and to make a reservation.