New Monsoon plays Tahoe before starting next album

New Monsoon
Tahoe favorites New Monsoon plays Friday in the Crystal Bay Casino

The Allman Brothers-esque quintet New Monsoon is blowing into the basin just as Tahoeans are beginning to experience 70-degree afternoons.

There’s no change in the weather forecast, but Tahoe Onstage has called for a 100 percent chance of fun Friday, May 3 in the Crystal Bay Casino Crown Room.

“After everybody goes out and enjoys the outdoors they can come to the Crystal Bay in the evening and party down,” said Jeff Miller, who grew up with his mother’s Allman Brothers record collection. He also spent his youth with Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page and Eric Clapton, which explains the tastefully guitar-heavy styling of his music.

“We’ve managed to filter all of our influences into something that is our own sound,” Miller said. “The thing that is a little tricky is how to classify it. There is a bit of an Allman Brothers thing in there but then we have Bo (Carper), the guy in the middle with the acoustic guitar … with a Mississippi Delta approach, and also sometimes he busts out the banjo and we do Ali Farka Toure, sort of a Middle Eastern banjo thing with an electric guitar.”

Now more than a decade old, New Monsoon, which coalesced from Miller-Carper Bay Area jams, has played in Tahoe since 2003, and frequents the Crown Room once or twice a year for the past several years.

“We love that room,” Miller said. “We always have a great time there. And just hanging out in Tahoe in general, it’s just a great treat to play there. We’re looking forward to this Friday.”

At the end of the month New Monsoon will play at the mother of jam band festivals, Wakarusa in Ozark, Ark.

Two-time headliners of the High Sierra Music Festival, New Monsoon is a part of the jam scene, Miller said, “but also (embraces) tight arrangement, three-part harmony vocals and being honest with our song craft, too.”

In a couple of weeks the band will start recording its next album in Phil Lesh’s TRI Studios.

When Miller spoke with Tahoe Onstage Tuesday he was in session in Colorado for the second album by the band the Contribution, which includes New Monsoon keyboardist Phil Ferlino, Tim Cabrone of Railroad Earth, Keith Moseley of the String Cheese Incident, gospel singer Sheryl Renee and Matt Butler, conductor of the Everyone Orchestra.

Miller also recently took the term “solo project” to extremes and played, mixed and engineered almost the entire album “Ancient Wisdom” from his cottage in San Geronimo Valley, in west Marin County.

New Monsoon

When: 10 p.m. Friday, May 3

Where: Crystal Bay Casino Crown Room

Cover charge: none Red Room after-party: the Acorn Project

Click here for full event details

ABOUT Tim Parsons

Tim Parsons
Tim Parsons is the editor of Tahoe Onstage who first moved to Lake Tahoe in 1992. Before starting Tahoe Onstage in 2013, he worked for 29 years at newspapers, including the Tahoe Daily Tribune, Eureka Times-Standard and Contra Costa Times. He was the recipient of the 2011 Keeping the Blues Alive award for Journalism.

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