Guitarfish Festival is hoppin’ at Cisco Grove

Tahoe Onstage

Shooting star Gene Evaro Jr. lands at Guitarfish again this year. Above, he rocks the Vaudeville Tent at the High Sierra Music Festival.
Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage

If the High Sierra Music Festival is the main course, then Guitarfish surely is the sweet dessert of summertime celebrations in the Sierra Nevada.

In fact, some of the same bands that blessed High Sierra earlier this month will be on hand to close out July at the 7th-annual Guitarfish Festival from July 27-30.

Guitarfish is an intimate camping and music experience in a magical setting more than  a mile high in the woods on the South Fork of the Yuba River at the Cisco Grove Campground.

Known for a funk-tastic, groove-fueled musical lineup, the experience includes an action-packed kidsville and family camp, swimming holes a short stroll from the stages, access to world-class mountain and road biking routes, music playshops, a world market, yoga classes from sunrise to sunset, hiking and other activities. Camping amongst family and friends, while witnessing inspired live music in a natural setting, promises to enrich lives and fuel the hearts of those gathered.

Gene Evaro Jr. is a Guitarfish returnee and a frequent flier in these parts. The shooting star from Joshua Tree in SoCal packed the Vaudeville Tent at High Sierra Music Fest, delivering a set highlighting his new album, “Too Good to Believe.” He closed with a cover of The Cure’s “Love Song,” trading his guitar for the organ as he played to his other half, bassist Piper Robison. The fine rendition included solos by both, backed by Clint Stoker on saxophone and Victor Singer on drums.

San Francisco funksters Katdelic recently delivered a spirited performance at Crystal Bay Casino after arriving a bit late due to trials on the road. A highlight included an impromptu cover of Prince’s “Purple Rain” following a fan’s shout-out request.

World soul player Peter Joseph Burtt and The King Tide are from Lake Tahoe. Burtt sings and plays guitar and kora, a 21-string instrument he learned when he lived in West Africa.

Smoked Out Soul, fronted by former Tahoe guitarist Zebuel Early, is another funk fusion  band worthy of attention. Early also plays with Afrolicious, the Bay Area party band that had High Sierra hoppin’ on the first day with a late-afternoon performance. Afrolicious also staged its debut this month at Live at Lakeview, a free music experience each summertime Thursday on the South Shore beach.

Who’s who at Guitarfish? Check out a listicle of band nuggets with set times:

About Randy Hashagen

Tahoe Onstage copy chief Randy Hashagen, a former Bay Area journalist, walked away from his career to become a crazy cab driver. He's still barnstorming, but his wing-walking days are over. Lately, he has been watching the world flow through Lake Tahoe since 2012.

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