Dead of summer: Golden Cadillacs cruise to Live at Lakeview

The Golden Cadillacs rev up Guitarfish. Now they are cruising to Lake Tahoe.
Larry Sabo / Tahoe Onstage photos

Here’s a great way to celebrate Jerry Garcia’s birthday: The Golden Cadillacs will make their first appearance at Live at Lakeview in South Lake Tahoe at Lakeview Commons.

The Roseville-based band has been around more than a decade but only this summer has it played regularly at Tahoe.

“I don’t know why it’s taken us so long,” Guitarist Jeremy Plog said. “It’s 80 degrees here and it’s over 100 every day in Sacramento.”

Plog revealed the plan for Thursday’s show on the beach.

“We’re going start out with most of our songs, then transform to a jam-oriented (show),” he said. “We will play some Traffic and Grateful Dead tunes. It’s Jerry ‘s birthday so we have to pay homage to that man.”

The Grateful Dead guitarist would have been 77 on Aug. 1.

The Golden Cadillacs played at last week’s Guitarfish festival.

“We had a good time,” Plog said. “It was cool a family friendly festival. There was a lot of water with a river and a lake.”

Country rock means different things to different listeners. Jeremy Plog, one of the two Golden Cadillacs guitarists, explained his band’s sound.

“We all grew up with Merle Haggard and graduated, for me, to Tom Petty and the Allman Brothers,” he said. “People think of country rock as like the Eagles. But we’re a little more toward Petty Southern rock with country rock influences.”

The Golden Cadillacs coalesced in 2007 as a trio. Today’s lineup includes Plog, guitarist Nick Swimley, bassist-singer Adam Wade, singer Jillian Secor and drummer Robby Dean. Aaron Shively sometimes appears on pedal steel, and he will play Thursday at Tahoe.

Swimley and Plog were longtime members of the Jackie Greene Band. They left the band in 2015. Swimley also plays for the Dead Winter Carpenters and will miss the Live at Lakeview concert.

“(Nick) comes from a more Telecaster-based kind of country twang sound, and I come from a bluesy Southern rock thing,” Plog said. “That’s how we dictate who takes what solo. Most songs have a lot of interplay between the two guitars. I think it’s a cool approach rather than have one instrument as the lead voice. This breaks it up and it could be a little more surprising.”

The band has 20 unreleased original songs. Plog said they could be released two at a time, rather than all being put out on an album. It has a 2015 EP, “Indian Yellow.” Earlier, it made a country album, a sound that doesn’t reflect the band’s current sound.

“It’s shelved and out of print,” Plog said. It’s on eBay for high dollars. My mom’s bidding on it.”

The opener, folk-rock singer Jimbo Scott, hits the Live at Lakeview stage at 4:30 p.m. He was born in Memphis and raised in Oakland. You may recognize him from the well known band, Poor Man’s Whiskey. His songwriting style is derived from a childhood saturated in various traditions of American folk music.

Nathan Dale, of the Jackie Greene
Band, played Guitarfish with the Golden Cadillacs.

About 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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