Piling on: Winter’s Dead will be hot, no matter the weather

No one will say winter’s dead at Lake Tahoe until it actually stops snowing. However, everyone knows the annual Winter’s Dead show at the Crystal Bay Casino will be hot.

The Dead Winter Carpenters show on Saturday will be bittersweet. It will be drummer Brian Huston’s final Crystal Bay show with the North Tahoe-based band. He also will appear at a May 23 concert in Chico.

Larry Sabo / Tahoe Onstage

Brian Huston’s final show with the Dead Winter Carpenters is Saturday.

“Being on the road full time was not going to work for him,” guitarist Jesse Dunn said. “He’s had some exciting family developments and he’s looking to get into another career. Of course, he’ll always play music but he needs to shift his primary focus.

“It’s been a great pleasure to work and play with him over the years and we’ve forged an unbreakable friendship. It’s sad to see him go, but it’s just another step in the evolution and we wish him the best.”

Winter’s Dead was moved up a week because the Dead Winter Carpenters are slated to play Memorial Day Weekend at DelFest in Cumberland, Maryland. That will be the quintet’s first show with drummer Brendan Smith, a Northeast Pennsylvania native who landed in Truckee last fall. Dunn met Smith after a show at Moody’s Bistro.

“He’s got a lot of great experience,” Dunn said. “He was living in New York City playing various gigs, playing some jazz, some Irish punk rock even some offshoots of stomp. So he’s well versed. He was looking for a change and he moved out to Tahoe and we were fortunate to find him.”

In the last couple of months, Smith has been learning the large Dead Winter Carpenters library. The band has three full-length albums, an EP, several unreleased original songs and a number of covers.

Bassist Dave Lockhart, who now lives in New Jersey, will be back on tour with the band after missing an appearance at WinterWonderGrass at Squaw Valley. Lockhart and his wife Courtney had a son, West, on April 13.

The Dead Winter Carpenters will share the stage with Scott Law and Ross James’ Cosmic Twang at Slims in San Francisco on Friday and at Crystal Bay on Saturday. The two bands also shared shows last February in Portland and Seattle.

Cosmic Twang will open, then join the hometown heroes for a few songs on Saturday.

North Shore’s Sam Ravenna, who will release an album on June 25, will play the free Red Room after-party.

  • Winter’s Dead
    The Dead Winter Carpenters
    with Scott Law and Ross James’ Cosmic Twang
    When: 9 p.m. Saturday, May 20
    Tickets: $18 in advance or $20 on the day of the show
    Red Room after-party: Sam Ravenna

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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