Parachute blues: Alastair Greene drops into Lake Tahoe

Tahoe Onstage

Buddy Emmer, left, and Alastair Greene jammed at Tuesday night at Lake Tahoe.
Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage

Alastair Greene dropped down into Lake Tahoe on Nov. 21 with his Gibson guitar and a box of newly pressed CDs. He didn’t arrive by parachute – that’s just an analogy.

It feels like you are a Navy SEAL where you parachute in and take care of a job.”

The bluesman from Southern California has had a hectic schedule since last month’s release of his album, “Dream Train.” The featured artist for Harrah’s Lake Tahoe’s Tuesday Night Blues just finished a tour through Oregon and Northern California.

During that time he played a show in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with Starship featuring Mickey Thomas. “That’s not the kind of gig you can rehearse for,” Greene told Tahoe Onstage. “You come to sound check and run over a few things. It feels like you are a Navy SEAL where you parachute in and take care of a job.”

Greene had played with Starship in 2014 and he prepared for the Tulsa show in hotel rooms during his tour.

Tonight’s show – his third with the Buddy Emmer Blues Band — will be less stressful.

“It’s fun and it’s an opportunity for me to get outside of my area and promote my music and to play with a great band,” Greene said. “We hit it off. We’re fans of a lot of the same stuff. We have a lot of the same influences and inspirations, so it’s really easy to play with him in a live setting without a lot of rehearsal. We both speak the same language.”

Parachute Blues is when the wind is blowing so hard you can NOT catch the toggles to steer your chute after you jump…and land in the woods, keeping yer legs crossed as all that winter wood crunches as you’re headed down, then strung up hanging for hours in the cold before the firemen can cross the river with a ladder to cut you free before dark. Yep, the PARACHUTE BLUES… God BLESS the firemen!” — Sheila Custer

A native of Texas, Emmer was influenced by Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top. Greene’s new album features 12 original songs and one cover, Gibbons’ track “Nome Zayne.” An impressive group of artists is featured on Rip Cat Records’ “Dream Train” : Walter Trout, Debbie Davies, Mike Zito, Mike Finnigan and harmonica great Dennis Gruenling.

“We are getting a lot of radio play and some good reviews and getting some offers on some stuff for next year,” Greene said.

The tune with Trout is entitled “Another Lie.”

“It’s a slow blues in the Otis Rush vein of things and slow blues is a guitar player’s dream because they are a lot of fun to play,” Greene said. “I left space in that song, hoping that Walter was going to do it.”

The blues album is Greene’s first since his seven-year run as a rock and roller with the Alan Parsons Project.

“I started recording in summer of 2016 because I was still on road with Alan, another reason (I left that band),” he said. “It was taking so long to mix. I decided I can’t take this long to make a record. It can sap your energy and enthusiasm if it takes a lot of time. I tried to keep the faith and see it through and I’m glad I did because I think it came out great.”

  • Harrah’s Lake Tahoe’s Tuesday Night Blues
    With the Buddy Emmer Blues Band
    8 p.m.-midnight

    Nov. 21 — Alastair Greene Website
    Nov. 28 – Steve Freund
    Dec. 5 — Andy Santana
    Dec. 12 — Rick Hammond
    Dec. 19 — Miles Schon
    Dec. 26 – Mighty Mike Schermer

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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