The Monster is growing.
As the Blues Monsters enter its 25th summer, the band has a growing guest list.
The core four are guitarists Chuck Dunn and Barry Slayton, bassist Tom Barnes, and drummer Michael Overhauser. For the big shows, and there will be plenty of them this summer, the Blues Monsters will be joined by the Groove Foundry horn section, Jen Campbell, Todd Mather and Brian “Nak” Nakagawa. Slayton also plays with Groove Foundry.
The Blues Monsters are included in most of this summer’s major free events. On Friday it opens the Music On The Beach series at Kings Beach. The show is from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at Kings Beach State Recreation Area.
Larry Yates started the Blues Monsters in the 1980. “He moved to Los Angeles and he wanted us to go with him but we said, ‘No, we’re not going to leave Lake Tahoe,’ ” Dunn said.
The four members have been together a quarter-century.
“Keeping a band together is really hard,” Dunn said. “It’s like a marriage or a business. But we all have the same focus and we get along. We ‘re all in our 60s now and if someone ever leaves the band we will fold. That’s how we feel about every member of this band. We’re just lucky that we all hooked up. We have something good and we’re satisfied.”
The Blues Monsters opened The Village at Squaw Valley’s Bluesdays season on June 14. The free weekly show is from 6 to 8:30 p.m. and features national touring bands, this year including Kenny Neal, Carolyn Wonderland and Joe Louis Walker. The Blues Monsters are the only local band to have played Bluesdays, and last year it did so twice, opening for Coco Montoya as well as headlining. It will appear at the weekly shows at Tahoe City’s Commons Beach, Kings Beach and Truckee. This month it also plays at The Great Eldorado BBQ, Brews and Blues Festival in Reno. The band’s complete schedule is listed on its website, www.thebluesmonsters.com.
In addition to the Groove Foundry horns, keyboardist Terry Ogg will join the Blues Monsters for the bigger shows. Ogg is from South Shore and also plays with the Trey Stone Band.
“We call him our secret weapon,” Dunn said. “When he shows up with his B3 organ and two Leslies (speakers) it’s like a rocket ship taking off.”
Dunn is the host of “Chuckie D’s Choose Blues Hour” on KTKE 101.5 FM Truckee Tahoe Radio. The show has been moved to Tuesdays at 11 a.m. in order to let listeners known about that evening’s Bluesdays show at Squaw Valley.
- Music on the Beach — Fridays 6 – 8:30 p.m., Kings Beach
June 17: The Blues Monsters
June 24: The Wrinkle
July 8: Coburn Station
July 15: Sneaky Creatures
July 22: Abalone Grey
July 29: Buddy Emmer Blues Band
Aug. 5: Paul David and the Drivers
Aug. 19: Miss Lonely Hearts
Aug. 26: Forget the Roses
Sept. 2: Achilles Wheel