Blues Monsters celebrate 25 years

Blues Monsters

The Blues Monsters open the Bluesdays season at Squaw Valley on June 14.

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.

The Blues Monsters

Chuck Dunn: Bluesman, radio host

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,

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

    Terry "the secret weapon" Ogg

    Terry “the secret weapon” Ogg

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.

One comment

  1. I love The Blues Monsters. They are the real deal. After 25 years together they should be the real deal. They are participating in this years Forte’ Awards for the 2nd year in a row.
    Congratulations guys!

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