The Blues Monsters break in Bluesdays

Blues Monsters

Reno-Tahoe’s most enduring blues band, the Blues Monsters.
Photo by Nick McCabe

Squaw Valley’s monstrous summer of great live music opens Tuesday with the area’s most enduring blues band.

The Blues Monsters open the weekly Bluesdays summertime series for the fourth consecutive year. Again the only local band on the lineup, the Blues Monsters formed 26 years ago.

“It’s a premier gig,” guitarist-singer Chuck Dunn told Tahoe Onstage. “There’s a lot of bands that would love to be able play it. We definitely feel very honored that they ask us to do it and so we always try and pull out all the stops and bring in the best we can.”

The rockin’ blues quartet — Dunn, Tom Barnes, Barry Slayton and Michael Overhauser — will add the three-member Groove Foundry horn section – Jen Campbell, Brian “Nak” Nakagawa and Todd Mather – for a nonstop set from 6 to 8:30 p.m. South Shore keyboardist Terry Ogg also will join the jam.

“Terry plays with the Trey Stone Band,” Dunn said. “He’s our hired gun. We call him our secret weapon. He and (lead guitarist) Barry will go back and forth on solos.”

Dunn is an ambassador for Bluesdays, which is entering its ninth season. Each week he plays the music of the featured artist on his 12-year-old radio program, “Choose Blues Hour with Chuck Dunn,” at 11 a.m. Tuesdays on 101.5 FM Truckee Tahoe Radio. The show is rebroadcast on Saturday night at midnight. Last week, Dunn had his 686th show.

Dunn said he is looking forward this season to the Bluesdays debut of Mississippi’s Grady Champion, a former winner of the International Blues Challenge. Also debuting will be Canadian blues rocker Anthony Gomes and Chicago’s Ronnie Baker Brooks.

“This is a damn good lineup and I’m really looking forward to it,” he said. “It’s the premier music series that we have in the Tahoe Truckee area. Also to be free, that’s just spectacular and Squaw Valley is a great venue.”

A close-up look at each week’s featured band.

Ninth annual Bluesdays
6-8:30 p.m. Tuesdays
The Village at Squaw Valley
June 13 — Bluesdays Kickoff Party with The Blues Monsters​​
June 20 – Dragondeer
June 27 — Roy Rogers & The Delta Rhythm Kings
July 4 — Chris Cain (plus skiing)
July 11 — Grady Champion
July 18 — Rick Estrin & The Nightcats
July 25 — Jimmy Thackery & The Drivers
Aug. 1 — John Nemeth
Aug. 8 — Anthony Gomes
Aug. 15 — Coco Montoya
Aug. 22 — Ronnie Baker Brooks
Aug. 29 — Dennis Jones Band
Sept. 5 — Mark Hummel’s Golden State Lone Star Revue, Mark Hummel, Anson Funderberg

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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