A paradigm shift occurred 11 years ago and Tuesday became the greatest summertime day of the week at Lake Tahoe. That’s when the weekly Bluesdays concerts began at Squaw Valley.
“It’s not your typical blues club,” said Chuck Dunn, whose band the Blues Monsters have played the opening show each season.
The free shows are held each Tuesday in the Village of Squaw Village, which has snowcapped mountains as a backdrop. The only local band to play Bluesdays, The Blues Monsters are the first of 13 concerts that start each week at 6 p.m. There is lodging, food concessions, drinks, shops and a whole lot of great music. The forecast calls for 79-82 degree temperatures.
“We’re gonna squeeze 10 on that stage,” Dunn said. “The Secret Weapon (keyboardist Terry Ogg) will be there. We will have the Groove Foundry horn section.”
Also performing will be singers Matt Reardon and Kendal Naughton. They will perform the Amy Winehouse song “Valerie,” with an arrangement similar to Bruno Mars’ recording.
Guitarist Mighty Mike Schermer will sit in with the Blues Monsters. He was added after a tete-a-tete at a Mexican restaurant.
“Mike asked to play with us,” said Dunn, who was happy to add the national touring player. “He called me later and said, “Am I still on or was that the tequila talking?”
Mighty Mike has a home in Austin, where he plays in the Marcia Ball’s band. But he also has a family home in Truckee, and he’s performed in this area in the last couple of years more than ever.
Dunn has a radio show, “Choose Blues Hour,” that airs Tuesdays at 11 a.m. and is repeated at 7 p.m. on Truckee Tahoe radio KTKE 101.5. He features that evening’s blues artist each week.
“Every year they step it up,” Dunn said. “Bringing up Coco (Montoya) is always good. And Chris Cain is coming back. And I really want to see Popa Chubby.”
6 -8:30 p.m. Tuesdays
The Village at Squaw Valley
June 11 — The Blues Monsters
June 18 — Roy Rogers & The Delta Rhythm Kings
June 25 — Vanessa Collier
July 2 — Mark Hummel’s Golden State Lone Star Revue featuring Rusty Zinn
July 9 — Christone “Kingfish” Ingram
July 16 — Danielle Nicole
July 23 — Coco Montoya
July 30 — Chris Cain
Aug. 6 — Sugar Ray Rayford
Aug. 13 — Jimmy Thackery & The Drivers
Aug. 20 — Dennis Jones Band
Aug. 27 — Honey Island Swamp Band
Sept. 3 — Popa Chubby