Blues double feature at Harrah’s: Charlie Musselwhite, Coco Montoya

Charlie Musselwhite

Charlie Musselwhite’s blues will be in Tahoe June 15.

“It’s been a long old road and I’m still doing it,” Charlie Musselwhite told Tavis Smiley in March during an appearance on his PBS television program.

The road includes one that reaches Lake Tahoe.

A blues harmonica player with a voice as smooth as Lake Tahoe on a still summer morning, Musselwhite will perform with guitar virtuoso Coco Montoya Saturday, June 15 in Harrah’s Lake Tahoe.

The rare South Shore Room double feature has an early start: 7 p.m. Tickets are on sale  at Harrah’s and Ticketmaster sites.

Musselwhite is as hot now as he’s ever been since he first traveled with a harmonica from his home in Memphis to Chicago in the early 1960s.

He and Mavis Staples last month were the stars of “In Performance at the White House: Memphis Soul,” a tribute to the music made in Musselwhite’s old hometown.

Musselwhite and Ben Harper have collaborated on an album, “Get Up!,” which was released in Feburary and was the subject of one of Smiley’s shows.

“This man represents the deepest blues that ever existed,” Harper said. “This man knew a man who played with Charlie Patton who taught Robert Johnson.”

In typical bluesman self-deprecation, Musselwhite responded: “I don’t’ know what all the fuss is about, but I’ll take it. … It’s been a long old road and I’m still doing it. I don’t feel old. I feel younger now than I did 30 years ago.”

The Blues Hall of Fame member has 27 Blues Music Awards, eight Living Blues Awards and seven Grammy nominations. He won BMA’s Traditional Blues Male Artist of the Year and Best Instrumentalist, Harmonica, at last year’s ceremony.

Montoya is similar to Albert King and Otis Rush, and not just because he plays left-handed and upside down. He’s considered one of the best guitar players of his generation.

While he began playing guitar at age 13, his first fame came as a drummer for Albert Collins from 1972-77.

Montoya’s musical roots are solidly blues, but his style transcends categorization.

“I come from the school of everybody,” Montoya told this writer in a 2012 interview. “It just evolved. Everything that you hear influences you. You just soak it up when you’re  into music like that.

It’s a badge of honor to … be associated with the blues.

”Do I consider myself a real blues player? Probably not because I have such a mixture of things, but blues is the root of pretty much everything American.”

Ticket are $35.20, including fees and tax.
Full Event Details Here

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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