Harrah’s weekly blues night moves to Tuesday in September, next two in South Shore Room

Blues fans must be playing their cards right because the weekly show that began Feb. 4 continues to get extended.

The weekly free blues concert at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe has moved to Tuesdays for the rest of September.
The Tuesday shows Sept. 9 with Matty T Traynton and Sept. 16 with Rich Maloon will be presented in the South Shore Room. All of the others are at Center Stage on the casino floor next to Blackjack tables.

Jeff Watson is featured Sept. 23 and Rick Hammond, who played the very first show, closes out the month on Sept. 30.

The house band is the Buddy Emmer Blues Band. The shows are from 8-11:30 p.m.

Steve Freund plays Lake Tahoe before setting out to sea with the Mannish Boys Revue. Kurt E. Johnson/ Tahoe Onstage

Steve Freund plays Lake Tahoe before setting out to sea with the Mannish Boys Revue. Kurt E. Johnson/ Tahoe Onstage

Steve Freund played the final Monday show on Labor Day. He also was featured May 13 and July 14.

A Chicago-style bluesman who lives in San Francisco toured extensively with Sunnyland Slim, James Cotton, Boz Skaggs and Koko Taylor.

He’s also appears on almost 50 albums, including the Mannish Boys latest, “Wrapped Up & Ready.” He will play with the Mannish Boys Revue about October’s Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise to the Mexican Riviera.

“If you want to play blues it’s not just learning the notes and the chords,” Freund told Tahoe Onstage before his May appearance. “Those people came up a certain way and they have certain priorities. The key was learning not what the people play but why they play and how they think and what’s important and how you treat other musicians.”

A native of Brooklyn, Freund at the age of 24 immersed himself in the blues when he moved to Chicago, staying in the Windy City for 18 years. After many blues greats died, the scene changed and in 1994 Freund moved to the Bay Area. He played many times with his former band the Dynatones at the Peppermill in Reno.

He plays many different hues of blues: Chicago-style from the 1960s, prewar Big Bill Broonzy and Memphis Minnie, and contemporary. His experience with the older players was invaluable to his sound, he said.

The music part can be learned other ways,” Freund said. “But it’s not only how you play but it’s why you play and what you play and your material and the stories behind all these songs. They are all short stories, little vignettes. They tell a story and they have a moral, too. And you learn from that.
“And you go on the road and you learn from older folks how hard it was for them to survive coming up through the racism and the bigotry when most of these African-American artists, especially the Chicago musicians were all from the deep South, usually Mississippi and Southern Tennessee and Arkansas and those kid of Delta places. They really endured a lot of racism and you just learned about that. You develop a sense of empathy and a sense of right and wrong. It just instills that into you.”

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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