A Tahoe Onstage reader’s concern about Bluesdays going bluegrass have proven unwarranted.
Eight of the nine bands who play Tuesday in July and August in the Village at Squaw Valley are authentically blues. The band in question and set to play this week, David Jacobs-Strain and the Crunk Mountain Boys, isn’t bluegrass player but it’s not a straight-ahead blues either.
When he played solo acoustic in Tahoe last summer, Jacobs-Strain was paired with Americana players Robert Earl Keen and Jeffrey Halford. However, the Eugene, Ore. native does have traits of a bluesman: his songs evoke emotion, he lists Skip James as a primary influence and he accompanies his slide guitar with humor and self-deprecation.
Before the previous Tahoe, Jacobs-Strain described his guitar as a “plywood and Duct Tape 12 string. Well, that’s not literally true. The Duct Tape fell off.”
Next week, July 23, it will be Janiva Magness, who recently released the album, “Stronger For It,” is one of just two women ever (Koko Taylor was the other) to receive the Blues Music Award’s B.B. King Entertainer of the Year honor. A week later it will be southern rocker Tinsley Elllis. The last time he was in Tahoe, Ellis, who this spring released his first all-instrumental album, “Get It,” set the Bluesdays attendance record (since broken by Roy Rogers and the Delta Rhythm Kings).
Florida’s Albert Castiglia will debut at Bluesdays on Aug. 13. The guitarist used to play with Junior Wells and he has shared the stage with John Primer, Eddie “the Chief” Clearwater and Ronnie Baker Brooks.
The Tuesday Bluesdays shows are from 6-8:30 p.m.
July 16- David Jacobs-Strain and the Crunk Mountain Boys
July 23 – Janiva Magness
July 30 – Tinsley Ellis
Aug. 6 – Jimmy Thackery and the Drivers
Aug. 13 – Albert Castiglia
Aug. 20 – Studebaker John and the Hawks
Aug. 27 – Nikki Hill – Bluesdays Finale