Tahoe blues fans are thankful for Bluesdays.
The annual Tuesday night Squaw Valley Village shows in July and August bring some of the top national artists to the region. And music promoter Devil Dog Productions often has the Bluesdays artists also stop by the Crystal Bay Casino. Such was the case last week with Tinsley Ellis and this Monday and Tuesday with Jimmy Thackery and the Drivers.
Thackery plays at 9 p.m. Monday in the Red Room and at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the Village. Both shows are free.
“Jimmy is a master guitarist,” Ellis said.
During Saturday’s Bluesapaloosa festival at Mammoth Lakes, Thackery had just finished his set when Ellis arrived. While Mingo Fishtrap performed, Ellis and Thackery had a long, friendly conversation. Ellis’ vintage 1959 Statocaster guitars sat in a rack next to Thackery’s well-work ’64 Strats.
After Ellis came onstage, he invited Thackery up for a jam.
“Whenever we are together for a festival, we bring each other up,” Ellis said. “I think he brought me up last time.”
Thackery has a unique guitar sound and he plays in a fuzzy style similar to Dick Dale’s surf music. His voice is a growl and his sense of humor a bit off-the-wall.
Thackery fronted a Washington, D.C. band, the Nighthawks, for 14 years. It made 20 records before splitting up in 1986, although there are reunion show. The Drivers began in 1992. It’s hard to total all of Thackery’s albums, but it is at the least more than 40.
Thackery lives in Belize, South America.
Jimmy Thackery and the Drivers
- 9 p.m. Monday, Crystal Bay Casino Red Room
- 6 p.m. Tuesday, Squaw Valley Village Bluesdays.
Both shows are free