The thrill is not gone.
Buddy Emmer’s got his mojo working again along with his versatile band and cadre of guest stars at Harrah’s Tuesday Night Blues returns.
The free weekly Center Stage event at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe resumes after a more than 15-month hiatus due to the global pandemic and business lockdown.
“We’re back, man,” Emmer said. “We’ll have a soft opener on June 29 and then will start to rock on July 6.”
The show will return much like it began in winter 2014, with a five-week audition. If the turnout is good, another run will be added. It took several extensions to make Harrah’s Tuesday Night Blues a 52-week-a-year event.
The format has three sets, which are from 8 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. The Buddy Emmer Band plays first, then brings out a featured guest for the next two sets. The second sent is mostly scripted and the show ends with a lot of improvistion.
The style of straight-ahead blues has been appreciated and most popular with a local crowd and visitors.
Former Elvin Bishop guitarist Mighty Mike Schermer, who plays with Austin, Texas’ Marcia Ball Band, will appear July 20.
“The thing I always love about Buddy is how much fun we have playing,” Schermer told Tahoe Onstage. “One of the things I loved about playing with Elvin Bishop was the No. 1 priority was to have fun onstage, then the people that came to see you play would have fun. Every picture I ever saw of that gig, Buddy and I are just smiling from ear to ear.”
Chuck Dunn, whose North Tahoe band the Blues Monsters turns 30 this year, will be the featured artist on July 27.
“Buddy’s played with or had other people sit in with him from Gregg Allman to Merle Haggard,” Dunn said. “That’s one of the things that makes him a real good, solid, veteran musician. I am real honored that he chose me to play.
“Whenever I play with those guys we have a lot of fun. Drummer Bryan Jenkins and I lock in real well rhythm-wise. And, of course, Buddy’s wife, Kim, she’s a knockout for the eyes and for the ears. She’s a great singer and performer.”
Santa Cruz’s quadruple threat Andy Santana, famous for his crisp guitar tone and soulful harmonica style, will be featured the on June 29. A Greaseland Studio recording artist, Santana is an inductee of the Sacramento Blues Society Hall of Fame.
“I am used to sitting in with people so I am never intimidated by that type of situation,” Santana said before his first Tuesday Night Blues appearance a few years ago. “That’s half the fun. As you mature musically, you can make something good out of just about anything. I love Buddy’s energy and his guitar playing. He loves performing and it shows. That’s what makes it easy.”
Sacramento harpist-vocalist Kyle Rowland will be featured on July 8, the week of Tahoe’s celebrity golf tournament.
“The kid turned 27 today,” Emmer said. “He’s an old-school entertainer who will go out into the audience and sit in someone’s lap. He began learning with Mick Martin since he was 8 years old.”
Sacramento’s Jeff Watson started his career in rock bands, but he is not to be confused with the Jeff Watson from Night Ranger. The Les Paul guitarist will be featured on July 13.
“Buddy does a great job bringing in a different artist in there every week,” Schermer said. “They learn an entire new set of material every week for whatever artist is coming in, in addition to all the songs they know. They do a helluva job. They are great guys, great musicians.”
- Harrah’s Tuesday Night Blues
Buddy Emmer Blues Band
8-11:30 p.m. Tuesdays
Harrah’s Lake Tahoe, Center Stage
- June 29: Andy Santana
- July 6: Kyle Rowland
- July 13: Jeff Watson
- July 20: Mighty Mike Schermer
- July 27: Chuck Dunn