Randy McAllister goes the distance for Lake Tahoe

Randy McAllister’s Live at Lakeview appearance tonight is more than a quintessential “one-off.” It’s downright quixotic.

McAllister spoke on his cell phone Wednesday from Wyoming on his way to South Lake Tahoe, where he headlines the weekly Thursday summertime show at Lakeview Commons. Afterwards, he will drive back to Wyoming, where he will resume a tour that will include New Mexico and then again the Sierra Nevada in early August for the Mammoth Lakes Bluesapalooza.

Randy McAllister travels more than  1,000 miles to make a rare Lake Tahoe appearance.

Randy McAllister travels more than 1,000 miles to make a rare Lake Tahoe appearance.

If it sounds like McAllister travels with the relentlessness of blues player, that is correct.

“First and foremost, I consider myself a bluesman but as a songwriter I tend to cross a lot of boundaries,” said McAllister, who has played on the road for 28 years, although it’s been 15 since he’s been in the Lake Tahoe area.

McAllister has 13 records, including a compilation released last September, andpress clippings make comparisons to Otis Redding and Wilson Pickett.

A native of Nobice, Texas, a border town near Shreveport, Louisiana, McAllister is part of a famed Texas guitarist coterie which includes Johnny Winter, Freddie King, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Albert Collins, Billy Gibbons, Lightnin’ Hopkins and Johnny Copeland. How does the Lone Star State produce so many superstars?

“It’s just a great amalgamation of great styles of music, from Texas swing to blues to country and everything in between,” he said. “And also, in different parts of Texas that border Louisiana, there’s zydeco, that’s where I’m from, so there’s a lot of cross pollination of music.”

Despite the litany of storied players from Texas, McAllister said his greatest influence is his father, a drummer and singer with a vast record collection which includes Jimmy Reed and B.B. King.

McAllister’s aforementioned traveling lifestyle coincides with the hard-working blues players who set the table for rock and roll.

“I’m still a caveman,” he said. “I’m pretty primitive. I play my music and hope for the best. I am not tapped into the Internet at all. I don’t have a Facebook account …”

Those were the his last words as the cell phone reception on a Wyoming highway faded into silence, reaffirming modern day technology has frustrating consequences. But the blues rolls on; all the way from Wyoming to Lake Tahoe.


Live at Lakeview

Free Thursday shows at Lakeview Commons, South Lake Tahoe
Randy McAllister, 6:15:-8:30 p.m.
Tyler McCoy Band, 4:30- 6 p.m.

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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