Rick Hammond continues to impress.
The bluesman who led his band where no Reno group has gone before — the semifinals of the International Blues Challenge — thrilled a record crowd at the Harrah’s Lake Tahoe Tuesday’s Spring Blues April 15.
“It was the best show we’ve had, and I was so surprised because it was tax day,” said Buddy Emmer, whose quartet is the house band for the new weekly show on the casino floor.
It was Hammond’s third appearance at Harrah’s, and clearly the musicians have developed rapport. Hammond returned from last winter’s worldwide competition in Memphis with accolades, attention and a new Gibson ES 335 guitar, the same model played by Freddie King. The Gibson factory is just off Beale Street, where Hammond’s band competed with 255 representatives from blues clubs from all across the globe.
Matty T. Traynton, the music store owner and guitar gunslinger from Vacaville, makes his third Harrah’s Tuesday appearance this week, April 22.
Matty T. will be followed by five renowned performers new to the Tuesday night shows: Pete L’Angelle on April 29, Jeff Watson May 6, Steve Freund May 13, Ron Hacker May 20 and Ron Thompson May 27.
The free Tuesday shows are from 8 p.m until 11:30 p.m.
Photographer’s notebook: Rick and Buddy tore it up. The two of them exchanging guitar licks was epic! Rick was wearing a gray suit with a red tie which matched his new red Gibson guitar. The guy is a class act. They closed the night with the song “Love Light.” It just doesn’t get any better than this. Truly, this is how it’s done!
— Kurt E. Johnson