Soul surviver Curtis Salgado cleans up at Blues Music Awards, plays Carson City on Friday

Curtis Salgado
Curtis Salgado’s latest record won top honors at the Blues Music Awards. He plays the High Sierra Brewery in Carson City on Friday. Photo by Paul Natkin, provided by Alligator Records.

“Be Thankful for What You’ve Got,” was a song Curtis Salgado wanted to record, most appropriate because the singer has plenty of reasons to be thankful.

The record he made, “Soul Shot,” was named “Soul Album of the Year,” at the 2013 Blues Music Awards.  Salgado also was the recipient of the Soul Blues Artist of the Year as well as the event’s most prestigious honor, B.B. King Entertainer of the Year.

Moreover, Salgado is thankful to be alive. Lung cancer, which he had removed in 2006, reappeared in 2012, and part of his lung was taken out. However, his voice is not affected, and Salgado said he has no problems singing even at high-altitude venues. That’s good news for Tahoe Onstage music fans because Salgado and his new band will perform at 8:30 p.m. Friday at the High Sierra Brewing Company in Carson City. Admission is free.

Salgado produced “Soul Shot” with his longtime associate Marlon McClain and drummer Tony Braunagel, who was in Tahoe last week to perform with Eric Burdon and the Animals.

“When I listened for the first time to what we put down, I realized we had something very special,” Braunagel said backstage at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe.

Salgado knew he had something great as well, considering the studio band, which included Mike Finnigan, Jim Pugh, Larry Fulcher, Joe Sublett, Johnny Lee Schell and Darrell Leonard.

“I was either laughing or recording the whole time,” Salgado said.” We were all so locked into each other. It’s kind of like the 21st century Booker T and the MGs, for lack of a better term. They are just extremely tight. They are on everybody’s records. They’ve played with Paul Simon, Neil Young, Crosby Stills Nash and Young, Jimi Hendrix, B.B. King. I am blessed to have them wanting to do a project with me.”

Salgado had the same session players with his previous CD, “Clean Getaway,” which also received Soul Album of the Year honors. Like most of Salgado’s records, the songs include a mixture of soul, R&B and blues. But “Soul Shot” is all soul.

Salgado said he wanted to record “Be Thankful for What You’ve Got,” but decided William DeVaughn’s song describing “the gangster lean” had been covered too many times.”

A producer suggested he sing the Detroit Emeralds’ tune “Baby, Let Me Take You in My Arms.”

“That launched the record,” Salgado said. “I listened to that and said I want to make an entire soul record.”

Since “Soul Shot” was released, Salgado’s band has changed to include singers who contribute five-part gospel harmonies. So songs from the record will be played at the live show. The one constant band member is bassist Tracy “Big Dog” Arrington, who has been with Salgado for two decades.

Curtis Salgado

When: Friday, June 14

Venue: High Sierra Brewing Company

Address: 302 North Carson Street, Carson City, Nevada

Phone: 775-884-2739

Showtime: 8:30 p.m.

Ticket price: Free admission

Website: www.highsierrabrewco.com

ABOUT Tim Parsons

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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