All Them Witches boil lake in return to Red Room

Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage

All Them Witches: Michael Parks Jr., left, Robbie Staebler and Allan Van Cleave.
Tahoe Onstage photos by Tim Parsons

Nashville’s All Them Witches will make its second Crystal Bay Casino appearance at 9 p.m. Tuesday, May 9. It will be a free show in the Red Room, with Nashville psych-pop quintet Idle Bloom opening.

In February, All Them Witches released a full-length album “Sleeping Through the War.” It will tour extensively this year in the United States and Europe. Most of the shows have been sellouts, so the Tahoe appearance is a rare opportunity to see it perform for no cover charge.

All Them Witches play black magic rock, dark mood-evoking melodies and grooves that take listeners on journeys to new and spooky places. On its new album, you can imagine hearing the ghosts of  Junior Kimbrough, John Bonham, Kurt Cobain and Ray Manzarek. That’s my take.

Tahoe Onstage music critic Garrett Bethmann says, “It’s very heavy and dreary and loud and riffy, definite metal overtones. But they also have a very biting blues aspect to them and I think they have cool, brooding hooks.”

In a review of the band’s album, “Dying Surfer Meets His Maker,” Revolver’s Dan Epstein said All Them Witches are “inhabiting a corner of the cosmic crust where the spacy introspection of Pink Floyd meets the down-home groove of the Allman Brothers and the bong-addled whomp of Sleep.”

The descriptions amuse the band’s singer Michael Parks Jr., who plays a 1972 Rickenbacker 4001 bass.

“I love hearing people try to explain it because that’s the point of the record,” Parks said. “Music should be taken and formed to whoever’s listening to it. Nobody ever says the same thing to me. I appreciate it because you just pull from everything you know and you shape it to how it makes sense in your world.”

The four members of All Them Witches met at jobs and bars in Nashville, where each moved to make careers in music. Allan Van Cleave plays keyboards and violin, Ben McLeod plays guitar and Robby Staebler drums.

The band debuted at Lake Tahoe on Jan. 20, 2016, a show that packed the Crystal Bay Casino’s Red Room.

Ben McLeod plays guitar for All Them Witches. Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage

Ben McLeod plays guitar for All Them Witches.
Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage

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Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage

Punk rockers LA Witch opened the  2016 show with a driving 30-minute set. Irita Pai plays bass, Ellie English drums and Sade Sanchez sings and plays guitar.
Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage

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