Bluesdays begins: Mountain of monstrous blues (funk, too)

Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage

The stage is packed and so is the Village at Squaw Valley for the opening of the 11th Bluesdays.
Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage photos

Whenever Chuck Dunn straps on a Telecaster and steps his patent leather shoes on an ornate stage rug it’s a big gig.

Dunn and the band The Blues Monsters have opened every Bluesdays season in the 11-year history of the weekly summertime concert at the Village at Squaw Valley. Formed 28 years ago, the Blues Monsters have made a lot of friends, many of who jumped onstage and jammed along with them.

The stage was so full, it stirred memories of Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound. But in the snow-capped setting in the famed ski resort, it could have been called a Mountain of Soul.

The Groove Foundry Horns joined the Blues Monsters early on, and things got real funky. Then singers Matt Reardon and Kendal Naughton hopped on risers in the back. There were so many people onstage Dunn didn’t even see them for a minute. Guitarist Mighty Mike Schermer from the Marcia Ball Band also jammed. And Groove Foundy’s Glenn Campbell, who served as sound man, sang a couple of tunes.

The next 12 weeks will feature national bands, starting June 18 with slide guitar master Roy Rogers & The Delta Rhythm Kings.

Related story: Roy Rogers talks about his first Squaw Valley gig — he was in middle school — and first major recording session: the soundtrack for the movie “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s nest.”

  • Bluesdays
    6 -8:30 p.m. Tuesdays
    The Village at Squaw Valley
    June 18 — Roy Rogers & The Delta Rhythm Kings
    June 25 — Vanessa Collier
    July 2 —  Mark Hummel’s Golden State Lone Star Revue featuring Rusty Zinn
    July 9 — Christone “Kingfish” Ingram
    July 16 — Danielle Nicole
    July 23 — Coco Montoya
    July 30 — Chris Cain
    Aug. 6 — Sugar Ray Rayford
    Aug. 13  — Jimmy Thackery & The Drivers
    Aug. 20 — Dennis Jones Band
    Aug. 27 — Honey Island Swamp Band
    Sept. 3 — Popa Chubby

Bobby Slayton reflects upon the Village at Squaw Valley.

Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage

Terry Ogg and Chuck Dunn have some fun.

Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage

From left, Mike Overhauser, Todd Mather, Jen Campbell, Brian “Nak” Nakagawa, Thomas Barnes and Barry Slayton.

Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage

Elevated vocals come from Kendal Naughton and Matt Reardon.

Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage

The Groove Foundry Horns: Todd Mather, Jen Campbell and Brian “Nak” Nakagawa.

Chuck Dunn and the Blues Monsters have opened all 11 Bluesdays seasons.

Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage

Terry Ogg is “The Secret Weapon.”

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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