DLOT breaks out ‘Vanilla’ Weiss for hometown fans

Before its Crystal Bay Casino, the Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio poses for a portrait: Jimmy James, left, Delvon Lamarr and Dan Weiss. Tahoe Onstage photos by Tim Parsons

Before the music began, there was an excited anticipation in the Crystal Bay Casino’s Crown Room. The crowd was ready for the Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio and its new drummer, Reno’s Dan Weiss.

“What’s up y’all?” the bandleader said. “We’re here all the way from Seattle, Washington, and it’s our first time here!”

The instrumental trio includes extraordinary guitarist Jimmy James and Lamarr, who plays keyboards and bass on his Hammond B-3.

Weiss joined the band last year, playing three shows. The trio was set to have a two-month European tour when the lockdown occurred.

DLOT and manager Amy Novo said the band searched for a drummer for two and one-half years and had 160 auditions before settling on Weiss.

“He’s our permanent drummer,” Novo said, early in the show, which had a crowd that included many of Weiss’ friends, including Mark Sexton and Alex Korostinski from the drummer’s Reno band, The Sextones.

The trio opened with “Concussion” and Lamarr’s fingers slid across the organ with ease. By the second tune, “Call Your Mom,” the audience knew it was witnessing a special show. James, the guitarist extraordinaire, performed his first solo for the evening with so much facial expression you could tell the love he had in his heart for what he was doing.

Lamarr teased his bandmates as they were introduced. He critiqued James’ attire and mentioned the drummer’s height before revealing his nickname: “Vanilla” Weiss.

Watching their son for the first time with his new band, Weiss’ parents were in the audience wearing “Vanilla Weiss T-shirts.

James can play anything on any guitar. He played a melody of classic rock tunes, and in the middle of this, he turned the guitar around and played it with his teeth, a move used by another Seattle guitarist,  Jimi Hendrix.

The trio played “Whole Lotta Love” and a short melody of Zeppelin tunes their style, it was wonderful. Reno’s Lauren Carey said “This group is going to explode very soon! I’ve been following them for years, and I’ve seen them many times performing. Like every other band, they’ve had some down time to regroup and write new music. Next time they are here, I won’t be able to get a ticket because they will be so popular!”

There encore was with a song written by Scott Warren and performed by the Polyrhythmics called “Maderey,” which kept the entire room dancing and smiling. Then Lamarr told the crowd, “My wife will be disappointed if I don’t play this song.“ It was Careless Whisper” from George Michael. The trio played for about 1 hour and 45 minutes.

-Author Marcia Schultz is a longtime Tahoe resident who has followed the music scene for many years. She has enjoyed different music genres from the West Coast to Nashville. She has been working with Tahoe Onstage since 2019.

Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio plays the Crystal Bay Casino on June 9, 2021. Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage
  • Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio
    Crystal Bay Casino,
    June 6, 2011
  • Set list
    Concussion
    Call Your Mom
    Get to Steppin
    Can’t Hide Love
    Fo Sho
    Bounce
    Staying Alive (Bee Gees)
    Move On Up (Curtis Mayfield
    Cold as Weiss
    Buttered Popcorn
    Whole Lotta Love (Led Zeppelin)
    Memphis
    Keep it On
    Encore
    Maderay
    Careless Whisper (George Michael)
In the spotlight, Reno’s Dan Weiss responds to the cheers at the Crystal Bay Casino.
Jimmy James alternated guitars, often during the same songs.
Dan Weiss plays for his Tahoe fans.
Delvon Lamarr in the green room. Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage

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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