Sans ‘bad-ass walkup’ song, Wild Feathers rock Crystal Bay

The Wild Feathers thrill the Crystal Bay Casino Crown Room on Friday, March 25. The players, from left, Taylor Burns, Ben Dumas, Ricky Young, Joel King and Brett Moore. Tahoe Onstage photos by Tim Parsons

Onstage or on a record, The Wild Feathers provide a sonic Rorschach test to rock ‘n’ roll aficionados.

Idaho resident and Crystal Bay Casino concertgoer Scott Lee said, “The first time I heard them, I thought, Tom Petty, Eagles, Led Zeppelin, Jackson Browne. And I was right. They’re a rock ‘n’ roll band but at the bottom of it all, they definitely have a country heart.”

Lee and friend Daniele Latora did indeed drive from Idaho to Lake Tahoe for the show, but first saw The Wild Feathers on Wednesday in Tempe, Arizona and Thursday in Pioneertown, California. On Saturday they will see the band play in Salt Lake City because, well, it’s pretty much on the way back to Idaho. Lee’s followed the band since 2014.

On a tour that has five shows on five nights across 1,864 miles, The Wild Feathers are thrilled to be working again, keeping their voices in fine fettle with swashes of Coors Light between songs, playing for adoring fans and sharing originals from a new album.

On Friday, enthusiastic females lined the front of the stage and sang choruses and screamed in delight, eyes rapt on the band. The three frontmen wore pointed boots: acoustic guitarist Ricky Young, electric guitarist Taylor Burns and bassist Joel King. Each were bandleaders before combining their talent in Nashville 12 years ago. They are brilliant and nuanced songwriters, musicians and singers. Why this band is not widely known and acclaimed across the globe is baffling. If a drummer can possess great stage presence, animated Ben Dumas, who wore sneakers, has it. Guitarist Brett “Moves like Wyman” Moore is downright taciturn in work boots and in comparison to his high-energy bandmates, but in a most tasteful way, delivering solid solos on top of midtempo songs from his three different axes.

During the live-music lockdown, The Wild Feathers holed up in a remote cabin and created their fourth studio album – the first produced on their own – and it was picked up by the esteemed the New West Records label. The title track, “Alvardao,” features everything that’s great about the band with its three-part harmonies and nod to California country pioneers The Flying Burrito Brothers.

At Lake Tahoe last night, the crowed buzzed with anticipation and the band members stood in darkness at the side of the stage, waiting for their 9 p.m. start. The show opened an hour earlier with a solo acoustic set from Texas’ extraordinary outlaw country and bluesman Jonathan Tyler, who had last played at Crystal Bay in 2010, opening for Robert Randolph and the Family Band.

In somewhat dramatic fashion, The Wild Feathers opened with their big current hit, “Alvarado,” but suddenly Young stopped singing. He and King somehow were wearing each other’s portable mixing monitors. After they put the appropriate gear in the right pockets, the show began. There were four songs from the new album, but “Alvarado” was never finished. Young lamented missing the chance after “our bad-ass intro.”

The crowd didn’t mind. The biggest response was for “Left My Woman,” with the guys onstage leaving the harmonics to the women in the front. But all genders were smitten. The lone shooter in the photographer’s well was tapped on the back of his shoulder and he was asked by a man to take a photo of Young’s right forearm. “I want to get that tattoo,” the man explained.

The Wild Feathers are apt to perform respectful and startlingly good cover songs. We were startled indeed when they played “Handle With Care” by The Traveling Willburys. Young’s vocal tone precisely emulated Roy Orbison’s.

And if there’s such a thing as an obscure Led Zeppelin song, it might be “Hey, Hey What Can I Do,” which was the B side of the single “Immigrant Song” but didn’t make it onto “Led Zeppelin III.” The Wild Feathers opened the encore set with the aforementioned Led Zeppelin tune, followed by The Band’s “The Weight,” which showed off the Nashville group’s superb voices.

Fans crowded the musicians afterward to shake hands and take cellphone photos. By 11 p.m. the tour bus pulled out of the lot, en route to Salt Lake City.

Tim Parsons

Album review: The Wild Feathers’ “Medium Rarities.”

Women in front screamed and sang for the entire show. Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage
Three bandleaders combined talents 12 years ago.
Taylor and Young in Tahoe onstage.
Opener Jonathan Tyler makes his first Crystal Bay Casino appearance in 12 years. Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage
Ben Dumas plays drums in the back but is in the spotlight thanks to CBC sound and light man Chango.
Moves like Wyman, but with a guitar and not a bass: Brett Moore.
Joel Young uses a pick most of the time to play his Harmony H-22 bass, which was a choice instrument for British rockers such as Ronnie Lane of Faces and Muff Winwood of Spencer Davis Group.
Ricky Young has a coveted tattoo.

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.

LEAVE A REPLY

2 Responses

  1. Enjoyable review Tim, I will be following up with a phone call to you as suggedted by my friend Scott Lee.

    Jim Toombs (Administrator of FRIENDS WHO LIKE THE WILD FEATHERS)

    P.S. What did you think of the up-tempo version of “MIDWAY MOTEL” at Crystal Bay Club last night ? I loved it !

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

@FOLLOW ME

Sneaky Creatures dwell in the Red Room @CrystalBayClub tonight! https://bit.ly/3sPfdbn @Son_of_Sandor #LakeTahoe @AlibiTruckee

Super Diamond - The Neil Diamond Tribute - Live at the South Shore Room at Harrah's Lake Tahoe
on Friday, May 27, 2022. #superdiamond #neildiamond #tahoe #laketahoe #southshore #memorialdayweekend #reno #harrahs #Sacramento

Snow Tha Product comes to Reno Saturday https://bit.ly/3looLWI @CargoReno @WhitneyPeakReno @SnowThaProduct #Reno

SEARCH TAHOE ONSTAGE

EVENTS CALENDAR

Calendar of Events

S Sun

M Mon

T Tue

W Wed

T Thu

F Fri

S Sat

0 events,

0 events,

0 events,

0 events,

0 events,

0 events,

1 event,

-

Rebel Cause Road

0 events,

2 events,

2 events,

0 events,

0 events,

3 events,

-

Blu Egyptian

2 events,

-

Blü Egyptian

2 events,

1 event,

1 event,

0 events,

0 events,

1 event,

-

Sneaky Creatures

1 event,

-

Marcus King

1 event,

1 event,

1 event,

-

Terry Hanck

1 event,

1 event,

-

The Suffers

3 events,

3 events,

-

Made in Tahoe festival

4 events,

-

Made in Tahoe festival

-

Limp Bizkit

1 event,

1 event,

0 events,

0 events,

0 events,

0 events,

© 2022 All Content and Images by Tahoe Onstage