Elephant Revival, Dead Horses remember Lake Tahoe

Clare Foster / Tahoe Onstage
Elephant Revival in Tahoe onstage on Saturday, Feb. 18, at the Crystal Bay Casino.

Elephant Revival headlined an unforgettable show on Saturday, Feb. 18, at the Crystal Bay Casino.

Dead Horses livened up the crowd with a rousing opening set.

“Dead Horses were amazing,” Tahoe Onstage photographer Clare Foster said. “An Americana folk three-piece band and so great. Charlie Rose from Elephant Revival sat in with them for a song or two. And, of course, Elephant Revival was off the hook.”

Larry Sabo / Tahoe Onstage
Bonnie Paine cleans up on the washboard.

Elephant Revival is quintet that formed 10 years ago in Nederland, Colorado. It has a singular progressive style of bluegrass, with each member playing multiple and rare instruments. Its musical message is about social consciousness and the band’s name was inspired by a tragic story about a trio of elephants, separated and never reunited.

Its sound has been described as gypsy, rock, Celtic, alt-country and folk.

“Elephant Revival was superb,” Tahoe Onstage photographer Larry Sabo said. “They continue to expand their mastery of their art, which is unique in the industry.”

Saturday was the penultimate performance of a tour that wraps up Sunday in Boise, Idaho. Afterward, it will play at the Colorado version of WinterWonderGrass.  It has a new album, “Petals.”

Last summer, just before it played at the High Sierra Music Festival, band members escaped an early morning fire in North Carolina that destroyed their tour bus and most of their instruments.

After making it home to Colorado, the band members had a meeting.

“We went through the experience we had together and we envisioned what we want in the future,” guitar, bass and banjo player Daniel Rodriguez told Tahoe Onstage. “We’re all looking at it positively and seeing is as that Phoenix rising sort of thing. Everything went down in the ash, but what’s going to come out of this and how are we going to move forward? We’re not getting too stuck in the ash. We’ve been together 10 years. We’re very close. We’re a very tight-knit family and this certainly has made us much closer.”

The other players are Charlie Rose (banjo, guitar, mandolin, tenor banjo, bass and fiddle); Bridget Law (fiddle, octave fiddle); Bonnie Paine (washboard, djembe, musical saw, stompbox); and Dango Rose (double-bass, mandolin, banjo). All share vocals and write songs. Paine delivers additional beats via footstomps on plywood, her stockinged feet doing near jigs as her hands, encased in antique leather gloves, rub silver nickel against corrugated metal.

Related story: Fire destroys everything, Elephant Revival marches on.

Clare Foster / Tahoe Onstage
Americana three-piece Dead Horses opened the Crown Room show.
Clare Foster / Tahoe Onstage
Charlie Rose of Elephant Revival.
Larry Sabo / Tahoe Onstage
Bridget Law of Elephant Revival.
Clare Foster / Tahoe Onstage
Dango Rose of Elephant Revival.


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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