Bruce Springsteen’s music celebrated by Reno bands at annual KTHX charity show at John Ascuaga’s Nugget

Springsteen 2Every year for its birthday celebration KTHX puts on a party in John Ascuaga’s Nugget Celebrity Showroom in support of an area charity. The theme is typically 20 local bands playing one song each of an artist that has been selected for the honor. This year it was Bruce Springsteen. The charity that was the lucky recipient of this year’s offering was Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful, a charity which focuses on providing an alternative to litter and illegal dumping through community education and cleanup/beautification projects in the Truckee Meadows.

All of KTBM’s programs are geared toward educating the public about the economic and health hazards of litter and illegal dumping; reducing waste; eliminating trash from parks, roadways and open spaces; making the community a beautiful and safe place to live; and giving opportunities for residents and businesses to take pride and ownership in their home.

The Celebrity Showroom stage hosts some of the best musical acts touring the country, and this annual event gives local musicians a chance to play on that very same stage. The vibe in the room was that of a party where everybody knew everybody else. It seemed like everybody who squeezed by my booth had a guitar case or a mic stand in their hand. There was also a lot of commingling of musicians between bands – a lot of camaraderie.

It should be pointed out that the Nugget donated the use of the room for the evening at no charge and all the musicians are working for free too. All the proceeds from the show go directly to the charity.

Each band had 10 minutes on stage. Before they can play their selected Springsteen song, they have to get their instruments and effects pedals plugged in, check the levels of the amplifiers they were using (not their own), and make sure the mics they were using were properly adjusted. Then, with no sound check, they could play their song. It’s a leap of faith.

KTHX DJ’s Dead Air Dave, Salesman Dave, and Malayna Joy were hosting the event. D.A.D. held the lion’s share of duties with band introductions, trivia questions and giving stuff away all evening. There were a couple no-shows in the evening which left time for other bands to play more than one song.

The evening had it’s shining stars. A couple standouts early on were Six Mile Station who played an original as well as High Hopes. Good singing and loads of energy. Following them was Parslow Vibe who also played an original and followed that with Cover Me. These guys displayed amazing musicianship — very talented players.

The X’s own Dave Chapman made an appearance playing the rock and roll squeeze box with Long Gone in I’m On Fire, and he was. Bruce would have been proud.

For me, the high point of the evening was when The Novelists took the stage and started with an original song called Above The Hiding, that began with an a cappella four part harmony section that was spot on. Beautiful vocals! It literally took my breath away. After that they played a beautiful version of Springsteen’s Thunder Road.

Following The Novelists was the very talented Tyler Stafford playing Ghost of Tom Joad. He was accompanied by Zach Teran from The Novelists on bass guitar and Nick Mason from Pink Floyd on drums (actually it was Dean Rossi of The Floyd out of Carson City).

As the show neared the end The Saddle Tramps, in beautiful matching red suits, played a fun rendition of Cadillac Ranch which was chock full of ‘Saddle Tramp’ entertainment and humor. This was followed by Guitar Woody and The Boilers accompanied by Melody Hammond playing Raise Your Hand. The finale was an orchestrated and charted out performance of Rosalita put together by Scot Marshall. He was joined by a stage full of performers that I couldn’t begin to list.

It was a wonderful and charitable event benefiting the Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful organization, and by default all of Reno.

The Complete Performer lineup and their songs.
Tom Plunkett – Atlantic City
Mental Floss – Dancing in The Dark
Armor and the Hotdogs – Born to Run
The Coney Dogs – Fire
Delta Cat – Cadillac Ranch
Paisley Brain Cells – Spirit in the Night
Six Mile Station – High Hopes
Parslow Vibe – Cover Mes
Long Gone – I’m on Fire
Reggae Shack Refugees – My Hometown
The Orbiters – 10th Avenue Freeze out
The Novelists – Thunder Road
Tyler Stafford – Ghost of Tom Joad
Wabuska Yachting Club – Factory
Saddle Tramps – Cadillac Ranch
Guitar Woody and The Boilers (w/ Melody Hammond) – Raise Your Hand
Scot Marshall and Company – Rosalita

…and the beat goes on.

About Josh Sweigert

Josh grew up on the California coast with a deep appreciation for bluegrass and string band music as well as the great outdoors. A guitarist and singer, he plays solo acoustic gigs in South Lake Tahoe.

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