Staxx Brothers play nice at Crystal Bay comeback

Staxx Brothers

The Staqulettes set the playful mood in the Red Room. Photos Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage

This time around, the story about the big-old Staxx Brothers in the little Red Room has a happy ending.

The Crystal Bay Casino’s shining jewel, of course, is the Crown Room, which regularly features outstanding national touring artists. But the Red Room is a place for excellent – and, amazingly, free — shows each Friday and Saturday. Music fans have learned to turn out each week regardless of whether they know the band.

SignSaturday night was typical. There were about a dozen folks in the Red Room when the music began, and a half-hour later the place was packed.

For a while now, I’ve said my favorite Red Room band from Colorado is the Congress. Now I can say, the Staxx Brothers are the best out of Washington. What a treat it must have been to have seen those two bands on the same bill for a show last summer in the East Bay.

A six-piece band from Seattle, the Staxx Brothers’ only other Lake Tahoe and Crystal Bay Casino appearance was in 2011, when it was working out a song called “Black and Mild,” which was released as a single and a video last summer. The lyrics are explicit and somebody took offense.

Real genius encourages eccentricity and a you-don’t-know-how-far-you-can-go-until-you-go-to-far philosophy.

Lamenting “We were banned for four years,” Staxx frontman Davin Stedman agreed to keep the Dec. 6 show clean and his clothes on. He was so amiable, in fact, he shook most of the concertgoers’ hands as he shimmied across the dance floor during his high-energy performance. He apologized twice for spilling a man’s beer (accidents will happen when a person Stedman’s size busts dance moves). And he kept his clothes on most of the time, only once pulling up his shirt to reveal that he is a really big star.

Whether it’s in a video or a studio or a live performance, the Staxx Brothers deliver humor, fun and a soulful blend of great American music.

High stepThe band’s concept is to emulate in a modern way the music produced out of Memphis’ multi-racial Stax Studios in the 1960s. It combines hip-hop, R&B, rock ’n’ roll and country, quite a lot to pull off, especially for a rhythm section, and Tom Wilkinson (drums) and Jake Amster (bass) are solid enough to do so. Chris O’Conner is a virtuoso in all those styles on guitar.

The Staqulettes, Michelle O’Conner and Angela Rickard, alternated as lead and backup singers and dancers along with the ebullient emcee Stedman

It’s good to have the Staxx Brothers back.

Here’s “Uncle Ed,”the seventh and final chapter in The Staxx Brothers’ independent film, “The Jelly Roll.” Watch all seven videos in sequence at Staxxbrothers.com:

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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