The Crystal Bay Casino dropped some sweet concert news this morning: The California Honeydrops will headline the Dec. 30 and New Year’s Eve concerts.
Con Brio, a Bay Area R&B group, will open the show on Sunday, Dec. 30. Placerville jam band Achilles Wheel opens the next evening. Jelly Bread will play the free Dec. 31 after-party in the Red Room. Tickets — $35 for the Dec. 30 show, $50 for New Year’s Eve — go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday, Sept. 28.
It’s been a year since the California Honeydrops played in the CBC’s Crown Room and 11 since it began busking in a BART station. In recent years the band has been on a fast track to national prominence. It played at the High Sierra Music Festival in 2013, toured twice with Bonnie Raitt and last year performed on the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise.
“That’s 10 years later from burning our own bootleg garage-band CDs to hock in the subway stations to make our burrito and milkshake money for the day,” drummer Ben Malament said before the show in Tahoe in December 2017. “It’s awesome. It’s pretty incredible. We’re very thankful.”
The California Honeydrops have diverse sounds that range from Curtis Mayfield-like R&B to acoustic and amplified blues. Last spring, they released their seventh studio alum, “Call It Home: Vol. 1 and 2.”
The most accomplished aspect of the album is the vibe the band sets throughout, Tahoe Onstage music critic Garrett Bethmann wrote: “There’s a wistful timelessness to it brought on by the source material of the 1960s and 1970s embedded into the heart of the music, though it feels entirely present and in-the-moment, as spontaneous and romantic as life in its most vibrant moments.”
Earlier this month, Crystal Bay announced Leftover Salmon will perform on Friday, Dec. 28. Other December shows are The Travelin’ McCourys with David Grisman on Dec. 1 and the Chris Robinson Brotherhood on Dec. 12.
— Tim Parsons