Greensky Bluegrass, Elephant Revival headline 2-night Wintergrass

Elephant Revival
Elephant Revival’s trunk is packed for Lake Tahoe where it plays Saturday, the second night of “Wintergrass” in the Crystal Bay Casino. Larry Sabo / Tahoe Onstage
Larry Sabo / Tahoe Onstage
Paul Hoffman plays mandolin for Greensky Bluegrass. Larry Sabo / Tahoe Onstage

It’s unusual in Tahoe at this time of the winter to see grass, but it is an uncommon year. And North Shore’s “Wintergrass” is a very good thing for music fans.

A two-day celebration of organic music features bands each night in the Crystal Bay Casino Crown Room followed by another live show in the Red Room.

Greensky Bluegrass headlines Friday, March 7. The opener is the Bay Area’s Tumbleweed Wanderers. Low Flying Birds play the after-party. On Saturday it will be Nederland, Colo. Band Elephant Revival, which will be joined by Nat Keefe, who is best known at the guitarist for Hot Buttered Rum. San Geronimo will be in the Red Room.

Crystal Bay concertgoers have watched Greensky Bluegrass grow. Its first show here for the quintet from Kalamazoo, Mich., was in the Red Room after a show by Yonder Mountain String Band. The band gained fans all across the country with a heavy tour schedule and a popular 2011 studio album, “Handgun,” the band’s fourth.

The next record, “If Sorrows Swim,” will be released after June, its publicist said. Many of the songs have been worked out live and it is likely to include many of the following, which include YouTube links: “Leap Year,” “Demons,” “Worried About the Weather,” “Windshield,” “Kerosene” and “In Control.”
Greensky Bluegrass is carving its own style of bluegrass as did Sam Bush with the Newgrass Revival. Bush joined Greensky Bluegrass recently for its entire set at a Colorado festival it headlined.

The band has resisted the notion of bringing drums into the mix.

“While adding a drummer would free each of us up to do more things instrumentally,” guitarist Mike Devol told Tahoe Onstage before its Nov. 7 show at the CBC, “I think it would take away from the charm of our sound because of the way we have to build those rhythmic textures with our instruments while we are also singing harmonies. You can’t

Larry Sabo / Tahoe Onstage
Nat Keefe will join Elephant Revival in Tahoe onstage Saturday, the second night of “Wintergrass.” Larry Sabo / Tahoe Onstage

mimic it with drums. It provides certain challenges in arranging certain pieces. For a bluegrass band who plays rock and rock covers, it adds a whole other level of preparation and performance.”

After Tahoe the band also has a show slated in the Red Rocks Amphitheater and will play New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Tennessee’s Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival and Colorado’s Telluride Bluegrass Festival.

 Wintergrass

Doors open at 8 p.m. both nights, shows start at 9
Friday, March 7: Greensky Bluegrass, Tumbleweed Wanderers, $20 in advance or $23 on the day of the show.
Saturday, March 8: Elephant Revival with Nat Keefe of Hot Buttered Rum, $15 in advance or $18 on the day of the show.

Elephant Revival
Bonnie Paine scratches her musical itch with Elephant Revival. Larry Sabo / Tahoe Onstage
Anders Beck adds dobro to Greensky Bluegrass. Larry Sabo / Tahoe Onstage
Anders Beck adds dobro to Greensky Bluegrass. Larry Sabo / Tahoe Onstage

 

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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