Star-studded strings for Lake Tahoe Bluegrass Festival

Larry Sabo / Tahoe Onstage
Greensky Bluegrass is Saturday’s headliner.

String band fans are in for a great time in South Shore this weekend, as Hard Rock Hotel & Casino kicks off its inaugural Lake Tahoe Bluegrass Festival. This Saturday shindig packs a weekend and more worth of headliners into what promises to be a memorable day; Greensky Bluegrass, the Del McCoury Band, the David Grisman Sextet,  the Earls of Leicester and New Monsoon all headline, along with Tahoe’s own Dead Winter Carpenters.

Greensky Bluegrass has become a top-tier national name since winning the Telluride Bluegrass Festival’s Open Band Competition in 2006. The group formed in Kalamazoo, Michigan in the early 2000s, and has gone on to play the premier stages in the bluegrass and string band genres. Featuring Dave Bruzza (guitar), Anders Beck (dobro), Mike Bont (banjo), Mike Devol (bass) and Paul Hoffman (mandolin), Greensky has annually appeared in the Tahoe area of late, including performances at Crystal Bay Casino, Hangtown Halloween in Placerville, Squaw Valley and Hard Rock Casino’s predecessor at Stateline, the Horizon Casino Resort.

Del McCoury ‘s bluegrass career goes back more than 50 years, to his days with Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys. Along with sons Ronnie and Robbie, his Del McCoury Band won the Grammy for Best Bluegrass Album in 2006 with “The Company We Keep.” A centerpiece at big-name bluegrass festivals across the nation, the Del McCoury Band has also had Tahoe in his sights, appearing at Crystal Bay Casino and Squaw Valley’s Mountain of Strings festival in 2013.

Speaking of Grammys, Jerry Douglas and his Earls of Leicester won 2015’s Best Bluegrass Album with their eponymous debut. Formed by dobro master Douglas, the group has set out to reproduce the sound of hallmark grass band Flatt & Scruggs. See Tahoe Onstage’s feature on the group here.

Hailing from the West Shore and Tahoe City area, Dead Winter Carpenters has steadily advanced its territory across the U.S. in recent years. The group has been thrilling its fans in and beyond Tahoe with a rocking, stomping blend of rock, string band and country twang since its debut performance opening for Yonder Mountain String Band at Crystal Bay Casino in 2010. DWC is Jesse Dunn (guitar, vocals, Jenni Charles (fiddle, vocals), Dave Lockhart (upright and electric bass, vocals), Bryan Daines (lead guitar, vocals) and Brian Huston (drums, vocals). The quintet has grown with success since then, touring around the country, from honky-tonks and small bars to beloved national festivals, while taking time to return to Tahoe for blowout shows on home turf.

With a Grammy-toting, awe-inspiring lineup of longtime bluegrass greats headed to town, and Tahoe’s best and most successful band in recent memory sharing the stage, Saturday’s Lake Tahoe Bluegrass Festival at Hard Rock Casino promises to be one for the ages.

  • The Lake Tahoe Bluegrass Festival is from noon to 11 p.m. Saturday, July 11 at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe with Greensky Bluegrass, the Del McCoury Band, the David Grisman Sextet, Jerry Douglas’ Earls of Leicester, New Monsoon and the Dead Winter Carpenters. After-party inside at Vinyl. Tickets start at just $45 for General Admission, $90 for VIP (includes private front-of-stage viewing area, private upgraded restrooms, and private bars). Children pricing available starting at $10 for 12 and under and FREE for kids 6 and under (must purchase all kids tickets at the Box Office day of show. Must provide proof of adult tickets.) This is an all-ages event. Tickets: http://www.ticketfly.com
    Dead Winter Carpenters

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Tahoe Onstage is an online entertainment and sports magazine covering Lake Tahoe, Truckee, Reno, the Carson Valley and June Lake.

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