My Generation: In The Works jumps onto the scene

New kids on the block: In The Works are Dominick Gruneich, left, Charlie Wheeler, Chad Maricich and Liam Garrison.
Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage

Two sons of members of an all-time favorite South Lake Tahoe band, Lavish Green, are in a group of their own. The name is In The Works.

How about Lavish Greener? Or maybe The New Offspring?

Nope. The band’s name really is In The Works.

“It started out as a joke and then it kind of stuck,” said Charlie Wheeler, who, like his dad Rob, plays bass and is a diehard Golden State Warriors fan. And Dominick Gruneich, like his dad Joel, plays electric guitar. The lead singer and multi-instrumentalist is Liam Garrison. Chad Maricich plays drums.

In The Works’ members live in the Ranchos neighborhood in Gardnerville. They rehearse in the spacious Maricich garage.

“The reverb is great,” Gruneich said. “Everything is nice and loud. Chad’s parents are very accepting and supportive.”

Three of the players are seniors at Douglas High School. Wheeler is a junior. With just six shows on its resume, In The Works is lined up with a tremendous opportunity. The band plays a 45-minute set on the opening day of the June 25-27 Mountain Vibe Music Festival at the Blue Mountain Event Center in Wilseyville, California.

Lavish Green was a multiple winner for Best Band in the annual Best of Tahoe poll by readers of the Tahoe Daily Tribune. It played a blend of ska and rock ‘n’ roll. After more than 20 years, the band’s lead singer Chris Sanchez moved to Hawaii, who nevertheless vows, “Lavish is for life!”

Like so many, the Gruneich and Wheeler families moved off the hill from South Lake Tahoe to the Carson Valley, where property is more affordable. But Charlie and Dominick have permanent status as Tahoe locals by being “Barton Babies,” named for the hospital located near “The Y” intersection of highways 50 and 89.

“I was going to Lavish Green shows when I was in my mom’s belly,” Dominick Gruneich said. “I would describe (my folks) as rock ‘n’ roll parents. The music life chose me.”

“We would go to rehearsals and backstage at too many shows to count,” Charlie Wheeler said. “I think it made me a better player seeing everything and how it works. It made me appreciate music and want to grow it.”

Wheeler plays saxophone in his school’s jazz band.

“Seth Hall (Lavish Green’s sax player) is my inspiration, motivation and role model for everything saxophone,” Wheeler said.

The boys were 10 years old when they played their first gig at a house party barbecue. They opened for Lavish Green.

Wheeler’s older brother, Robbie, plays drums in the band False Rhythms, a reggae group that also will play at Mountain Vibe. The festival also will feature a reggae rock band, Taking Root, whose lead singer is Liam Garrison’s older sister, Miki Rae.

Gruneich said In The Works’ singer gains confidence with each show.

“Liam is getting out of his shell and getting people to laugh. He’s a really funny guy and he uses that to his favor,” Gruneich said.

The frontman is the band’s lead songwriter. A member of his school’s wind ensemble, he plays saxophone, ukulele and keyboards.

In The Works is influenced by 1980s and ‘90s music such as Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nirvana, Sublime, Black Flag and Pink Floyd.

The boys will go onstage second at Mountain Vibe and plan to play mostly originals. Two covers are Bradley Nowell’s “Saw Red” and the Nirvana arrangement of David Bowie’s “The Man Who Sold The World.”

-Tim Parsons

  • Mountain Vibe Music Festival
  • When: June 25-27
  • Where: Blue Mountain Event Center, Wilseyville, California
  • Website: www.mountainvibemusic.com

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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