Black Betty will tangle with Whiskey Dick’s on Friday. It’ll be a blast.
Black Star Safari, South Shore’s favorite rock and roll duo, will join the Sacramento band Infinite Vastness to help Whiskey Dick’s Saloon celebrate its ninth anniversary in South Lake Tahoe. The free show begins at 8 p.m.
Safari has been on tour since it joined Lavish Green in closing down the Live at Lakeview summer music series Aug. 27 in beachfront show attended by some 2,000 people, marking the city’s 50th anniversary. Here it is again at another birthday bash.
The duo of Dan Green on vocals and guitar and Matt Mandella on vocals and drums typically ends its performances will a rocking rendition of “Black Betty.” Depending on who’s your historian, the work song refers to a flint-lock musket, a bottle of whiskey, a bullwhip or a prison transfer wagon. But you’ve heard it all before:
“Whoa Black Betty, bam-ba-lam/ Yeah Black Betty, bam-ba-lam/ Black Betty had a child, bam-ba-lam/ Damn thing gone wild, bam-ba-lam/ She’s always ready, bam-ba-lam/ She’s all rock steady, bam-ba-lam…”
Expect a dance party Friday night. Black Star Safari definitely rocks it, with shades of high-energy funk and a dash of folk, and Infinite Vastness promises “space rock crafted from the teeth of Megalodons.” The band is Taylor Clark on vocals and lead guitar, Julian Herbert on drums, Alex Severson on keyboard and Isaac Hamlen-Gomez on bass.
“Walls of sound, punching drums, tearing guitar riffs, melodic chord changes and hypnotizing harmonies encapsulates the sound that Infinite Vastness provides,” the band’s website notes. Influences include Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Dr. Dre, Rush, The Seatbelts, Neil Young and Queens of the Stone Age.
Adrian Mills, a bartender at Whiskey Dick’s when he’s not busy booking bands there, says the venue is the locals’ spot for music, with more than a half-dozen shows in a typical month. Bay Area rapper Andre Nickatina recently packed the place, and fans were on their best hip-hop behavior, even though elbow room was hard to find.
“We’re a place for local and out-of-town bands, from big to small,” he said. “We make sure live music stays thriving in town.” Mills’ own punk-rock band, Ninja Slaughterhouse, will play next month.
Acts in the recent past have included Jello Biafra of the Dead Kennedys, Agent Orange, 3 Inches of Blood and Devil Makes Three.
From rock to rap, from funk to punk, with some metal to the pedal and some EDM to soothe the soul, “We do it all, we’re everything, we’re variety – that’s what we are,” Mills said.
“People don’t realize how lucky they are that this place exists,” he said of Whiskey Dick’s nine-year history of presenting live music. “Not every town has a place like this. We do it to keep live music alive. We’re a venue where you can see a good live act for a reasonable price in an intimate setting.”