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The Village at Squaw Valley® Welcomes the Return of Bluesdays, Tahoe’s Must-See Summer Music Series

Written by Charlie Pankey

The free outdoor concert series featuring top blues musicians returns to The Village at Squaw Valley every Tuesday, June 11 through Sept. 3 

[Olympic Valley, Calif.] May 27, 2019 – The eleventh summer of Bluesdays in the Village at Squaw Valley returns this June with its best lineup yet, featuring talented blues and jazz musicians from across the country. The free, family-friendly concerts have become a summertime staple in Squaw Valley and will take place every Tuesday from June 11 through Sept. 3, from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m in the Events Plaza. Music insiders say this year’s lineup could be the best ever. Fans of Bluesdays will recognize returning favorites like Coco Montoya, Roy Rogers & The Delta Rhythm Kings and local heroes The Blues Monsters; but will be greeted by some new faces as well, including 2019 Grammy nominee Danielle Nicole and Mississippi teen shredder Christone “Kingfish” Ingram.

This month at the 2019 Blues Music Awards, three Bluesdays artists were heralded as leaders in their genre. Danielle Nicole won Contemporary Female Blues Artist, Instrumentalist Bass; Sugaray Rayford took home the award for Soul Male Artist; and Vanessa Collier won for Instrumentalist Horn.

Bluesdays in the Village at Squaw Valley

Bluesdays features an outdoor Blues bar with beer, wine and spirits as well as great grab-and-go food offerings from Village restaurants. For a bird’s-eye view of the action, hop on the Aerial Tram, with discounted tickets available midweek. Guests are invited to stay in the heart of the action in the Village at Squaw Valley with lodging rates beginning at $99 per night every Tuesday.

Bluesdays Schedule

  • June 11 – The Blues Monsters
    • The Blues Monsters will open the Bluesdays series for the sixth consecutive year. The only local band on the lineup, the Blues Monsters formed 28 years ago. The rockin’ blues quartet—Dunn, Tom Barnes, Barry Slayton and Michael Overhauser—will add the three-member Groove Foundry horn section—Jen Campbell, Brian “Nak” Nakagawa and Todd Mather—for a nonstop set from 6 to 8:30 p.m. South Shore keyboardist Terry “The Secret Weapon” Ogg also will join the jam. – Tim Parsons, Tahoe Onstage
  • June 18 — Roy Rogers & The Delta Rhythm Kings
    • Slide guitar master Roy Rogers & The Delta Rhythm Kings—bassist Steve Ehrmann and drummer Kevin Hayes—will appear onstage in The Village at Squaw Valley. But it won’t be Rogers’ first time performing in Tahoe. In the mid-1960s, when he was just a middle-schooler from Vallejo, California, Rogers played guitar and sang for a band called The Newports, who played the Truckee High School Senior Prom. He has since released numerous albums with Roy Rogers & The Delta Rhythm Kings and had years-long collaborations with Carlos Santana, Bonnie Raitt, John Lee Hooker and Ray Manzarek. He won a Grammy Award for his production work with John Lee Hooker. – Tim Parsons, Tahoe Onstage
  • June 25 – Vanessa Collier
    • The first of two rising young blues stars in this season’s lineup, saxophonist and singer-songwriter Vanessa Collier has been nominated for five Blues Music Awards, including two this year: Contemporary Blues Female Artist of the Year and Best Instrument, Horn. She earned dual degrees at Berklee College of Music in 2013, after which she hit the road touring with Joe Louis Walker. This Bluesday appearance will be her first performance in the area. – Tim Parsons, Tahoe Onstage
  • July 2 – Mark Hummel – Golden State Lone Star Revue ft. Rusty Zinn
    • The streak continues—harmonica star Mark Hummel will return to Bluesdays for the eighth-straight year. Blues purists appreciate Hummel’s straight-ahead style. He’s presented Harmonica Blues Blowouts with all-star players for decades, has released dozens of albums and in 2012 published a book, Big Road Blues: 12 Bars On I-80. The Golden State/Lone Star Revue is comprised of musicians from California and Texas. – Tim Parsons, Tahoe Onstage
  • July 9 – Christone “Kingfish” Ingram
    • He’s a blues prodigy, a teenager who already has recorded with Eric Gales and Buddy Guy. Christone “Kingfish” Ingram, 19, is from the epicenter of Delta blues: Clarksdale, Mississippi. The shredding Stratocaster guitarist says his greatest influence is Muddy Waters. He has shared the stage with Waters’ guitarist Bob Margolin, as well as Samantha Fish. His debut album, “Kingfish,” will be released on May 17, and he has a single, “Fresh Out,” which features Buddy Guy. – Tim Parsons, Tahoe Onstage
  • July 16 – Danielle Nicole
    • After her family band—Trampled Under Foot—disbanded, Danielle Nicole Schnebelen dropped the last name and released an acclaimed solo album in 2015, “Wolf Den.” Danielle Nicole’s follow-up studio album, “Cry No More,” debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Blues Album Chart last March and it later received a 2019 Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Blues Album. She sings like Etta James, but her bass playing is fantastic as well. In 2014, Danielle Nicole won a Blues Music Award for Best Instrumentalist, and before going solo full-time she played bass with the North Mississippi Allstars. – Tim Parsons, Tahoe Onstage
  • July 23 – Coco Montoya
    • One of the most respected artists in blues, Coco Montoya will appear at Squaw Valley for the third-straight summer. Montoya is a graduate of the school of Albert. Montoya plays guitar like Albert King, left-handed and upside down, but his tone sounds like Albert Collins. Montoya played drums and toured with Collins for nearly five years before leaving the music profession for a while. He returned to music as a guitar player with John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers. – Tim Parsons, Tahoe Onstage
  • July 30 – Chris Cain
    • San Jose’s Cain has played Bluesdays more than any other artist. He attended a B.B. King concert when he was just 3 years old and it must have made quite an impression. You can hear King’s influence in everything he plays. Cain studied jazz, which he taught at San Jose City College, and was a professional player before turning 18. His recording career began in 1987. He also plays piano, bass, clarinet and saxophone. – Tim Parsons, Tahoe Onstage
  • August 6 – Sugaray Rayford
    • This Sugaray is a musical heavyweight. A big man at 6-foot-5, Sugaray Rayford appears on stages and in studios making hits with a soulful voice. Over his career, he moved from gospel to R&B and now to the blues. Rayford played in a large R&B band for about five years, but he wanted to sing blues. After sitting in at an open mic in Temecula, blues doors opened wide. His band Aunt Kizzy’s Boys placed second at the International Blues Challenge. He has since received numerous BMA nominations as a solo artist, including two this year for Soul Blues Male Artist and B.B. King Entertainer of the Year. – Tim Parsons, Tahoe Onstage
  • August 13 – Jimmy Thackery & The Drivers
    • The Stratocaster star also played Bluesdays in 2013 and 2017. Thackery has a unique guitar sound and he plays in a fuzzy style similar to Dick Dale’s surf music. His voice is a growl and his sense of humor a bit off-the-wall. Thackery fronted a Washington, D.C. band, the Nighthawks, for 14 years. It made 20 records before splitting up in 1986, although there are reunion shows. The Drivers began in 1992. It’s hard to total all of Thackery’s albums, but it is at the least more than 40. Thackery lives in Belize, South America. – Tim Parsons, Tahoe Onstage
  • August 20 – Dennis Jones Band
    • Returning to Bluesdays for the third time in four years, the Los Angeles-based Dennis Jones Band is equally comfortable playing straight-ahead rock ‘n’ roll and lowdown blues. The band’s fifth album, “Both Sides of the Tracks,” proves just that. Jones describes his show as “back and forth” between blues and rock, saying he knows he doesn’t fit the traditional sound, but hopes people get what he puts out. – Tim Parsons, Tahoe Onstage
  • August 27 – Honey Island Swamp Band
    • This band formed in San Francisco after Hurricane Katrina displaced its members from New Orleans. This band plays a blend of blues, soul, R&B and drips of Louisiana wetlands. It’s been described as Bayou Americana. On the 10-year anniversary of Katrina, the band released the album, “Demolition Day,” produced by Luther Dickinson. – Tim Parsons, Tahoe Onstage
  • September 3 –  Popa Chubby
    • A big man with a shaved head, goatee and tattoos, Popa Chubby looks like a biker, but he’s a bluesman. He describes himself as “The Stooges meets, Buddy Guy, Motorhead meets Muddy Waters and Jimmy Hendrix meets Robert Johnson.” – Tim Parsons, Tahoe Onstage

Bluesdays in the Village at Squaw Valley

Aerial Tram Schedule and High Camp Activities
 Beginning June 14, High Camp at Squaw Valley will be open daily for sightseeing and activities from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The Aerial Tram will be open daily from June 14-September 2 as well as Saturdays and Sundays on September 7-8, September 14-15 and September 21-22, and Friday through Sunday September 27-29. Enjoy an aerial climb over 2,000 feet from the base of Squaw Valley to High Camp, located at 8,200 feet, with 360-degree views of Lake Tahoe’s high alpine beauty. Daily activities at High Camp including roller skating, hiking trails, the Olympic Museum, disc golf, lawn games and more. Most High Camp activities will be open daily June 14-September 2, but the High Camp Pool & Hot Tub will close for the season on August 2 for a complete renovation.  Free Aerial Tram Access for Ikon Pass Holders Guests who have purchased the 2019-20 Ikon Pass or Ikon Base Pass can take advantage of free Aerial Tram rides this summer at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows. Learn more here. 
Bluesdays Tuesday Lodging Special
Each Bluesdays Tuesday this summer, guests can book overnight lodging in the heart of Bluesdays action in The Village for $99 for a one bedroom suite, $199 for a two bedroom suite, and $299 for a three bedroom suite with stage views, pending availability. Guests will enjoy being steps away from the Blues Bar, food and drink specials, and the music. Click here for more information and to make a reservation. About The Village at Squaw Valley® The Village at Squaw Valley is a year-round destination in the heart of Squaw Valley, located in North Lake Tahoe. This European-inspired Village features over 50 bars, restaurants, galleries and boutiques, including a yoga studio and spa. Condominium style suites are conveniently located for access to four-season adventure including Aerial Tram rides to High Camp at 8200 feet, overlooking Lake Tahoe. The Village events plaza is home to a variety of outdoor activities and premier music festivals, including free outdoor movie nights and Bluesdays throughout the summer season. Visit or call 866-818-6963 to learn more. 

All images courtesy of Squaw Valley Resorts

About the author

Charlie Pankey

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