Tim Parsons, tparsons@tahoedailytribune.com

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August 9, 2012
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The metamorphosis of Jesse Kalin; singer-songwriter to play Valhalla's Boathouse Theater

You've changed, Jesse Kalin.

The longtime Cool Black Kettle bandleader has been South Shore's ubiquitous ambassador of the party for a decade and a half. And he still is, but anybody who knows him - and who in this town doesn't? - can see another side.

Jesse Kalin turned 50 years old this year, he has a steady girlfriend and owns two cats. He annually seeks tranquility during long visits to Northern Italy and Southern Switzerland. Every day he diligently practices guitar and mandolin and works on songwriting with the goal of not being known as an artist who plays cover tunes for tourists in a casino.

"My reputation precedes me," Kalin said. "I am changing my whole persona. I guess that's what happens when we get older. We calm down."

Meet singer-songwriter Jesse Kalin.

He will perform a solo acoustic set followed by a performance with a collection of some of Tahoe's best players on Monday, Aug. 13, in the Valhalla Boathouse Theater. The style is Americana roots music or more closely defined as California country.

"It's a classy venue for Lake Tahoe and everybody wants to get in it," Kalin said. "I want to give people a taste of where I'm going. Everybody has always known me as Cool Black Kettle."

Kalin will be accompanied by his guitar mentor, Mark Wilson, banjo player Dean Rimmer, bassist Jonathan Barton, drummer Chris Gustafson and saxophonist Niall McGuinness.

"My music was considered Big Head Todd meets Matchbox 20 when I was with the Cool Black Kettle band but now I think my music's close to Shawn Mullens and cats like that," Kalin said. "Acoustic guitar with a country flavor with a folk kind of a feel, too. I do like Zac Brown a lot and it's one of my favorite bands. In his ballads, yes, but I don't think we're that country."

Kalin is using the Internet fundraiser Kickstarter to gain funding for an album of original sons. Donations began at $10 per free download of the record and increase to as much as $1,500 for a free home concert within 250 miles of South Lake Tahoe.

Kalin promotes local music on KTHO-radio and performs with Wilson on Tuesday nights at the Fresh Ketch with Cool Black Kettle at the Beacon on Wednesdays. He also plays every other weekend at the Harveys Live Stage, and he will be there Thursday, Aug. 9, as the after-party band for Neil Young and Crazy Horse.


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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Aug 9, 2012 03:34PM Published Aug 9, 2012 03:32PM Copyright 2012 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.