CRYSTAL BAY, Nev. — National and local Americana music acts will take the stage in Crystal Bay Casino’s Crown Room Saturday, when the Dead Winter Carpenters and the Travelin’ McCourys kick off a pre-party for the Mountain of Strings music festival.
The Travelin’ McCourys are known for hot jams, fast picking and riveted audiences. The group is brothers Ronnie McCoury on mandolin and Robbie McCoury on banjo, fiddle player Jason Carter and bassist Alan Bartram.
Sons of bluegrass great Del McCoury, the McCoury brothers grew up around bluegrass music, eventually joining their father’s group, the Del McCoury Band in the’80s.
Having enjoyed ample success with their father on stages nationwide, the McCourys know out how to keep an audience busy.
“We do a lot of things that I’ve learned from my dad, like changing tempos,” Ronnie McCoury told Lake Tahoe Action in 2011. “We change keys, play something slow, then something super fast, then half fast. I really think that’s a big thing about keeping an audience going, the variety.”
The quartet will appear at Mountain of Strings on Sunday with Del McCoury as the Del McCoury band.
North Shore’s own Dead Winter Carpenters are returning to their home turf for the Saturday show. With two new band members and an album in the works, the folk-rock group is as busy as ever.
“We’re going into the summer full guns blazing,” guitarist and vocalist Jesse Dunn told Lake Tahoe Action. “We’ve got a couple of new band members, but it’s still Dead Winter Carpenters.”
Dunn is joined by Jenni Charles (fiddle, vocals), Dave Lockhart (upright bass, vocals), Bryan Daines (guitar, vocals) and Justin Kruger (drums).
Kruger and Daines joined the group in December and January respectively, Dunn said. Both are graduates of the music program at University of Nevada, Reno.
“They definitely add their own flavor to the tunes,” Dunn said of his new band mates. “If I’d say anything it’s probably a little more along the alt-country lines.”
Dead Winter Carpenters have been working on material for a new album, with all five members collaborating, Dunn said.
“We’re getting ready to do something hopefully by the end of the summer,” he said. “We’ve got a bunch of new tunes, really looking forward to getting that out there.”
He mentioned “Long Arm of the Law” and “Bootleg Jack” among new tunes the band has been developing.
“Those are kind of ragtime, bluegrassy sort of sing-along tunes,” Dunn said.
The band has been seeing a growing demand for its music during its recent tour.
“We’re definitely seeing some growth in repeat markets for sure,” Dunn said. “The crowds are getting bigger and the venues are getting better, which is all you can hope for really.”