South Lake Tahoe German restaurant and beerhouse Himmel Haus is hosting a busy lineup of music heading into the weekend, where promoter Pet Projekt Presents has three of its regular acts lined up, covering a wide array of genres.
Southern California rock trio Groove Session plays Himmel Haus Thursday night, Colorado bluegrass and jamgrass band Good Gravy takes the stage Friday night and Reno’s own Jelly Bread will be dropping its funky beats there on Saturday.
“We’re really stoked for these shows. The timing just sort of worked out this way,” Pet Projects Ryan Kronenberg said. “All of these bands are up and coming, respectively in their genres. I would say they all have a good local following, all three have played our Hangtown Halloween event.”
Brothers Manny (drums, lead vocals) and Ronnie Sanchez (bass, vocals) formed Groove Session with Sarven Manguiat (guitars, piano, and vocals) in Ontario, Calif., in 2006.
“We’ve been together about six and a half years, the last four years we’ve been doing a lot of touring,” Manny Sanchez said. “We just released our fourth album which is a live album. It’s called “Groove Session Live.” Then we’re going to be releasing a new studio album, hopefully in midsummer.”
The members of Groove Session have been hard at work on their songwriting in between tours, the drummer said. They are also experimenting with expanding their sound, with Manguiat playing with slide guitar techniques. The band is also considering bringing in guest banjo and violin players for their next album.
Groove Session is keen to return to Lake Tahoe.
“We’re excited to get back to the Tahoe way, Manny Sanchez said. “We haven’t been to South Lake in a while, or actually any of the Tahoe area, but we always love being there, that’s for sure.”
Hailing from Fort Collins, Colo., Good Gravy is carrying on the Colorado bluegrass and jamgrass tradition of bands like String Cheese Incident, Leftover Salmon and Yonder Mountain String Band. Jeremy Page (guitar, vocals), Ross Montgomery (mandolin, vocals), Evan Brenton (upright bass, vocals), Nick Deyo (drums, vocals) and Kyle Vanbuskirk (percussion, synthesizer, trumpet) blend bluegrass with elements of jazz, rock, folk and more.
Good Gravy is currently on tour around the western United States, before heading east into Colorado, Utah and South Dakota.
Named Tahoe’s Band of the Year 2012 by Lake Tahoe Action, Jelly Bread is Dave Berry (lap steel, vocals), Cliff Porter (drums, vocals), Brady Carthen (bass, vocals), and Eric Matlock (keys, vocals). After four years together, Jelly Bread is developing its funk-rock sound and touring heavily. The two goals go hand in hand, Berry said.
“We’re so busy,” the front man said. “We’re on the road a bunch and we’re gigging a ton. It’s not like we really say, ‘OK, let’s sit down and write some songs.’ We usually will grab at something during sound check, or something and then build it from there.”
Jelly Bread has been creating and recording new material for an upcoming album, with a release planned for late April, Berry said. He noted that the new album is more of group collaboration than the band’s first two albums, consisting mostly of material written by Berry alone.
“I think this album, we’re definitely trying to dig deeper,” he said. “We’re not a funk band per se. We’re not worried about trying to have a certain sound. I think we’ve been doing well playing what we play. I call it moonshine funk. It’s got this really gritty, swampy sound.”