Blue Turtles back in their element for pair of shows |

Blue Turtles back in their element for pair of shows

Rick Chandler
Jonah M. Kessel / Lake Tahoe Action / Christian Zupancic takes a solo on his 5-string electric mandolin during Blue Turtle Seduction's show at Harmony Festival in Santa Rosa.

As one might imagine, Blue Turtle Seduction always seems to be at their best with a large water source nearby.

With gigs at Valhalla-Tallac in South Shore on Tuesday, July 17 and the River Ranch Lodge in Tahoe City on Thursday, July 19, this is a band that will surely be in their element. And as always, so will their fans

If you’ve never seen the high-energy rock/blues/bluegrass quintet, now is the time to make the effort, before they get too famous. Just back from a national, multi-city tour which took them from Santa Cruz to their first trip to New York State, Blue Turtle is settling back into where they got their start — and they always seem to play their best for the home fans.

“We’re really looking forward to these shows,” said bass man Steve Seals, just prior to a recent gig in Santa Cruz where the band played at Moe’s Alley. “Coming back to Tahoe is always special. It’s kind of a sad time as well, with the recent Angora fire and all the people who lost their homes. It was a devastating thing, as we have several friends who lost property.”

It will be the band’s second appearance at the Valhalla-Tallac Arts and Music Festival, located at the historic site near Camp Richardson on the west shore of Lake Tahoe.

Blue Turtle has added even more miles on their veggie oil-powered tour bus this summer, as their tour has taken them to stops in Austin, Houston, New Orleans, Tampa, Savannah, Ga., and then into Ohio, Missouri and New York.

They drove the entire way, and after the Tahoe shows will be off to Berkeley, San Francisco, Oregon, Idaho and Colorado.

“The band is busier than ever, and they couldn’t be happier,” said office manager and Lake Tahoe resident Justin Yates. “They are just back from the High Sierra Music Festival in Quincy, and had a great time there. They’ve been traveling and recording a live album along the way (the Santa Cruz gig was part of that effort), and just staying busy.”

The third word in the band’s name has turned out to be quite appropriate. Wherever they go they seem to bring along a small army of faithful fans — Turtleheads, if you will — who know most of the songs beat-for-beat and seem to come out of the woodwork just before showtime.

“Playing in Tahoe always feels like coming home to us,” said fiddle/mandolin player Christian Zupancic, a South Shore resident. “We’re looking forward to reconnecting with a lot of friends.”

The Valhalla show, to be performed in the Boathouse Theater, begins at 7 p.m. The River Ranch gig starts at 9 p.m., with doors opening at 8. Tickets for River Ranch are $10 in advance, $15 the day of the show.

In 2006, BTS played a staggering 225 shows across the country, and recently wrapped their first East Coast tour. This schedule allowed for not only the refining of their live performances, but also their song crafting, adding to their large repertoire of original songs.

And 2007 has been a groundbreaking year for BTS, the band having played before two sold-out crowds at the San Francisco Fillmore, and releasing their second CD, “Deep See Rodeo.”

The band travels in a 40-foot motor coach that has been outfitted to run on recycled vegetable oil, which allows the use of free waste oil from restaurants that burns much cleaner than traditional fuel.

Drawing upon its members’ diverse musical experiences, Blue Turtle Seduction’s unique style blends rock’n’roll with bluegrass, mountain roots, global & traditional influences, reggae beats, and a splash of punk.

Advanced tickets are available at: Tahoe/Truckee: River Ranch, Joby’s, New Moon Natural Foods, Alice’s Mountain Market, Tahoe Hemp Company; and in Reno at Recycled Records. Check them out online at, and, or call (530) 583-2801 for show info.

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