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Truckee Tribe spreads its vibe to the south side of the lake

Tim Parsons
Truckee Tribe is, from left, Ryan Davis, Josh Roelle, Brian Hess, Stan Charles, Jenni Charles and Pete Charles.
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This roots music has a family tree.

Truckee Tribe features frontman Stan Charles, his sister Jenni on fiddle and father Pete on bass.

Stan and Jenni Charles were destined to be in the music industry. Pete is a former member of Crazy Horse, a band made famous be Neil Young and Nils Lofgren.

“When we were really little I used to go on tour with my dad,” Stan Charles said. “He was signed with RCA Records. We just grew up around the music scene. I started playing drums when I was about 2. And then switched to piano and then switched to guitar and bass. My sister has played fiddle since she was 2. We used to travel and do fiddle contests so we’ve been around a bunch of different genres of music which we incorporate into the reggae thing.”

The “reggae thing” is the dub style of Truckee Tribe, which on Friday makes its second South Shore appearance at Tahoe Underground. Most dub reggae, which uses special effects, breaks and loops, is created in a studio. Truckee Tribe is somewhat unique because it dubs live, with the only looping coming live from saxophonist Brian Hess.

“It’s really a lot of fun to play,” Stan Charles said. “No two shows are the same with us. We do a lot of live jamming with our effects and whatever happens on stage happens.”

The band’s members are involved with various projects.

Hess, head of the jazz ensemble at North Tahoe High School, teaches with Stan Charles with the Tahoe Music Conservatory. Hess and Charles and drummer Ryan Davis comprise a jazz trio.

Davis also plays in AVR, a country-funk band with Hoyt Axton’s son Matt.

Jenni is the fiddler for Rusty Strings and guitarist harmonica player Josh Roelle is in the reggae band Horse Mouth.

Pete Charles operates the entertainment company Lake Tahoe Music, which does anything from “classical music to jazz to make a dollar so we can go out and do our fun stuff,” Stan Charles said.

After graduating high school in Redwood City, Stan Charles moved to Long Beach to earn a degree in music and communications. He played with a group called the Long Beach Dub All Stars, who opened several shows for Sublime.

Meanwhile, the rest of the family relocated to Truckee in 1998. After graduating, Stan Charles also came to the Sierra and formed a band.

“It started as a fun trio with my dad and the drummer from Shotgun Wedding Quintet, Patrick Korte,” he said. “We started with some old tunes that I used to do in Long Beach and writing a few new ones and kind of just messing around playing gigs for fun and it just grew into something a little bit bigger because people liked it.”

Truckee Tribe recorded its self-titled album in January.

“We’re trying to get out of our realm in North Shore and get more into Reno and South Shore,” Stan Charles said.

Tahoe Underground’s Chris Hammett said in its debut Truckee Tribe put on one of the venue’s more memorable shows.

“It’s great dance music and they have a lot of energy on stage,” Hammett said. “They’re a lot of fun.”

Truckee Tribe’s appearance kicks off a big weekend of music at the Underground. Tesla cover band Modern Day Cowboy plays Saturday and in an Angora fire benefit Blue Turtle Seduction plays Sunday and Monday.


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