Valhalla festival gets started with bluesman Ray Bonneville |

Valhalla festival gets started with bluesman Ray Bonneville

Adam Jensen
Ray Bonneville opens the 2014 Valhalla Art, Music and Theatre Festival on Wednesday.
Rodney Bursiel | Provided

Texas bluesman Ray Bonneville is set to open a summer of music, comedy, film and art with a performance at Valhalla’s Boathouse Theatre Wednesday.

Bonneville begins the 2014 Valhallla Art, Music and Theatre Festival, which runs through the second week of August at Lake Tahoe’s South Shore and features everything from visual arts to improvisational comedy.

“We’ve got a wide range of really great events,” said festival director Evangeline Elston on Tuesday.

The festival is in its 34th year and takes place at the Tallac Historic Site, a 74-acre registered historic site near Camp Richardson.

Bonneville’s show, as well as many other musical performances during the festival, takes place in the historic, 160-seat Boathouse Theatre, a rustic venue that features Lake Tahoe as a backdrop.

“I’d say it’s one of the most spectacular places to see a show or performance at the lake,” Elston said.

Bonneville uses vintage guitars, wooden plank stomp boards, a harmonica and his voice to create a one-man band. He is touring in support of his album “Easy Gone.”

“The album takes listeners to some of the dark spaces and exotic places Bonneville has gone on his own travels,” according to a press release for the festival. “An Austin resident since 2006, Bonneville still puts the rhythms and soul of New Orleans into much of his music. His songs carry a groove and momentum that’s uniquely his — and will always be a part of him, no matter where he roams.”

Lance Canales & the Flood, a roots-blues influenced Americana trio from the Central Valley opens Wednesday’s show.

The show starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance and $22 at the door. Information and tickets are available at or by calling 530-541-4975.

People can get a sneak peek of the Valhalla festival when it hosts its first Artist in Residence this week. The Artist in Residence series allows people to take a look at a variety of artists’ work with the opportunity to speak directly with the creator. Up first is Lainie Vreeland, who sets up in Valhalla’s Viking Room from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 19-25. Vreeland works in various mediums, including hand-modified photos, photography and drawing, according to the press release.

The first comedy show of the festival takes place at 7:30 p.m. July 8, when the Tahoe Improv Players take the stage at the Boathouse Theatre. The comedy troupe returns to the Boathouse Theatre July 22, Aug. 5. and Aug. 12. On Aug. 13 the Wild and Scenic Environmental Film Festival on Tour comes to the Boathouse Theatre.

Elston said she really has focused on building the festival’s musical offerings this year.

“It spans the spectrum from blues to bluegrass to jazz to classical,” Elston said.

The Alan Miller Trio follows up Bonneville’s performance with a jazz show July 1 at the Boathouse Theatre. Free music on the lawn starts at 11 a.m. July 6 with a performance by the MT Wallets.

Elston said she is especially excited about a music workshop and performance by Joe Craven on July 9. Craven will host the family friendly workshop in the afternoon before an evening concert. Craven has a knack for making music out of just about everything and spreading his love of song to those around him, Elston said.

“It’s going to be fantastic,” Elston said. “I’m really exited about that one.”

Festival ticket prices vary. Many events are free. More information is available at or by calling 530-541-4975.

Valhalla is located at the Tallac Historic Site, two miles past the intersection of Highways 50 and 89 next to Camp Richardson.

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