White Witch Canyon rocks Whiskey Dick’s | TahoeDailyTribune.com

White Witch Canyon rocks Whiskey Dick’s

Tim Parsons / Lake Tahoe Action

Eric "Lando" Haggen makes out-of-this-world sounds for White Witch Canyon. The trio plays Friday, March 7, at Whiskey Dick's Saloon.

Rock ‘n’ roll trumps recession, location and name recognition.

White Witch Canyon, a self-described stoner-rock trio from the East Bay, opens its first extended tour Friday, March 6, at Whiskey Dick’s Saloon in South Lake Tahoe.

“Music is recession-proof,” said bassist Aaron Leigh. “If you look back in history, a lot of great music came out of the times of depression and when people were going through hard times. It gives people a chance to go out and enjoy the music and forget about all the crap in their lives. It is ambitious to be doing this during financially tough times but we’re doing it grass-roots style.”

Leigh lives in Rocklin, drummer Tim “Crete” Narducci is from Tracy, and guitarist Eric “Lando” Haggen moved to Dayton, Ohio, three months ago. They say they are East Bay-based is because they met in a Livermore studio and have played most of their shows in that area.

Formed a little more than a year ago, White Witch Canyon will tour the West from March 6 to April 3, and will play its centerpiece shows in mid-March at the South by Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas. It built its itinerary though relationships with other groups, many of which began at Narducci’s Sonic Boom Studios.

Narducci produced the last two albums by the South Shore’s Lavish Green, which will headline the show at Whiskey Dicks. The next evening, Saturday, March 7, the two bands will play at the Silver Strike in Gardnerville, along with Carson City’s Cut/Pile, another band which has worked in Narducci’s studio.

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“We’re stoner-classic-rock,” Narducci said. “Were strictly from the roots of Black Sabbath meets some of the newer stuff like Soundgarden and Alice in Chains.”

Narducci met Haggen in a studio when they were in separate bands. They decided they wanted to get together, but they needed a bass player.

“Tim asked me ‘What do you think of stoner rock?’ and I said, ‘Well, I know a couple of stoners who rock.’ ”

Although they had no material to begin with, the trio instantly melded. In two weeks they had a half-dozen songs, and a week after that, they played their first show.

The trio never considered breaking up, even after Haggen moved to the Midwest.

“The beauty of music now is a lot of ideas and recordings could be sent via e-mail,” Leigh said. “Without Eric on guitar, this band wouldn’t sound the way it does. His guitar tone is ungodly off-this-planet. I’m not exaggerating.”

Haggen feels this is a fantastic opportunity.

“Were really lucky the three of us have come together and have this sound and have this thing happening,” he said. “You can try to put a band together for 10, 15 years, and it just doesn’t happen that easy. There’s something really special with this, so we just got to do it.”

White Witch Canyon took its name from Niles Canyon between Sunol and Fremont in Alameda County. An urban legend holds that the ghost of a girl murdered on her prom night haunts the canyon.

“I think anyone who loves heavy rock or is into metal will dig it,” Haggen said. “I think the old-schoolers will get the Sabbath and the Zeppelin influence.”

NEW YORK (AP) ” Rachael Ray is bringing more music and mojitos to the South by Southwest Music and Media Conference this year.

The TV talk show host and foodie put on one of the most popular showcases last March when she made her debut at the massive festival.

This year, she’s signed up the Hold Steady, the New York Dolls (who will play the MontBleu in April), Ra Ra Riot and other bands to perform for her music- and food-filled bash on March 21.

Ray says she hopes to “blow the doors off Austin again.”

The South by Southwest music festival runs March 18-22.

“Rachael Ray’s Tasty Travels” filmed an episode on Tahoe that aired last year.