Top 10 Tahoe-Truckee music venues to sing away the shoulder season blues
TAHOE-TRUCKEE — It’s not easy, I know. The waiting. The anticipating. The weather.com refreshing.
But, while you’re stuck in the slog of the shoulder season, pining for Mother Nature to release the hatch and dump snow atop the Sierra Nevada, there’s still plenty of ways to spend your free time in Truckee and North Lake Tahoe.
In fact, while you’re singing the shoulder-season blues, check out these 10 music venues tucked in the Truckee-Tahoe region.
1. Crystal Bay Casino Crown Room
A fitting name, the CBC Crown Room is arguably the crown jewel of music venues in North Tahoe. Catering to every genre of music, the famed Crown Room reels in an array of renowned regional and national acts — from bluegrass (Greensky Bluegrass, 9 p.m. tonight) to funk (the New Mastersounds, Nov. 13) to punk (Diarrhea Planet, Nov. 19) — for both paid and free shows. Notably, the venue expanded its capacity from 620 to 750 this past summer.
2. CBC Red Room
Neighbors with the Crown Room, the more intimate CBC Red Room serves as a stepping-stone — err, stage — for many bands. In fact, critically-acclaimed artists like Greensky Bluegrass, the Avett Brothers and Trampled By Turtles all made noise in the Red Room before they broke into the mainstream. In other words, you’re sure to see head-turning talent in this venue. Best of all, all shows in the Red Room are free.
3. Cottonwood Restaurant & Bar
Seeking a laid back evening of music and libations? Truckee’s Cottonwood Restaurant & Bar, tucked inside one of oldest ski lodges in the country, features free live acoustic music Thursday and Friday evenings. The venue lends itself most especially to singer-songwriter folk artists and soulful singers. Notably, Richard Blair’s revered “Old Streets of Truckee” performance runs at the Cottonwood Nov. 13, Nov. 27 and Dec. 7.
4. Moody’s Bistro, Bar & Beats
Your music preferences lean toward blues and jazz? Bop on down to Moody’s Bistro, Bar & Beats, nestled in downtown Truckee. Boasting a classic lounge-inspired setting, Moody’s gives attendees an intimate experience with both regional and national artists who solo, croon and tickle ivory with the best of them. Moreover, Moody’s touts a Zagat-rated menu and wine list.
5. Bar of America
Set in a historic building in downtown Truckee, Bar of America will vibrate with sounds unleashed by bands all across the spectrum — from wall-rattling rock to high-energy funk — Thursday-Saturday.
6. Moe’s Original BBQ
Straddling the shores of Lake Tahoe, Moe’s Original BBQ in Tahoe City offers eye-popping views with live tunes to match. Sure, Moe’s complements its Alabama-style BBQ with a routine dose of blues music, but this lakefront locale will showcase every taste of music in the book from bands both local and national.
7. Fat Cat Bar & Grill
Slink over to Tahoe City’s Fat Cat Bar & Grill for live music from local bands every Friday and Saturday night. Above all, the Fat Cat is known for offering up a blend of gypsy jazz and soul.
8. Pastime Club
Cut loose in downtown Truckee at the Pastime Club. Whether a bluegrass band is stirring up a foot-stomping scene or a DJ is spinning a hip-shaking playlist, the Pastime Club can get you up and moving over the weekend. Open mic nights are held every Sunday, as well.
9. The Auld Dubliner
A traditional Irish Pub mirroring the feel of a village pub in rural Ireland, the Auld Dubliner in Squaw Valley routinely offers weekly live music throughout the ski season and beyond.
10. Gar Woods
Settle into Gar Woods, a restaurant and bar along the North Shore, for live music every performed by Gar Woods’ own Steve & Tom (Rustler’s Moon) Friday and Saturday.