Some encores require extra time to bring an artist back onstage. Due to the concert lockdown, Alastair Greene’s return to Bluesdays was delayed a year.
Greene played as a sideman in 2018 with Debbie Davies and in 2019 with Sugaray Rayford. He was scheduled to appear in The Village at Squaw Valley with his own band in 2020, which of course was postponed.
Greene, bassist Jim Rankin and drummer Chuck Hammel hit the stage at Squaw Valley at 6 p.m. Tuesday.
“I really like it up there. It’s a cool scene, a cool vibe,” Greene told Tahoe Onstage. “It’s indicative of things moving in the right direction for me to be one of the featured artists in the concert series.”
After playing several years with the Alan Parsons Project and Starship featuring Mickey Thomas, Greene has focused on his solo career.
When shows started again, Greene had the key to the highway and had a 15-show run in 18 days with Tab Benoit in a Whiskey Bayou Records showcase.
In the meanwhile, Greene was busy. Last October, he released his most acclaimed album, “New World Blues,” which landed in numerous Top 10 blues albums of the year listings for 2020, including Tahoe Onstage at No. 4.
Greene also co-wrote songs with Kansas City’s Jon English and produced what will be the second studio album for Orphan Jon and the Abandoned. “I played on it too,” Greene said. “They needed a blues-rock guitarist and I happened to know a guy.”
And for several months, Greene streamed Throwdown Thursdays, on which he performed and interacted with online viewers. He also hosted a number of heavy metal shows on Mondays. He also did several recording sessions and collaborated with other artists.
“Everyone was in the same boat,” Greene said. “I’ve been as side guy with a lot of touring acts and I’ve had my own band for quite a while as well but I feel with this record and knowing what needs to get done and having learned the lessons that I have as a sideman that I feel a renewed sense of purpose and focus on getting my band out there continuing to climb the ladder.”
When he put his blues band together in the 1990s, Greene received some astute advice from his first bass player Jack Kennedy. He told him to simply name his solo band Alastair Greene, that way he will be remembered and if and when the band’s lineup ever shuffled the name would never have to change.
Kennedy died just before Greene’s 2019 Bluesdays appearance, during which the guitarist played a stirring, emotion solo while standing atop the stage’s stone riser. The song, Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb,” is not a blues tune, but Greene’s solo was as heartfelt as any every played at Bluesdays.
The Village at Squaw Valley
Tuesdays, 6-8:30 p.m.
Aug. 3: Alastair Greene
Aug. 10: J.C. Smith Band
Aug. 17: Terry Hanck
Aug. 24: Rick Estrin & The Nightcats
Aug. 31: Roy Rogers & The Delta Rhythm Kings
Aug. 14-15: Brews Jazz & Funk Fest
Sept. 3: Guitar Strings vs. Chicken Wings
Sept. 18-19: Oktoberfest
Oct. 9-10: Made in Tahoe
Related story: Inside look at the making of Alastair Greene’s “New World Blues.” LINK