And now for something completely different: Reno’s major blues festival will be headlined by alternative rock bands.
Smash Mouth, Tonic and Toad the Wet Sprocket, which took its name from a Monty Python sketch, have the top billing at the annual street party in downtown Reno, the Eldorado BBQ, Brews and Blues Festival, which will be from 2 to 8 p.m. Friday, June 19 and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, June 20.
The alternative rock bands whose heydays were in the 1990s will be supplemented with several blues bands, Maxx Cabello from San Jose and Reno’s Jason King Band, Blues Monsters, Buddy Emmer Blues Band, Rick Hammond Blues Band and Whiskey Haulers.
“It has more of a music festival feel than a blues festival,” said King, who will play at the 21st annual event for the “fourth or fifth time.”
“Smash Mouth and Toad the Wet Sprocket have good name recognition,” King said. “It’s good music but it’s not blues. They should draw a big crowd, so it’s cool. People will have fun. Blues and rock fans will be satisfied.”
The onstage schedule has not been announced, however, King said his band will play both days.
Blu and Gregg McCleary also will perform.
Led by singer Steve Harwell, Smash Mouth has six studio albums and has performed continuously since 1994. Its first big hit was 1997’s “Walkin’ in the Sun.”
Toad the Wet Sprocket gained national fame with 1992’s “All I Want,” which caused a rift with the group’s first fans who felt the big hit brought the world in on their discovery. The new fans were chided as “All I Wanters,” the group’s Glen Phillips told this reporter in a 2011 interview for Lake Tahoe Action.
Twice nominated for a Grammy Award, Tonic has six hit singles, including 1996’s “If You Could Only See.” The trio was mostly inactive from 2004 to 2010. Guitarist Jeff Russo contributed to the musical score for the 2014 television series “Fargo,” which was inspired by the movie with the same name. Like the headliners at this year’s Eldorado BBQ, Brews and Blues Festival, “Fargo” the movie was a huge success in the mid-90s.