When an opportunity comes around that is this big, the editorial staff at Tahoe Onstage feels it is our obligation to steer our readers in the proper direction. On election night, the choice is obvious. People in and around Lake Tahoe can choose someone with nearly a half century of experience working for folks all around the globe. Multi-talented, personable and, more than anything, hard working. Here is our endorsement:
We recommend that readers elect to go see Terry Hanck at Harrah’s Tuesday Night Blues, a free show from 8 to 11:30 p.m.
“A lot of people might stay home and watch the election results, but it might be better to come out and have a drink and try to forget about it,” Hanck told Tahoe Onstage.
Hanck is a saxophone star who will be backed by the jam’s weekly host, the Buddy Emmer Blues Band. He is a resident of the swing state of Florida, which has been inundated with politics. Hanck said he’s heard the same tune during his California tour.
“I came out here and it was just at much. The TV was nothing but (the candidates) blasting each other,” he said.
Hanck is a seven-time Blues Music Awards nominee, including 2015 Best Instrumentalist, Horn, an honor that he won in 2012. He also was the 2012 Living Blues Critics Choice winner for Best Horn.
He recently released a live album, “Ain’t That Live,” which has received good reviews and has been on the blues charts. He said he also is working on new material.
“I like to play it for a while before I record it because in the past a lot of times I’ll write a song and I am all excited about it and I record it right away. A year later I’ll say I wish I’d gotten to know the song a little better and let it mature,” he said. “It kind of slides into place and takes on a life of its own. It takes a while for it to happen.”
The election night appearance at Harrah’s will be the second for Hanck this year. During his first appearance in May, he performed songs that included “My Good Good Rockin,’” “Ain’t That Just Like a Woman,” “Flatfoot Sam,” “Piece of Mind” and “Can I Change My Mind.”
“I am looking forward to coming back,” he said. “I had a ball the first time. The band is professional. They all did their homework.”
A Chicago native, Hanck was inspired at a 1962 B.B. King concert. He moved to California in the late ’60s to surf and play music. He was a member of the Elvin Bishop Band during Bishop’s most commercially successful period from 1977-87.
“I went from playing in a club with three people who didn’t care, to all of a sudden doing the same thing at the Oakland Coliseum for a Day on the Green with 55,000 screaming people who loved it,” Hanck said.
During his days with Bishop, the band played numerous times at Harrah’s at the same area he plays Tuesday, now called Center Stage.
The sax man has recorded numerous solo albums, the last few of which were produced by Kid Andersen. In 2001, Andersen moved from his native Norway to Northern California to join Hanck’s band.
Hanck, whose wife is Norwegian, met Andersen during his appearances in Norway every two years. He will return to the country in December to play a series of shows, five of them with Andersen, a highly coveted Bay Area producer who has worked on the last few Hanck records.
Hanck plays a vintage 1967 Selmer Mark VI tenor saxophone and he’s performed with some of the all-time greats, including Etta James, Bonnie Raitt, Allen Toussaint, Lee Dorsey, Tracy Nelson, Jimmy McCracklin and Sunnyland Slim.