Jake Nielsen is an inspiration, and on Saturday, Dec. 5, he’s going to be singing the blues at Whiskey Dick’s Saloon in South Lake Tahoe.
Not that he has the blues.
Nielsen, 30, was born with cerebral palsy, which limits the use of his legs. But he doesn’t let that slow him down.
His online bio tells his story. An active youngster, Nielsen played a number of sports, including wheelchair basketball, and baseball for youngsters with special needs. He hails from a family of professional cowboys and grew up around the rodeo circuit. Calf riding was his thing, and he competed in rodeos throughout the West Coast until he was 13.
Then, at 15, he picked a guitar and was a natural. Two years later, he formed a reggae/rock band tagged FUBAR. That group opened for headliner reggae groups that included Passafire and Rebelution. In 2007, FUBAR won the Monterey Battle of the Bands, and then earned a Swagg Award for best reggae album in 2010.
Later, he got bit by a blues bug and started to pursue that genre of music. He met Jr. Boogie, a popular Bay Area harmonica player, and Chris Weinress, an experienced bass player, and they took their show on the road, opening for such artists as Elvin Bishop, Roy Rogers and Travis Warren of Blind Melon.
Described in a recent radio interview as “the hottest new blues act on the California music scene,” Nielsen’s influences include Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimmy Vaughan, Jimi Hendrix, Buddy Guy, Bradley Nowell, Albert King, B.B. King, Mac Dre,and Jimmy Page.
Working with blues musicians throughout Northern California, Nielsen met Derrick Martin, a drummer who had been playing with the legendary Little Richard for more than a dozen years. Nielsen, Weinress and Martin clicked, forming Jake Nielsen’s Triple Threat.
“Packed with so much energy and funk that you have to get out of your seat and dance,” their band bio promises. The band has released a self-title album that is available on Itunes and is working on a second album.
Jake Nielsen’s Triple Threat dished out a “Funksgiving” show Nov. 25 at The Boom Boom Room in San Francisco, performing with the All Gravy Superjam and warming things up before heading to snow country.
On Saturday, folks can expect Triple Threat to unleash some rockin’ blues, with maybe a bit of reggae dished up on the side.
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