Live at Lakeview’s ninth season gets off on a funky note with Humboldt County’s Diggin Dirt.
The Arcata band has seven members, sometimes eight when Nevada City’s Mike Scartezina makes the scene. If the percussionist is not in South Lake Tahoe on Thursday, June 23, there will be more cowbell from lead singer Zach Alder.
“We couldn’t pick a better venue on earth unless you want to go play Red Rocks,” Alder told Tahoe Onstage. “There’s something about performing in front of those beautiful Tahoe mountains.”
Diggin Dirt has twice played at the original Commons Beach in Tahoe City. This will be the band’s debut at Lakeview Commons, a free 4:30-8:30 p.m. summertime show held through Aug. 25. Food vendors and art accentuate the fairest picture the whole earth affords. Proceeds from a beer garden go to the Lake Tahoe Boys and Girls Club. There is a free bike valet, and car parking across Highway 50 on Rufus Allen Boulevard at the city library and recreation center is recommended. South Lake’s fine young Connor Party starts the music.
Most of the Diggin Dirt players met at Humboldt State University, now scientifically known as Cal Poly Humboldt. Alder, however, did not attend the college, but is in fact a native of Freshwater, a tiny town in between Arcata and Eureka.
Alder formerly played in a band with drummer Joey Incorvaia, who also plays in Diggin Dirt. When Alder’s band opened for Diggin Dirt, he befriended his future bandmates.
“We started hanging out,” Alder said. “It seemed like this chemistry was happening. Shortly thereafter we had our first practice together and I think we smashed through the writing of three or four of our songs, some of which are still performed. There was a magical moment that we had where everything clicked. There was a spewing of creativity. So we spent two months practicing our asses off.”
The addition of Alder and saxophonists Aaron Gottesman and Tyler Martin narrowed the band’s focus to mostly funk and soul. Previously, there was more reggae and ska. However, Diggin Dirt is apt to excavate any genre at any time.
“It happened naturally,” Alder said. ”When you play, you notice what moves the audience the most. That has driven us slowly and surely toward soul elements in our music.”
Diggin Dirt was provided an opportunity to play Wednesdays at the Jambalaya on Arcata Plaza, a proving ground for new bands. It became noticed in a big way at a jam-packed Firefall festival in Fieldbrook, and thereafter landed coveted spots on Saturdays at “The Jam,” Humbrews and the ATL (Arcata Theater Lounge.) Diggin Dirt has grown so much, it only plays Arcata about twice a year nowadays, instead performing at festivals and venues all across the West.
“We’re thrilled to bring Live at Lakeview back after two years without free live music on the beach,”
Leslie Schultz of On Course Events said. “Opening this season with Diggin Dirt and The Connor party is the perfect way to set the tone for the good vibes plus high energy we’ll be delivering to this community all summer long.”
For details on the full summer lineup visit liveatlakeview.com and connect with
@LiveatLakeviewCommons on Facebook and Instagram.