Frank Hannon’s ‘Hard Rock-abilly’ at Lake Tahoe

Frank Hannon 2Frank Hannon says he is going through a rockabilly phase, but he’s wearing a cowboy hat when he was 12 years old in a photo of his first performance, so perhaps it’s just a musical refrain.

Frank Hannon is the definition of rockabilly during his first gig, a performance at the Sacramento Moose Lodge.
A 12-year-old Frank Hannon is the definition of rockabilly during his first gig, a performance at the Sacramento Moose Lodge.

The Sacramento guitarist is best known as a member of Tesla, but he’s recorded as a solo artist since 1995 and recently released his fifth album, “World Peace.” PURCHASE He has enough solo material to fill two 90-minute sets, he said.

A week before the Frank Hannon Band heads to New York for its “World Peace in the East” tour, the group makes its debut at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe on Saturday, March 14.

“This new record is a more reminiscent of Tesla where it’s more rockin,’ ” Hannon told Tahoe Onstage. “My taste in music is a lot more eclectic so I’ll dabble in some jazz, some funk, some blues, country and bluegrass a lot more than Tesla will. I go through these phases, and lately I’ve been in a big rockabilly phase. That’s what I love about music. You never stop learning, and there’s so much out there, and you can dig into the archives.”

One of the songs Hannon said he’s discovered is “Cocaine Blues,” recorded in the 1925.

FRANK Hannon 1“Who’d have known that they were snorting cocaine back in the 20s?” he said. “It’s a great song and I’ve been covering it. I’ll probably play it Saturday night. Lately I’ve been digging deep in the history of music, studying guitar.”

Hannon’s newest favorites are Brian Setzer, who played in the Stray Cats, and Scotty Moore, whose guitar is heard on early Elvis Presley songs.

“I feel challenged to learn where they are coming from, so we will be doing some rockabilly tunes at the Hard Rock on Saturday night,” Hannon said.

He promised, however, a diverse show. Hannon will bring to the stage nearly as many musicians (five) as he will his own guitars (six).

Kelly Smith plays drums and Aaron Leigh the bass in the Frank Hannon Band. For the Tahoe show, special guests will be drummer and percussionist Robbie Furiosi, who will sing with Hannon a couple of Johnny Winter songs, guitarist Billy Raney and guitarist Greg Golden, who owns Bizarre Guitar in Reno. Hannon said he recently produced an album for the used guitar store owner, a “Golden record,” to be sure.

Along the tour out East, Hannon will make his third appearance on “That Metal Show,” which is a television talk program hosted by Eddie Trunk which appears Saturday nights on VH1 Classic.

“Last time I played some blues slide,” Hannon said. “I am going to spice it up this time. I am going to use a talk box and play some neoclassical guitar licks.”

While he’s best known for playing a Gibson SG (He will bring two to Tahoe), Hannon does not use a signature guitar.

“I choose now not to endorse any guitars because I like all the different sounds I can get from different ones,” he said. “My tastes change so often, I like to experiment with different instruments and have that freedom.”

Hannon wrapped up his phone call with Tahoe Onstage by using a “Spinal Tap” quote to summarize his music.

“Changing my style is my style,” he said.

-Tim Parsons, Tahoe Onstage

  • Frank Hannon Band
    When: 9 p.m. Saturday, March 14
    Where: Vinyl in the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe
    Tickets: $10 general, $15 premium BUY

ABOUT Tim Parsons

Tim Parsons
Tim Parsons is the editor of Tahoe Onstage who first moved to Lake Tahoe in 1992. Before starting Tahoe Onstage in 2013, he worked for 29 years at newspapers, including the Tahoe Daily Tribune, Eureka Times-Standard and Contra Costa Times. He was the recipient of the 2011 Keeping the Blues Alive award for Journalism.

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One Response

  1. In regards to Frank Hannon Band, every show that I attend just get’s better and better! From the first show in which i attended back in 2006 in San Francisco to the most recent show that i attended on February 28, 2015 in Fulton, CALI, FHB put on on of the best ROCKIN shows that I have ever seen and heard! As FHB get’s down with ELECTRIC CHAIR, I am truely sorry to miss this Tahoe show! And I am looking forward to trying to make another CALI show on May 21, 2015! Hope to see ya there! Frank Hannon Band ROOOOOCKS!!!
    Julie Marie Angel
    Author of The Rhyme Queen

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