The Sierra Drifters walk on the wild side includes the Crystal Bay Casino.
The South Shore band paid homage to Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground with a recent show dedicated to the music at the Divided Sky in Meyers. Now the Sierra Drifters, which only formed a few months ago, get its chance to play in the North Shore casino’s Red Room, a venue which sometimes serves as a launching pad for new bands.
Frontman Chris Seal came up with the idea to honor Reed, who died Oct. 27. The group knows about 15 of Reed’s songs, including “Heroin,” “Pale Blue Eyes,” “Sweet Jane” and “All Tomorrow’s Parties.”
“Chris is a huge fan and he’s the one who inspired this,” said drummer Ryan Kronenberg. “He does Lou really well and he’s really into it.”
Andy Hatch plays electric mandolin, guitar and saxophone, which is essential for “Walk on the Wild Side.” Nate Alcorn is the bass player.
“(Lou Reed) influenced so many different artists in so many different aspects,” Hatch said. “He was at the forefront of counterculture. His songs were haunting and deep.”
The Sierra Drifters original music can be considered Americana.
“Of all of my bands, including 4 Piece Puzzle, this has highest chance of greater success because we have original songs and the genre is pleasing to a lot of people,” Hatch said. “That band has a lot of potential.”
Several Tahoe-area bands have played in the Red Room, gained popularity and moved to the venue’s larger Crown Room, including the Dead Winter Carpenters, Jelly Bread, Keyser Soze and Mojo Green. Once a band reaches the Crown Room, it is a regional touring band. Of course, the key to playing a first Red Room show is getting booked for another show. There is no Crown Room show Friday, so the Sierra Drifters’ opportunity comes on a night it has the casino to itself.
Sierra Drifters: A Tribute to Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground
When: 10 p.m. Friday, March 21
Where: Crystal Bay Casino Red Room