Rose’s Pawn Shop offers organic sounds

Rose's Pawn Shop
Rose’s Pawn Shop plays Friday in the Crystal Bay Casino’s Red Room

Organic bluegrass and Americana music has surged in popularity in response to the rise of electronic music, and both styles have found a home in the Crystal Bay Casino.
The former takes the Red Room stage Friday with Rose’s Pawn Shop, a Los Angeles band’s answer, perhaps, to artists like the Canadian duo Zed’s Dead. Far from OK, the Americana group is sure to tear up the place, not with a pair of pliers and a blow torch but with a fiddle, banjos and an upright bass.
Before inking contracts and cutting records, Rose’s Pawn Shop played in a tattoo parlor and barber shop, but never in an actual pawn shop. However, the group’s name did not come from any pulp fiction.
“It’s true,” bandleader Paul Givant said about how his ex-girlfriend in a medieval fit of rage took his gear to a pawn shop. “I got my stuff back a few days after she kind of came to her senses and I was able to have her show me where she took all the stuff. It all worked out. We had a lot of horrible band names prior to that, so it kind of saved us in that respect. It gave us something to call ourselves that was cool and made sense.”
Although the band’s L.A. privileges are hardly closed, Rose’s Pawn Shop has built fan bases in the Northwest, Flagstaff and Phoenix, Ariz., and it returning to Tahoe where it played July 25, 2013 on a Silver Bullet Thursday.
“In L.A., there are a lot of people here jumping up and down trying to get the attention of some big record label, a lot of broken dreams lining the streets,” he said.
“In Tahoe, it seems there is a lot of love for Americana and bluegrass music. We do a lot of touring but for whatever reason we had not come to Tahoe very much, so in the last couple of years we started making more of an effort and it’s been cool to see people coming out and digging what we’re doing.”
A follow-up album to 2010’s “Dancing on the Gallows” is completed. “Gravity Well” will be released “probably early summer,” said Givant, whose band includes in Stephen Andrews, John Kraus, Tim Weed and Christian Hogan.
He described his band’s sound, which includes electric guitar and drums: “Americana is the blanket term but I think it’s a mixture of rock, bluegrass, folk and country with a little Celtic.”
With apologies to the Crown Room’s new EDM events, as well as to Butch, Marsellus, Zed and Maynard and that busted up pawn shop in L.A., we asked Givant about the electronic vs. organic battle.
“I think people want to hear something that is a little more real sometimes, a little bit more down home,” he said.

Rose’s Pawn Shop
When: 10 p.m. Friday, Feb. 21
Where: Crystal Bay Casino Red Room
Cover: free

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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