Wesley Orsolic Band hits Psychedelic Ballroom

Wesley Orsolic Band
The Wesley Orsolic Band: Liz Broscoe, left, Wesley Orsolic and Lowell Wilson.

Wesley Orsolic is picking his spots, and this week it’s the Psychedelic Ballroom & Jukejoint.

Wesley OrsolicA few years ago, the South Lake Tahoe-based musician decided he was finished playing cover songs in casinos.

“My mind just kind of flipped,” Orsolic said. “I was inspired. I am not cluttered with other stuff, doing other people’s stuff two or three nights a week. You forget about yourself. … It helped me a lot to stop.”

So in 2014, he made a record, “Carry On,” with help from a couple of high profile peers, keyboardist Roger Smith from Tower of Power and bass player Myron Dove from Santana and the Robben Ford Band. “Carry On” was critically acclaimed but Orsolic was unable to perform live with the players on the album because of their busy schedules.

He has assembled a local trio that played two shows in late 2015, and on Thursday the Wesley Orsolic Band will make its Reno debut, playing at the Psychedelic Ballroom & Jukejoint – PB&Js – a cool new venue adorned with vintage concert posters on Fourth Street in the Brewery District.

Liz Broscoe is Orsolic’s like-minded bandmate. She doesn’t sweat the small stuff anymore either. Broscoe, who was the drummer on “Carry On,” played with Orsolic with the former band Raw Nature. The “Drumchik” teaches at Lake Tahoe Community College, specializing in the West African djembe.

The conundrum for Orsolic was getting bass and keyboard players, and he found both in Lowell Wilson, another South Shore resident. Wilson plays left-handed bass on his keyboard. The band’s instrumental makeup is the same as the band Soulive, and its musical delivery is blues-based progressive jazz.

“I love what I do with this band,” Orsolic said. “I am really happy with these guys. It’s music I really like. It’s coming along so well.”

The band plays many of the songs from “Carry On” and more from Orsolic’s next album, which is being mixed and nearly completed. The Reno band Jelly Bread’s bassist, Jeremy Hunt, and keyboardist, Eric Matlock, were Orsolic’s session players.

“With the live show we really change the songs,” Orsolic said. “There’s lots of improvisation, extended jams and added-on parts just meant to be for live shows.”

The PB&J is providing the rare opportunity on Thursday to see the Wesley Orsolic Band live.

Related stories:

Album review: Wesley Orsolic finds the remedy. LINK
Psychedelic Ballroom & Jukejoint a venue and a rock and roll museum. LINK

  • Wesley Orsolic Band
    When: 9 p.m. Thursday, March 2
    Opening band: Wabuska Yachting Club, 8 p.m.
    Where: Psychedelic Ballroom & Jukejoint
    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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