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Fri, May 13


Grass Valley

Tail Dragger Tour, with Johnny Burgin & Aki Kumar

Eighty-two year old blues legend Tail Dragger appears in a rare, historic tour of CA festivals and clubs in May, 2022. This stop features Chicago blues artist Johnny Burgin, Bollywood-Blues star Aki Kumar, with Bay area's Dennis Dove and LA bassist Chris Matheos on rhythm crew. Don't miss!

Registration is Closed - there may be tix left at door. Call 446-6668.
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Tail Dragger Tour, with Johnny Burgin & Aki Kumar
Tail Dragger Tour, with Johnny Burgin & Aki Kumar

Time & Location

May 13, 2022, 6:30 PM

Grass Valley, 535 Mill St, Grass Valley, CA 95945, USA

About the event

The hard living of six marriages, working as a mechanic during the day and singing long hours in ghetto clubs at night, not to mention LOTS of Old Grandad - it clearly shows on blues singer Tail Dragger's face. And when he performs, you can see the joy in his face too. While Tail Dragger is now known and revered as an elder statesman of the blues from Brazil to Spain to Finland, back in 1966, Tail Dragger was just one of many Southern migrants to Chicago's West Side. 

At that time The West Side was a blues hotbed, and Howlin' Wolf was a strong draw who performed often. Tail Dragger, known then as James Jones, was a blues fan from his childhood back in Altheimer, Arkansas, and went to see Howlin' Wolf every chance he could. Wolf took a liking to him and became his mentor, giving him his name "Tail Dragger" (because he was often late), teaching him to sing in time, and saying "One day this boy is gonna take my place." Over many years of playing in clubs, often with blues greats such as Hubert Sumlin, Lurrie Bell and Eddie Shaw, Tail Dragger not only absorbed the power of Howlin' Wolf's voice, but mastered his showmanship: walking through the crowd with feral energy, as much a shaman as a singer.

Johnny Burgin was a college student at University of Chicago, DJ’ing at the college radio station WHKP. When a fellow DJ took Johnny to see Tail Dragger perform, he got hooked on the blues. He wasn't that great on guitar, but he practiced and practiced, and kept coming back, until finally Tail Dragger gave him a spot in his band. Johnny developed under Tail Dragger's watchful eye and went on to perform often with Tail Dragger in Chicago and in Europe to this day. Since 1998, Johnny has released ten CDs and is featured on dozens more as a sideman, including Howlin' at Greaseland with Tail Dragger, which was nominated for a BMA for Best Traditional Blues CD in 2018. His Johnny Burgin Live was nominated for "Best Live Recording" by Blues Blast Magazine in 2020 and features Charlie Musselwhite, Aki Kumar and Nancy Wright. Johnny's now a full-fledged touring artist on his own, performing up to 200 shows a year worldwide. Johnny and Tail Dragger together will be a special musical reunion.

Sony India/Little Village Foundation recording artist Aki Kumar needs no introduction to Bay Area Blues fans! While in recent years he's been known for his ground-breaking and unique Bollywood-Blues mashup, his Chicago blues harp stylings are first class. Aki and Johnny have travelled many miles together in Europe, South America and on tour in the US and they are looking forward to working together again for the first time since the pandemic.

Bay area drumming hero Dennis Dove and bassist Chris Matheos, up from LA, will be the rhytmm section.

**Advance discount tickets are $15; when they are gone and on day of show, tickets are $20.


GENERAL SAFETY PROTOCOLS:  Attendees will be seated with their party at distanced tables.  The concert is presented on our large, airy dining room stage, in a supper club format. Tableside dining and beverage service will be offered throughout the event.

Your ticket purchase ensures your reservation, with your name on our guest list, and on your reserved table. Tickets may not be available at the door.  

Questions: Call or email us at, or 530-446-6668


  • Tail Dragger blues 5-13-22

    Limited advance tickets for general seating. Your purchase puts your name on our guest list at the door. No added fees, & NO NEED TO PRINT! Come early to get seated and enjoy a scratch-made, local & organic dinner and cocktails in our intimate, listening venue. Questions? Call 530-446-6668

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