It’s a great week for music in Northern California and Nevada casinos, with a little blues, a little jazz, a little country and a great deal of rock ’n’ roll, both contemporary and classic.
Robert Cray brings his 21-piece blues band to Jackson Rancheria on Thursday, March 9, in anticipation of the April release of his new album, “Robert Cray & Hi Rhythm,” featuring Steve Jordan and recorded in Royal Studios in Memphis, the longtime home of the Hi Rhythm Section, the house band that worked with Al Green, Ann Peebles and others.
It was Cray’s fourth album, 1986’s “Strong Persuader,” that gave him the historic cross-over single in “Smokin’ Gun,” which jumped from the blues to the rock charts. Since then he has gained so much prominence that Fender has released two Stratocasters with his name. And, yes, that is Cray playing bass with Otis Day as part of the party band in National Lampoon’s “Animal House.” (7 p.m.; $30-$50; jacksoncasino.com)
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One of the greatest guitarists of all time, George Benson, takes the Cache Creek stage Friday, soon after the release of his “Ultimate Collection,” a two-CD 36-song compilation with songs such as “Greatest Love of All,” “20/20,” and duets including “When I Fall in Love” with Idina Menzel (due at Reno’s Grand Sierra in August). Benson’s 1976 album “Breezin’” became the first platinum jazz album ever, and he’s still closely associated with that record. (8 p.m.; $69-$89; cachecreek.com)
Creedence Clearwater Revival got its name from a friend of Tom Fogerty (Credence Newball; they added the extra “e”), a “clear water” ad for Olympia beer, and the members’ commitment to the new project. Stu Cook and Doug “Cosmo” Clifford are still at it with the follow-up project, Creedence Clearwater Revisited, providing plenty of “Proud Mary,” “Bad Moon Rising,” and “Have You Ever Seen the Rain” at the Grand Sierra Friday, March 3. (9 p.m.; $32-$244; grandsierraresort.com)
The Grand Sierra’s giant theater goes country Saturday with Gary Allen, now working on a new EMI Nashville project and still enjoying the success of his last album, “Set You Free,” which features his fifth No. 1 single, “Every Storm Runs out of Rain.” (8 p.m.; $34-$246)
Plenty more around, including:
▪ “An Evening with Gov’t Mule” at the MontBleu on Friday (8 p.m.; $25-$40; Ticketmaster).
▪ “The Unauthorized Rolling Stones” at Harrah’s Tahoe on Saturday. (7:30 p.m.; $20).
▪ David Spade brings his stand-up to the Silver Legacy on Friday (8 p.m.; $46.50-$56.50; silverlegacy.com).
▪ And “Celebrating the Year of the Rooster” at Thunder Valley on Saturday is Hong Kong star Kristal Tin and guests (7:30 p.m.; $78-$108; thundervalleyresort.com).