It’s mostly veterans in the Northern Nevada and California casino showrooms this weekend, a couple of which have been absent awhile.
George Benson released an album three years ago – “Inspiration: A Tribute to Nat ‘King’ Cole” – reflecting Benson’s longtime love of the vocalist, right down to the Nelson Riddle arrangements.
Benson, who plays the Grand Sierra in Reno on Saturday, May 14, has a new album out, “The Ultimate Collection,” a two-CD, 36-song set that includes almost any Benson tune you’d want plus a few additions like a duet of “When I Fall in Love” with Idina Menzel. The set covers the territory traveled by Benson since his release of the first platinum jazz album and through the heady days of “Breezin’,” the album that still in many ways defines him. (9 p.m.; $32.11-64.22; grandsierraresort.com)
At Harrah’s Tahoe Saturday, will be Los Lobos, which just received its first Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nomination, often a step toward eventual installation. The band’s hard-fought career essentially began with the musicians out of a mini-van on the road, lending poignancy to the first album, “How Will the Wolf Survive,” (Los Lobos translates to “The Wolves”). The next album almost answered the question: “By the Light of the Moon.”
Then Los Lobos became road warriors, not only appearing solo but also opening for Bob Dylan, U2, and even the Grateful Dead. Their latest album is “Gate of Gold.” (7:30 p.m.; $49; Ticketmaster)
Dan Brewer, drummer and vocalist, and Mel Schacher, bassist, are original members of Grand Funk Railroad. They’ve been around since 1969 when the band rose out of Flint, Mich., named after the Grand Trunk Western Railroad. They long ago mastered the touring thing and are now joined by lead vocalist Max Carl, lead guitarist Bruce Kulick, and keyboardist Tim Cashion, all of whom have been with the “We’re an American Band” band since 2000. They are at Jackson Rancheria on Friday, May 13. (7 p.m.; $30-$50; jacksoncasino.com)
Cache Creek brings in eight Bay Area performers – the Urban Outlaws – for a free concert on Sunday, May 15.
Thunder Valley begins to wind down its regular Pano Hall season with two performances of the China Gold Acrobats on Friday, May 13 (7 and 10 p.m.; $32.75-$44.75; thundervalleyresort.com) and one night of Gladiator Challenge on Saturday, May 21. The outdoor amphitheater opens with Tesla and Y&T on Saturday, June 4, and for a season that includes Kenny Rogers’ last world tour, The Gambler’s Last Deal, on Friday, June 24.