Casino Entertainment

Casinos: Southern rockers Blackberry Smoke headed to Jackson Rancheria

Blackberry Smoke is scheduled to play Friday, April 8, at Jackson Rancheria, and Saturday, April 9, at Reno’s Cargo.
Blackberry Smoke is scheduled to play Friday, April 8, at Jackson Rancheria, and Saturday, April 9, at Reno’s Cargo. Courtesy of Blackberry Smoke

A lot of showroom time is being dedicated this weekend to the Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley bout in closed-circuit broadcasts, but there still is enough capacity to provide some intriguing entertainment of varied sorts.

Perhaps of most interest is Blackberry Smoke, the band with the perfect Southern Rock moniker, although that genre hardly covers all it does, as it tosses plenty of blues into the mix as well. The band has its first engagement on the Northern California-Northern Nevada casino circuit on Friday, April 8, at Jackson Rancheria (7 p.m.; $40; On April 9, the band plays Reno’s Cargo (9 p.m.; $19;, which is located downtown in the Whitney Peak Hotel (the one with the giant climbing wall over South Virginia Street).

Blackberry Smoke started in Atlanta and eventually wound up opening for the likes of ZZ Top, Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Zac Brown Band. It has successfully parlayed that into a booming career, touring the United States as well as England and Australia. The band’s fourth studio album, “Holding All the Roses,” was released last year. What is probably its most-popular album, “Little Piece of Dixie,” just got a vinyl release.

Playing Dead

Of all the tribute bands out there, one of most industrious and certainly one of the most popular is the Dark Star Orchestra. It has famously dug into the archives of the Grateful Dead’s more than 2,600 concerts and re-created many of them, being careful to assure accuracy of vocal techniques, arrangements and instrumentation. DSO is right around equaling the Dead’s record, having been on stage more than 2,500 times itself.

Those attending their Harrah’s Tahoe show on Saturday, April 9, no doubt will be intrigued as to what concert from what era they might to hear (the Dead being one of the most unpredictable bands in history). Then again, the Dark Star Orchestra has been known to re-create set lists of the Jerry Garcia Band as well as creating a few. It’s also worth noting that one of the Dead’s members may show up for an onstage appearance, with Bob Weir, Phil Lesh and Bill Kreutzmann having done so in the past. (7:30 p.m.; $20 GA, $25 seated; Ticketmaster)

Laughing matter

Comedy is alive and well this weekend as Chris D’Elia is set to show up at the MontBleu. D’Elia is the guy who performed that Comedy Central special, “White Male Black Comic,” mastering rap parody. He also played Alex Miller on the NBC sitcom “Whitney” and more recently Danny Baron on “Undateable.” (8 p.m. April 9; $35, $45; Ticketmaster)

And Cache Creek’s afternoon dance series winds down April 10 with Grupo Yndio at 5 p.m. (Free with club card or $20 at the door)