Chow down & jam out · Guitar Strings vs. Chicken Wings

Do you like chicken wings and rock ‘n’ roll? This is not a trick question. It’s the basis of a fundraiser on Sept. 9 in Olympic Valley organized to support the Tahoe Institute For Natural Science (TINS).

Guitar Strings vs. Chicken Wings is a combination battle of the bands and chicken wing contest that will take over the Village at Squaw as musicians and chefs compete to see who really has the best sauce. The bands will all perform simultaneously throughout the village while listeners munch on wings.

Sept. 9 | 4-9:30 p.m.
The Village at Squaw | Olympic Valley


Matt Reardon and Friends are the defending champions on the competition. Reardon is a Squaw Valley pro skier and hard-rocking front man of alternative rock group Black Sunshine. Last year, his Santana-themed collection of local rockers was voted best band for their tight arrangements and high energy.

“Guitar Strings vs. Chicken Wings is a combination battle of the bands and chicken wing contest that will take over the Village
at Squaw as musicians and chefs compete to see who really has the best sauce.”

Reardon’s biggest competition comes from Rapplesauce, a local 10-man super group featuring an all-star cast of musicians from local favorites Sneaky Creatures, Drop Theory and Mama’s Cookin’. Led by producer Sam Ravenna, this band mixes classic funk riffs with horns and booty-shaking rhythm section that’s sure to get the crowd moving.

And, don’t forget about Trey Stone, who will be playing with local singer Kendal Naughton. Throughout his long career, Stone has performed with groups such as Parliament Funkadelic, Tower of Power and Bootsy Collins. Stone was inducted into the Rhythm and Blues Hall of Fame earlier this year and is bound to bring classic blues and funk.

Also in the mix is Tahoe City blues-rock-country-funk band Purple Curtain headed by Matt Axton, son of legendary songwriter Hoyt Axton, who penned Three Dog Night’s “Joy to the World” and Steppenwolf’s “The Pusher,” amongst other classic rock numbers. The competition is rounded out by local bluegrassers Lost Whiskey Engine.

For $5, attendees receive tokens to vote on any wings or bands they like best. And, there are no limits to how you may vote.

Lost Whiskey Engine 

“If you give us another $5, we’ll give you 10 more votes,” says TINS executive director Will Richardson. “It’s democracy at its finest. In this election cycle, I think this is something we can all understand.”

Now in its fifth year, the benefit will be introducing some deals to boost fundraising while providing donors access to all the wings and tunes they can handle.

Trey Stone

“What we are doing differently this year is offering package pricing that includes beer tokens and wings,” says Richardson. “You can show up in a group of two to four people and for $100, you get to try all the wings. You get a bunch of drinks, a bunch of wings and cups to take home with you. I recommend grabbing three buddies to go in together.”

The mission of TINS is to advance the natural history, conservation and ecosystem knowledge of the Tahoe region through science.


“The longer-term goal is to foster and cultivate a community that understands, appreciates, and are better stewards for our natural resources, but it needs to start with the understanding and appreciation,” says Richardson. “There are lots of group out here working on water-related issues we have out here. And, it’s awesome. We’re trying to complement that with the rest of the environment. We also have a long-term goal of bringing a world-class nature center to the region.”

The event was made possible by more than 40 local sponsors.

“We’ve gotten a lot of community support,” says Richardson. “We’re stoked to pull off a great event and make everyone happy.”

Will Matt Reardon and Auld Dubliner keep their titles from last year or will a fresh recipe and ripe band reign supreme? Only your taste buds, eardrums and votes will decide.

P.S. What’s a musician’s favorite part of a chicken? Wait for it … the drumstick.

Group A competitors
Bands perform from 5-6 p.m. & 7-8 p.m.
Fireside with Purple Curtain
22 Bistro with Trey Stone & Kendal Naughton
Mamasake with Matt Reardon & Friends

Group B competitors
Bands perform from 6-7 p.m. & 8-9 p.m.
[email protected] with Lost Whiskey Engine
The Auld Dubliner with Rapplesauce

Village at Squaw competitors
The Cornice Cantina
The Tahoe Institute for Natural Science


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