North Shore welcomes the talent of San Francisco-based Hot Buttered Rum for an Americana and indie folk gig this weekend that's sure to be one for the books.

"Evolution is an overused term in the music game, and doubly so in the corners of it frequented by groups like Hot Buttered Rum, those drawn to marry bluegrass and Americana with rock, swing and beyond in whatever proportion serves the song at hand," states the band's online biography.

This ability to evolve, and do so in unexpected ways, shines on Hot Buttered Rum's latest three-part album, "The Kite & the Key." The group collaborated with Tim Carbone of Railroad Earth to release an introspective part one, then with dobroist Sally van Meter on the Ralph Stanley-inspired part two before concluding with a partnership with keyboardist Kyle Hollingsworth on part three — a record that highlights improvisation.

Hot Buttered Rum has been touring for 16 years, which means members have had the chance to play for a variety of audiences in multiple settings: dive bars, prestigious bluegrass stages — you name it.

"Every show played and every record made has pushed HBR towards the next step in its evolution, and towards a sound that's tough to describe and easy to love.

"What began as the pipe dream of high school and college buddies, cooked up around campfires in the High Sierra, has found its way into the ears and hearts of fans across the country," continues the bio.

This is one show you won't want to miss.

Catch Hot Buttered Rum at Crystal Bay Casino on Saturday, May 5, at 9 p.m. Tickets — available at — cost $20 in advance and $23 on the day of the show. Prices do not include ticket fees. Guests must be at least 21 years of age.

Grateful Dead tribute performs

Deadheads should look no further than Crystal Bay Casino when planning a night out on Friday, May 11 — Grateful Dead cover band China Cats takes the stage for a free gig.

"The China Cats are the premier Grateful Dead tribute band in Santa Cruz and the San Francisco Bay Area," states the outfit's online biography.

China Cats originally formed in 2008 as "Dough Knees," but underwent some changes and had other members come aboard. In 2009 the quintet reformed as China Cats, and the first performance featuring the current lineup (Scott Cooper, Matt Hartle, Steve Sofranko, Michael Owens, Rockin' Roger) was held in March 2010.

In the eight years that have passed, China Cats has rocked venues across Northern California and made appearances with musicians including Donna Jean Godchaux and Melvin Seals.

Catch China Cats at the North Shore venue at 10 p.m. Attendees must be at least 21 years of age.

Crystal Bay Casino is located at 14 NV 28, and additional information is available at