Tuesday, April 17, 2018
Listeners with an appetite for sunny bursts of rock, reggae, and hints of jazz and blues will want to head to Velvet Jones on Friday, April 20 (aka 4/20), when the venue will offer up a night of music featuring Kyle Smith, The Caverns, and Shaky Feelin’. Dubbed The Happy Concert, the evening is all about reggae tunes and rock grooves that will have the crowd swaying and head-banging along to the rhythm.
Southern California–based Smith melds rock and reggae into his acoustic ballads. The tracks on his Kyle Smith EP exemplify the musician’s knack for poetic lyricism that parallels his personal experiences. “I write things that are from the heart, and I try to make a message out of it,” he said in a recent interview with the Independent. “I think there’s a lot of truth and reality in music about what it’s like being a young adult in 2018. There’s a lot of struggle, humor. Hopefully when people listen to my music, they can gain something positive that helps them accomplish goals and makes dreams come true,” he said. Smith cites “Dope Fiend” — a track about his struggle with drug addiction — as one of the EP’s most powerful. “When people listened to this song, I had a lot of them hitting me up about getting help and throwing their drugs away,” he said. “It gives people something to relate to that not a lot of people put out there …. I don’t have to worry about hiding stuff anymore,” he said.
As for playing at Velvet Jones, Smith said, “I hope there’s going to be a lot of interaction with the crowd. You can expect it to be hazy, a little loud, a lot of dancing. Hopefully, some people will lose their minds to the music.”
The Caverns will turn it up a notch with guitar-driven rock and roll, their style influenced by legendary bands such as Led Zeppelin. The band consists of Sam Kulchin (guitar), Alyssa Davey (bass), and Tom Ellgren (drums), with all members participating on vocals, giving a modern twist to a classic rock sound. Of their numerous tracks, Kulchin has a soft spot for “Bonfire,” which has garnered more than 100,000 Spotify plays. “If you listen closely to the lyrics, it talks about an app similar to Tinder that was called Bonfire,” he said.
Headlining the show is the groove-inducing Shaky Feelin’. Lead vocalist/guitarist Mark Masson, who hopes that the Happy Concert crowd will be ready to engage in loud singing and air drumming, said: “You can expect a very diverse set from Shaky Feelin’. Pretty much there’s a song for everybody on our set. There’s blues, reggae, and odes to punk rock. We want to see the highest of energy out in the crowd.”
For those unfamiliar with Shaky Feelin’ tunes, Masson recommended the track “Private Dancer,” because of its “catchiness and good, danceable beat.” His favorite song, however, is the one he wrote for his wife. “There’s a song called ‘Further,’ about my wife, on the new album …. It’s a reggae song with Sublime-esque sounds that describe how special she is,” said Masson. Shaky Feelin’ is currently focusing on crafting a new record, which will be released in “the next six months or so,” Masson said.
The Happy Concert is Friday, April 20, at 8 p.m., at Velvet Jones (423 State St.). Call (805) 965-8676 or see velvet-jones.com.