By Anthony Small
From Friday, Sept. 29 through Oct. 1, Ohana Festival returns to Doheny State Beach, a place host Eddie Vedder himself has referred to as “hallowed ground.”
Vedder caught his first waves at Doheny as a kid, and since 2016, his Ohana Festival has continued to add to the happy history of this treasured location.
The world-class Ohana lineup includes top-billed sets by Vedder, The Killers, Haim, The Chicks, Foo Fighters and Pretenders. The amazingly diverse lineup also includes Father John Misty, Japanese Breakfast, The War on Drugs, Charley Crockett and Thee Sacred Souls, among others.
I highly recommend getting there early each day, so you do not miss artists such as Danielle Ponder, Ayron Jones, The Aquadolls and The Alive. The Storytellers Stage features compelling leaders in environmental, conservation and pro surfing, and The Cove Gallery, curated by Charles Adler, is a must-see.
Get tickets for Friday and Saturday while you can. Sunday’s show is sold out, but updates and ticket info can be found at ohanafest.com.
I caught up with Thee Sacred Souls, a San Diego trio that will play Ohana on Sunday. Their story is remarkable; the band’s second club date in 2019 led to a record deal with the storied Daptone label via Penrose Records.
Their first singles racked up more than 15 million streams, and their self-titled debut of sweet soul music led to national TV performances on Jimmy Kimmel Live and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and they’ve now played sold-out headlining shows across the U.S., the United Kingdom and Europe.
Thee Sacred Souls core lineup features singer Josh Lane, drummer Alex Garcia, and bassist Sal Samano, and they perform live as a seven-piece band, adding guitar, keys, and two backup vocalists.
Produced by Bosco Mann (aka Gabriel Roth, Daptone/Penrose Records founder), their wholly analog record sound evokes smooth ’60s soul along with the grit and groove of early ’70s R&B.
“We get to be innovative and honest and challenge ourselves as artists, but we also dig deep and pay homage to what helped shape us,” Lane says. “In college, I really got into Marvin Gaye, Al Green, Aretha Franklin, and Curtis Mayfield, but when I met these guys, they introduced me to deeper soul and lowrider stuff like Thee Midniters, and that really opened things up.”
“They had a sound that caught my ear right away,” says Mann. “The combination of Sal and Alex’s taste and touch in the rhythm section with Josh’s masterful sense of voice and melody was just so fresh. I knew they could make an album that would blow some minds.”
Their bittersweet song “Sorrow For Tomorrow” showcases Lane’s range and is all about loss and healing, growth and forgiveness, longing and regret.
“That song is basically permission to cry,” says Lane. “It’s a reminder that it’s OK to be open to pain and not to feel like your emotions are a burden or make you any less of a man.”
Thee Sacred Souls music is modern, soulful and special, because it is honest, and shares a very human vulnerability. That, my friends, is precisely what good art is all about. Listen, and I bet you’ll agree, and catch them at Sunday’s Ohana, if you can. Find more info at theesacredsouls.com.
REDO Vintage & Maker’s Market returns to the Lantern District on Sunday, Sept. 24, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Besides the more than 150 vendors lining Del Prado, there’ll be incredible music on four stages.
It’s an honor to help curate the music, and I’ll also be playing my upcoming album, El Viejo, in its entirety, at noon on the stage near Dana Point Hardware and Jack’s Restaurant. Also scheduled on that stage are Stereosity, Sidney Bowen, Mojave Ghost, and Andrew Lavin. Randall Winvick, Dano Forte, Los Pakalolos, and others will also perform. More info is at redomarket.com and anthonysmallmusic.com.
Anthony Small is Executive Director of Music Preserves Foundation, a City of Dana Point Arts & Culture Ambassador, local musician, and a California Arts Council Individual Artist Legacy Fellow. Small and his family have lived in Dana Point for 25 years.