Strip away the religious ramifications of reggae music and it comes down to love and respect for all things. This is the starting block for Luke Kinney, guitarist, lead vocalist and founder of Something Collective, a 10-piece roots reggae band, featuring three horns, keyboards, percussionists, a drummer, bassist and guitarists, that has been performing since 2011. “We have multiple musicians if somebody cannot make a show; I have people on standby that know all the songs,” Kinney exclaims.
With such a big band, Something Collective is selective about what shows it books in order to keep the vibe powerful. Kinney grew up in a religious environment surrounded by gospel music, and reggae was a natural progression. “Our message is tolerance above anything else,” he says. Sharing writing duties with keyboardist Ryan Roseman, Kinney and a few of the horn players are also jazz musicians who play off the one drop rhythm but also have jazzy interludes. “The time signatures are poly-rhythmic but we always stay on the drop,” Kinneyexplains. Sublime was an early
influence, and like Bradley Nowell, Kinney has much respect for the culture of older reggae bands and teaching tolerance. “The crowd is what brings the spirit to the show,” says Kinney. “I understand people that come to shows to party and drink—but the way to find truth is not through the bottle or through the joint, no matter how much consciousness you think it brings you.” Something Collective just released its EP on iTunes with six new songs. Another six are being polished and the full-length album is scheduled for release in late February. The band seeks to be a leader for those who love spiritual music with a groove. “I follow Christ, the original Lion of Judah,” Kinney beams. “The message of the band is love. I put some of my faith into the music, but at the end of the day, I want people to feel comfortable and I don’t want to preach to them.”
INFO: Something Collective performs at 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 17 at Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $5. 479-1854. And again at 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 23. at the Catalyst Atrium, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $8. 423-1338.