MAJESTIC MACHINES: What is a soul? Deeply imbued as it may be within ourselves or within our collective idea of who we are, preachers and anatomists may come to different conclusions of its substance and occurrence in our bodily vessels, as the search for soul has led some to confirmation of its existence and others to its denial. Yet, no matter your belief, you can at least take comfort in knowing that this indefinable thing is as common as the also vague quality of “cool” in music venues, and as soul is the most welcome secret ingredient to any live set or song or singer.
This weekend brings not one but two soulful Santa Barbara acts with whom you can share soulful moments: Soul Majestic, the reggae veterans who play SOhO Restaurant & Music Club (1221 State St.) on Saturday, October 1, with a special two-set evening, and Soul Machine, the much-enjoyed R&B cover band who play High Sierra Grill on Sunday, October 2.
PASS THE SOUL AROUND: The year 2016 sees Soul Majestic reaching a watershed moment as they look behind and look ahead. In May of this year, they released Pass It Around, a compilation originally conceived as a sampler CD that could be given away to fans after shows. The disc has some of the band’s favorites, a remix, plus the four new singles they released this past year as part of a monthly song campaign. “It’s a good way for someone new to our music to have our most popular songs along with our most recent, plus a bonus track for our fans that have our entire catalog,” Eric Iverson said.
The band is feeling good about the legacy they’ve built and the fans they’ve made through their own hard work. “I’d say one of our proudest achievements looking back on our career thus far has been our ability to keep the band together and persevere through times with no outside management or label backing,” Iverson said.
The band has a new album slated for early next year, making this the perfect time to check in with the reggae rockers and see what they’ve been up to. See them at SOhO on Saturday at 10 p.m.
THE SOUL OF A SINGER:Pass It Around Laura Cozzi, the lead singer of the hot R&B cover band Soul Machine, always knew she had the desire to perform burning deep within her soul. She was raised in S.B. by her father, William, the great Italian stone mason whose Mediterranean-style architecture shaped much of the soul of S.B., but it was through the encouragement of her mother, a watercolor painter, that she felt moved to sing. After hitting the theater and working with locals such as Rod Lathim, she turned to her passion for music and is now known for her remarkable renditions of songs by Chaka Khan, James Brown, and others, with a world-class band of musicians, themselves veterans of the soul-funk stage.
Cozzi said her band is set apart by their sense of humor, and they love to make audiences crack a smile. “I’m happy as long as I see people coming together and smiling and dancing and laughing,” she said. See them on Sunday at High Sierra Grill at 3 p.m.
ROCK THE WHARF: In other news, starting this Saturday, October 1, and running through the first Saturday of January 2017, rock bands will serenade your seaside stroll as part of Rock the Wharf, a new free concert series with S.B. Youth Academy acts. This weekend, let First Bourne, Twisted End, and Vital Signs make your Saturday sweeter, starting at 3 p.m., between the Sea Center and Old Wharf Trading Company.