John Michael is a trained opera singer, a spot-on vocal impressionist, and a longtime rock ’n’ roller. The one thing he’s not is a radio DJ. That’s a totally different John Michael.
There are a lot of retro soul bands that troll record stores for old, obscure soul gems to cover. Harry and the Hitmen do a little of that, but mostly they stick to the popular, crowd-pleasing Motown classics. They distinguish themselves in a completely different way; by adding a little jam-band flair.
Over the pulse of keyboards and drums is a high-pitched wail: half screeching and half soaring, just a little bit jazzy, and altogether beautiful. It’s the vocals of musician Linsey Olsen, a former Santa Cruzan, fronting for the live hip-hop group Joomanji.
If the Watergate Sandals surf-culture-meets-Nixon name isn’t enough to convince you they’re all about having fun, consider their cranked-up, frenetic mix of garage, surf and punk. Or how about the term they coined themselves to describe their genre: scooter rock.