Emblazoned with their Tumblr address and the simple statement “We got soul,” the vintage matchbook calling card of Skinny Ricky & The Casual Encounters perfectly embodies the spirit of the band: resurrecting the past with a touch of class and a unique twist. The local group plays classic ’60s soul music, and, according to bassist Mikael Witte, they have a clear mission in mind. “One of the main goals of the group is to bring this kind of music back that a lot of people aren’t aware of existing,” says Witte. “To bring it in the way that we play it, and to make them feel that it’s still relevant, and that it’s something that will make you feel something.”
Lead vocalist Eric “Skinny Ricky” Parson interjects: “But we’re not your standard Motown band.” He explains, referring to the band’s obscure song choices: “In popular music there’s a tiered system, and below the top layers is the music of excellent quality that never got recognition. We’ve found the most amazing music that no one has heard before, and one of our goals is to play deep cuts.” Skinny Ricky & The Casual Encounters pack a whopping eight members onstage, and use a full drum kit, a swinging rhythm section, and four-way call and response. Parsons voice shifts from deep bellows to high cool calls, in order to help the audience feel the music. “I want people to witness the pain of singing each song, because in addition to our dance numbers, I sing a lot of songs about heartbreak,” says Parsons. The band will open for The Inciters, another local soul outfit, on Jan. 20 at Don Quixote’s, and, according to Parsons, both bands hope fans will dress to impress. “We like to encourage people to dress up,” says Parsons. “Put on a tie or a dress, show up, and be ready to dance.”
INFO: 9 p.m. Friday, Jan. 20. Don Quixote’s, 6275 Hwy 9, Felton. $8. 603-2294. thecasualencounters.tumblr.com.
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