As the tide rolls over the white-sand beaches, mellow reggae-infused grooves emanate from a gathering on the shoreline singing malama ka ‘aina — respect the land.
Standing at the centre of the crowd is Vancouver’s Buckman Coe, who is bringing his brand of soul-reggae-Americana fusion to Vernon’s Record City July 27.
“It’s very positive, high energy, uplifting, dynamic dance-able grooves,” Coe says of his band’s sound. “Beyond those stylistic things, lyrically, it’s message driven music. It’s never preachy, but it’s positive and has a message of oneness — just feeling good and getting charged up.”
It’s a message the Edmonton-born singer/songwriter has taken across the globe with shows in Canada, Australia, Taiwan, Indonesia, Oregon, and Hawaii — where Coe unearthed the title of his fourth studio album, Malama Ka ‘Aina.
Featuring electronic artist Adham Shaikh and Jason Kechely as producers, Coe’s 2016 release combines his positive message woven through soulful lyrics laid on top of classic and inviting reggae-born basslines, receiving nominations for the Western Canadian Music Awards for World Album of the Year 2016 and placing in the top 10 World Charts in College and Community Radio in the United States. And Coe is excited to bring Malama Ka ‘Aina to the Okanagan.
“I haven’t played Vernon for years,” Coe says, adding that his last stop in town was roughly eight years ago for the now defunct Komasket Music Festival.
Playing alongside Coe at Record City is Grand Prairie, Alta.-based island soul musician Caleb Hart.
“He is a phenomenal performer and one of my closest musical collaboratives and travellers,” Coe says of Trinidad and Tobago-born Hart. “He really brings a lot of fire and energy to the show.”
While he hasn’t played Record City before, Coe says he’s looking forward to performing in the intimate space.
“Intimate is such a relative word,” Coe says. “You can have a big crowd and have it feel really close, where they all kind of go with you and the band. I love the energy that kind of builds (a connection with) the band and audience that creates this physical energy. It’s like a high — you feel charged up.”
And for Coe, that’s what it’s all about.
“You have all this energy that’s just surging through your body — it’s the best intoxicant I know of. Sharing that with a crowd is one of the best experiences I’ve ever had in my life.”
SMG Endeavors presents Buckman Coe and Caleb Hart at Vernon’s Record City July 27. Tickets are available for $10 in advance from www.okomfest.com, $15 at the door, and $5 for youths and students (bring student ID). All ages. Doors at 7 p.m., music by 8 p.m.