By Yasmine Shemesh
“Otis Redding was my songwriting and vocal hero for a long time,” Boom Booms singer Aaron Ross says of his smooth and melodic voice. “But I think I can relate more to Bill Withers in the way that I like to sing.” The Boom Booms embody the whole soul sound concept completely. The band’s six members, also including keyboardist Sean Ross, guitarist Tom Van Deursen, bassist Geordie Hart, drummer Richard Brinkman and percussionist Theo Vincent, have known each other since childhood. Together, they create feel-good music, soaked in classic soul and served on a 21st-century platter.
The band’s sophomore offering, Love is Overdue, was produced by Grammy Award winner Chin Injeti, known for his work with Eminem and Aloe Blacc. “He was what we were looking for,” Ross explains. “[Injeti] was really good about working with everybody individually, and recognizing what certain songs were trying to do.” Elements of hip hop are rooted within the Boom Boom’s fusion of gospel, blues and jazz, with Tracks like “My City” and “Satisfied” offering fresh, lighthearted funk with a Stevie Wonder vibe and heavy bass undertones.
Soul is also at the heart of the Boom Booms’ charitable initiative, The Music Tree. Co-founded by Ross and Canadian Basketball Men’s National Team member Levon Kendall, the organization raises awareness of ecological community projects through fundraising and events. They also contribute to various non-profits locally and internationally.
The band feels strongly connected to the East Vancouver neighbourhoods they grew up and still reside in, and giving back is a gift they hold sacred. “Music has a really powerful way of reaching into somebody’s soul and changing their life,” Ross says. “It’d be a shame to waste that opportunity.”
The Boom Booms play the Harmony Music Festival on August 6th.
Published in print and online at www.beatroute.ca, August 2014