Friday night brings Aaron Kamm and the One Drops to The Lariat for their first-ever Buena Vista show.
“I appreciate the easy-going attitude,” Kamm said of audiences in the Colorado mountain towns his trio has played over their 11 years together. At the same time, “I appreciate their desire to get up and move.”
The One Drops bring an eclectic, improvisation-heavy mix of reggae, soul and blues. As the band has progressed, Kamm said, they’ve begun to incorporate other African styles that share a similar musical lineage with reggae, like Afrobeat and Highlife.
“We definitely try to promote a positive vibration,” Kamm said. For him, a benefit of playing in so many different genres is that the audience can walk away exposed to an entirely new type of music they had never heard before.
The group’s message is also ecological: “I think we as human beings could be doing a lot of things differently and more efficiently without damaging our mother Earth.”
Growing up outside St. Louis listening to the record collection of his father, himself a musician and music lover, Kamm became absorbed in the sounds of groups like Toots and the Maytals, in particular, their 1976 LP “Reggae Got Soul.”
“I must have listened to that record 2,000 times before I came of age,” Kamm said.
Also spinning were reggae legends like Bob Marley and Jimmy Cliff, as well as bluesmen like Albert King and soul singers like Aretha Franklin and Otis Redding,” the latter of which Kamm calls his “favorite male singer.”
There’s also some Southern Rock in the mix. Kamm said of Allman brothers guitarist Duane Allman: “When I heard him playing the guitar so sweetly, I was like, ‘I have to make sounds that sound like that.’”
Kamm tried to pick up guitar a few times as a kid, but it wasn’t until he turned 18 that the “switch flipped” and “I just fell in love with it … It was more like I rediscovered that stuff.”
“Ever since then, I’ve always had a guitar in my hands,” he said.
Kamm was playing acoustic guitar backed by a conga player and a looper pedal when he met bassist Andy Dorris, who pressed Kamm on getting a band together.
“Basically I told him if he could find a good kit drummer, we’d see how we played together,” Kamm said.
One year later, they found drummer Sean Raila and jammed. Ever since then, they’ve been together.