Artist of the day: Resinated
Growing up in Madeira Beach, Kenny Mullins’ first concert was a show by the emo-punk band Thursday. But when he started out as a musician, he made money by playing acoustic covers of artists like Jack Johnson, Dave Matthews Band and Sublime on beaches up and down Gulf Boulevard.
There, he met a drummer who was part of the local skimboarding scene, and who introduced him to beach music.
“I was attracted to reggae because it’s so positive,” he said. “They were singing about being free, which is a beautiful thing.”
Today, he sings in Resinated, one of the area’s most popular reggae-rock bands. They frequently tour the Southeast, and are working on an album that may see release on a national label. Last weekend, they performed at the rained-out-early Summerland Tour in Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg — a sign of reggae rock’s emergence as a force to be reckoned with on the modern rock landscape.
“People who don’t even listen to reggae are hearing this stuff and liking it because of the message in the music,” Mullins said. “The music is just better in the past five years. People like it, even if they’re not (fans of the genre).”
Resinated is one of several St. Pete bands trying to carve out their own unique niche in the area — and that can be a tall order, said promoter Adam St. Simons, a friend of Mullins and the band’s.
“I think what it takes for one of the St. Pete bands to break through is to define their own authenticity,” he said. “I don’t look at it as: Just because you’re not culturally from Jamaica or you’re not a Rastafarian, that you shouldn’t be able to express yourself within this format and genre of music.”
Mullins agrees. “It’s been a really hard genre to become known in,” he said. “The only way, it seemed like, to survive, was to reach out to other bands and cultures. It is kind of a repetitive type of music, and somebody who doesn’t listen to a lot of reggae might say, ‘Oh, that sounds just like this and that.’ But really, when you listen to it, the grooves and the foundations of the songs are a lot different.”
But he said St. Petersburg has been incredibly supportive to his band. “I’ve been to shows in other markets — Cocoa’s very well, Jacksonville does pretty good, Orlando’s okay,” he said. “But the reggae market in St. Pete? I’ve played in pretty much every major city in Florida with Resinated now, and St. Pete — and I’m not just saying it because I’m from here — it has the most love. It just does.”
On July 4, you can catch Resinated at the Daiquiri Shak in Madeira Beach. Click here for more on Resinated.
-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*